this is a really wonderful book...84 authors telling the story of their favorite independant bookstore. it was really uplifting to find out that there...morethis is a really wonderful book...84 authors telling the story of their favorite independant bookstore. it was really uplifting to find out that there are so many independant bookstores, many in relatively small towns, flourishing...when there seems to be so much doom and gloom around the book industry.
what was even better were the stories of how their local bookstore made so much difference to the success of many of these authors, by holding author events and handselling their books to everybody they could. even john grisham had a hard time peddling his first novel, and now that he's world famous, the only bookstores he signs books at are the five that helped him in the beginning.
at first i was kind of miffed that all the stores are in the usa, with none from canada, and then i thought, wait, we hardly have any up here. i live about an hour away from vancouver, supposedly a world class city, with a metropolitan population of close to 3 million, and there is not one really good independant bookstore selling new books. not one!! it's damn pathetic. all we have are chapters, the canadian version of barnes & noble. in this book there is one town of 34,000 people that has 2 flourishing bookstores. so i am pretty well forced to buy most of my books online, whareas if there was a good independant bookstore i would definitely drive there and pay more for my books to support a local business, just like all the customers of all the stores in this book, because they are all having to compete with the dreaded amazon, and their cut-rate prices and free delivery.
there is quite a lot of talk about e-books in this book, and while they are not going to go away, i was just reading the other day that e-book sales are down from the year before, and are only 16% of all book sales, so 84% of book sales are still "real" paper based books, which again is very heartening.
so anyway, if you love books and you're on goodreads, so duh...you should definitely read this book. it will make your day...it sure made mine.
i forgot to mention, most of the articles are 3 or 4 pages long, so you won't even get bored.(less)
the bookshop at 10 curzon street is the heywood hill bookshop in london, which amazingly enough is still in business, and has been at the same locatio...morethe bookshop at 10 curzon street is the heywood hill bookshop in london, which amazingly enough is still in business, and has been at the same location for over 70 years. they have a website, if you're interested in looking them up.
nancy mitford is, of course, a famous author and all around personality (one of the famous mitford sisters), and what i didn't know, is that she worked at this bookshop from 1942-1945 during the second world war. after which, she moved to paris.
the letters in this book range from 1952 until nancy's untimely (and quite awful) death in 1973. all the letters are between nancy and heywood hill, the original owner of the bookstore, during the years that he owned it, and also after his subsequent retirement. they make for a fascinating insight into the times, and are filled with news, gossip and details of the various books that nancy wrote during those years. recommended for all book lovers, and of course, people who like reading letters.
as an aside, nyrb classics has been re-issuing all of nancy's non-fiction biographical works, on such figures as voltaire and the sun king.(less)
i must admit, i was thoroughly disappointed with this book. i have read other books on books by manguel,such as "the library at night" and really enjo...morei must admit, i was thoroughly disappointed with this book. i have read other books on books by manguel,such as "the library at night" and really enjoyed them.this book seems like a bunch of essays that has been cobbled together for the sole purpose of putting out a book.while the essays are grouped together by topic, they rarely seem to have much in common, and to be perfectly honest, many of them are just plain boring.not recommended.(less)
Fascinating book about the true story of John Gilkey who over a period of years stole many valuable books, mainly from rare book dealers, usually usin...moreFascinating book about the true story of John Gilkey who over a period of years stole many valuable books, mainly from rare book dealers, usually using stolen credit card numbers. In some ways he was quite ingenious, but the most amazing thing is he really felt no guilt at all.In fact he really deserved these books as far as he was concerned and actually felt the book dealers were to blame for him not being able to afford them. Quite a reprehensible character...in my opinion anybody who steals books should be shot...and at the end of the book he is out of prison and stealing books again.He didn't seem to realize, or care for that matter, that most book dealers, rare or otherwise, barely manage to make ends meet.You only have to look at the huge number of used book dealers who have gone out of business in the last 10 or 20 years. It's very sad.Everybody on Goodreads should read this book as it gives many insights into the rare book business.(less)
for some reason, this book got quite a few poor reviews and ratings on goodreads. i, on the other hand, thought it was great. there is nothing i like...morefor some reason, this book got quite a few poor reviews and ratings on goodreads. i, on the other hand, thought it was great. there is nothing i like reading better than memoirs, anecdotes etc. about book selling and book buying. and this book is literally full of them. mcmurtry has spent almost 50 years in the book business, and although he is mainly famous to most people for his writing, he considers the book business to be his primary occupation.
probably the most amazing thing is that his own personal library consists of 28,000 books...that's 9 times what i have, and i have a lot of books. i can only dream about owning that many books and having a place big enough to house them.
so, what can i say, i'm a confirmed bibliophile and/or bibliomaniac. if you are too, you'll love this book.(less)
a definite must read for anyone who truly loves books...like me...I got in touch with the author and he very kindly let me mail him my copy, inscribed...morea definite must read for anyone who truly loves books...like me...I got in touch with the author and he very kindly let me mail him my copy, inscribed and signed it for me and mailed it back to me(less)