2017 Reading Challenge discussion

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, #1)
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ARCHIVE 2013 > JANUARY 2013: Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: Part I: The Bookstore (Contains Spoilers)

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message 1: by Kara, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kara (KaraAyako) | 3663 comments This thread is for discussion of the first part of the book, The Bookstore.


message 2: by Kara, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kara (KaraAyako) | 3663 comments Color me completely intrigued. I love puzzles, I love bookstores, I love the Bay Area, and I love computers. I kinda feel like this one was maybe written just for me.

Random thoughts on this first section:
- I have friends who work at Google, and I wonder what they'd think about the way Sloan describes the Google offices.
- I was kind of surprised about the lack of, um, books being discussed.
- I thought Clay's immediate infatuation with Kat was ADORABLE.

Questions for discussion:
1. What do you think will happen to Penumbra without Clay's interference? What do you think it means that they will "burn his book"?
2. Clay wants to stop Penumbra, but Kat explains to him that it wouldn't work because Penumbra's too loyal; this is Penumbra's whole life. She talks about how she feels about Google. Have you ever felt this way about a job?
3. At Google, the technician apologizes to Clay for putting bookstores out of business. What do you think is the fate of bookstores? Will ebooks be the demise of bookstores?

Sorry--I realize these are kind of general and not very book-related. If anyone has others, feel free to throw them out there!


Megan (LahaiRoi) | 3903 comments I'm about halfway through. I thought the book presented an interesting juxtaposition between the book world with it's book smell and cloth covers and the computer/digital world. My favorite line so far was "if you're impressed by this, then you're over thirty." So true, for me at least:)

1. Without Clay's interference, I think Penumbra will lose his fight to modernize the "cult".

2. My job is my whole life, so I completely understand where Kat is coming from.

3. I think there will still be bookstores, just fewer of them and they will have to diversify in order to survive. I think ebooks will lead to more readers, not fewer.


Kathryn | 44 comments I honestly am really enjoying this book - and I have a feeling that this book would have passed me by if it hadn't have been one of the challenges - so thank you good reads!

1. I think without Clay, Penumbra would have still have been sitting in his bookstore waiting for someone to solve ..... is it a code?! I can't wait to find out what it means. Have they signed up to something which involves a never ending problem solving thing and that they never die - I could be getting away with myself here!

I think "burning his book" could mean something to do with his soul.

2. I'm not sure I feel this way about my job - don't get me wrong I love what I do but I think that a place like Google (in my mind) is somewhere where you could basically live and never go home so in a way it would become your whole world and you would never need to leave!

3. I'm really not sure about this. There is a line that keeps running through about the "smell of books" which is why people will always want actual books and not a computer generated one and I get this - although I do have a kindle which is my favourite thing - but there is nothing better than wandering round a bookstore. I really hope that ebooks won't be the demise of bookstores and we should all visit them more - as Megan said they need to diversify so while most have coffee shops in now they could also offer a library service.


Agnes Muscoreil (Witchy1) | 17 comments Kara wrote: "Color me completely intrigued. I love puzzles, I love bookstores, I love the Bay Area, and I love computers. I kinda feel like this one was maybe written just for me.

Random thoughts on this first..."

I am really enjoying this book, combines two of my interests, books and computers!
1. Without Clay the bookstore would have stayed just as it was.
2. I wish I felt that way about my job ~ and I love google and envy all those who get to work there!
3. I hope we will always have bookstores and libraries but also love my e-readers. I am on our library board, and it is a real challenge to keep people coming in. We have added computers, and e-readers to try and keep up with the times, much like Penumbra and Clay.


Alexandra (nolifequeen) | 167 comments 1. What do you think will happen to Penumbra without Clay's interference? What do you think it means that they will "burn his book"?

I read ahead of this question already ^.^; I wasn't sure what was going to happen though! I thought that by "burning his book" they were going to make him disappear from existence.

2. Clay wants to stop Penumbra, but Kat explains to him that it wouldn't work because Penumbra's too loyal; this is Penumbra's whole life. She talks about how she feels about Google. Have you ever felt this way about a job?

No, I wish. Maybe once I'm a mother! The book really makes me want to open up my own bookstore/coffee shop though.

3. At Google, the technician apologizes to Clay for putting bookstores out of business. What do you think is the fate of bookstores? Will ebooks be the demise of bookstores?

I hope not. While I can appreciate e-readers, I want to feel the pages turn and see people's faces when I'm reading something particularly long and smell the pages of a book I just brought home. I want a collection of my favorites lining my walls so everyone can see. I don't want to have to get on an e-reader or a computer to flip through a virtual library of my books. =[


Melanie Knight | 1 comments This book has me totally hooked and intrigued. I particularly like the character of Kat and the romance between her and Clay.

1. What do you think will happen to Penumbra without Clay's interference? What do you think it means that they will "burn his book"?

I think "burn his book" might mean that he will be expelled from the cult. Or it could be a bookish metaphor for something worse.

2. Clay wants to stop Penumbra, but Kat explains to him that it wouldn't work because Penumbra's too loyal; this is Penumbra's whole life. She talks about how she feels about Google. Have you ever felt this way about a job?

At one point, teaching was my whole life. My spare time was consumed with finding new ideas and resources to become a better teacher. But eventually the constant pressure and stress got to me and I wasn't able to switch off from it. Google sounds like a great place to work! I like the way that they encourage their employees to pursue their own interests. I think this probably helps to avoid burnout.

Alexandra - I've always wanted to own my own little bookshop, particularly a children's bookshop.


3. At Google, the technician apologizes to Clay for putting bookstores out of business. What do you think is the fate of bookstores? Will ebooks be the demise of bookstores?

I think it will become harder for bookshops to stay in business. I love my e-reader, but I also love browsing in real bookshops. I think bookshops will have to evolve. Perhaps by having real books that you can browse through, with a code on the shelf or book that you could scan to download the book to your e-reader. I often find it easier to choose a new book in a bookshop because you can read the blurb and flick through. But I often then go home and buy the book on the internet to read on my Kindle.


Laney | 4 comments Just finished Part I of this book. It's not a book I would've picked on my own, but I'm happy that I've joined this group to venture out of my book-pick norms. I'm really enjoying Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Book Store. I could live without the romance between Kat and Clay as I prefer books without romantic undertones (hard to find!) however how he describes her is very endearing and sweet. So I can live with that. I'm also enjoying the writer's style and have highlighted several sentences that I just enjoy reading:
"Her cheeks are flushed and she looks great with all her blood right there at the surface of her skin."
"Her velocity is steady, even as the landscape rises underneath her; she's the little eccentric that could."

1. I completely don't know how to answer this one. I've been wondering about it but I really don't have any answers. I'm waiting to be pleasantly surprised and/or shocked on this one.

2. I've never felt that way about a job, where nothing, not even a lover would keep me away from it. I've never defined myself by how I make a living. The saying "do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life"... I would love to have a job like that. I'm currently in my last semester of nursing school, and I'm thinking that I'll feel that way about being an RN, but still, I couldn't imagine putting a career ahead of life/family/love. It simply doesn't define ME.

3. I held out for some time against e-readers and genuinely grieve each time a book store closes and is converted into another box store of some kind. It took me a long time to rationalize my need/desire for a Kindle. It basically came down to SPACE. The Kindle is my greatest space-saving device and I adore the fact that I can travel and bring my digital library with me. However, there is something to be said for a physical library, for the feel of the page, and yes, for the smell of books. For about every 3rd Kindle book I read I blatantly and rebelliously go to a book store and buy a paper back. Just to feel a real book, just to turn real pages, just to be able to highlight inked words. Anyway, I believe the fate of bookstores will be Star Wars / Star Trek gatherings.... a lot of people are involved and keep those things alive but mainstream America doesn't get it. I, personally, have a love/hate relationship with technology. I love the fact that I can join a book club and not have to leave my house. I can join in with a comment and read other comments when I have the spare time in a busy schedule. But, I think it's sad, as well. As much as I like Kat's character and find her fascinating, her job leaves me feeling.... betrayed?

I dream of owning a bookshop myself. And I'd call it a bookSHOP not a bookSTORE. There'd be coffee, homemade muffins, large comfy couches, spirited debates and lively discussions. It could stay open 24 hours a day. There would be writer's groups, poetry readings, author debuts. People would fall in love there. People would get married there. Old people would bring their great-grandchildren. And, fine, there would be WiFi access.


Nathaly | 366 comments I am totally loving this book. I just finished reading some classics so a contemporary novel is very refreshing.

Definitely intrigued on finding out how this book keeps playing out!


message 10: by Kara, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kara (KaraAyako) | 3663 comments Laney, I totally hear you regarding books without romantic undertones. Me too! And I would definitely visit your bookshop.


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