Spotlight ~ The Bookshop Book

I hope this whets your appetite for what promises to be a unique and interesting journey, sampling some amazing bookshops around the world, with the help of some very well-known authors.

  • the bookshop bookAuthor: Jen Campbell
  • Published: October 2014 by Constable
  • Category: Non Fiction

Every bookshop has a story.

The Bookshop Book explores bookshops in barns, disused factories, converted churches and underground car parks. Bookshops on boats, on buses, and in old run-down train stations. Fold-out bookshops, undercover bookshops, this-is-the-best-place-I’ve-ever-been-to-bookshops. 

Meet Sarah and her Book Barge sailing across the sea to France; meet Sebastien, in Mongolia, who sells books to herders of the Altai mountains; meet the bookshop in Canada that’s invented the world’s first antiquarian book vending machine. 

And that’s just the beginning. 

From the oldest bookshop in the world, to the smallest you could imagine, The Bookshop Book examines the history of books, talks to authors about their favourite places, and looks at over two hundred weirdly wonderful bookshops across six continents (sadly, we’ve yet to build a bookshop down in the South Pole). 

“A good bookshop is not just about selling books from shelves, but reaching out into the world and making a difference.” David Almond

The Bookshop Book includes interviews and quotes from Ian Rankin, Tracy Chevalier, Audrey Niffenegger, Jacqueline Wilson, Jeanette Winterson and many, many others.

The Bookshop Book is a love letter to bookshops all around the world. 

About the author

Campbell JenJen Campbell grew up in the North East of England, and graduated from Edinburgh University with an MA in English Literature. She’s a published poet and short story writer and is also the author of Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops which was a Sunday Times bestseller. She lives in North London where she works at Ripping Yarns bookshop.

Jen can be found on Twitter and Facebook



My thoughts about the book

What could be better than a book about bookshops! And who wouldn’t love to visit some of these extraordinary book shops…I could see myself spending days in the Libreria Acqua Alta. What treasures might be found there? And the idea of a barge is just perfect, the ultimate mobile library. I will definitely have  to find out more about that. I can see a trip to Lichfield might just be in my future.

We start with a brief history of the world of books which leads on to descriptions and fabulous photos of bookshops around the world. Interspersed with which are interesting, and sometimes amazing, bookish facts and quotes. Also sprinkled throughout are chats with authors such as Ian Rankin, Rachel Joyce, Bill Bryson and Jacqueline Wilson to name but a few, and encompassing wonderful stories from booksellers across the globe. Filled with a wealth of fascinating information for the book lover, this is one well worth adding to  your bookshelf. Long live the bookshop!

Some of the wonderfully evocative images from the book

The Bookshop, Wigtown, Scotland

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The Book Barge, Lichfield, UK

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Tell A Story, Portugal

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Libreria Acqua Alta, Venice, Italy

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