The Haunted Bookshop

Wow, what to say about this book! First let me give you the summary from Goodreads:

“When you sell a man a book,” says Roger Mifflin, protagonist of these classic bookselling novels, “you don’t sell him just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue  you sell him a whole new life.” The new life the itinerant bookman delivers to Helen McGill, the narrator of Parnassus on Wheels, provides the romantic comedy that drives the novel. Published in 1917, Morley’s first love letter to the traffic in books remains a transporting entertainment. Its sequel, The Haunted Bookshop, finds Mifflin and McGill, now married, ensconced in Brooklyn. The novel’s rollicking plot provides ample doses of diversion, while allowing more room for Mifflin (and Morley) to expound on the intricacy of the bookseller’s art.

When I started reading this I had no idea it was a sequel.  In fact, I thought it was actually about ghosts in a bookshop.  When I realized it was “haunted” due to the owner’s love of authors and books, I wondered about reading it at all.

However the plight of Miffin and the customers of the bookshop intrigued me so I kept at it.  I have to say, it was Miffin’s view of books and bookshops that absolutely delighted me.  His obvious enthusiasm and beliefs that people don’t know what book they need so it is the bookseller’s job to give them the correct one whether they ask for it or not made me laugh.

Indeed the whole book made me want to quit my job and open the bookshop I’ve always dreamt of owning.  There is, of course, action and intrigue in the book as strange things occur and there was a bit of a sadness in it.

Yes, I have to admit there were pages and pages of stuff I didn’t begin to understand – names of books and authors I’ve never heard of for sure.  Those pages did bog down the story some but also made me more enthusiastic about reading more.  I give this book an B+!

 

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