Art and the philosophy of life

brown and white table lamp

why is it
that so many fiction books
on bookstores
end up being about
a woman who either inherits a shop
is trying to save a shop
trades a shop
or somehow magically
gets a bookshop
the woman is broken hearten
from a relationship gone bad
and running away from her
small town life
into another
or a different country
where there is no staff
or where the staff is always
made up of two or three
charming or strange people
along with three regular
nice or weird customers
and a guy who fixes things
who is a hunk and a half
and single
I don’t read these books
I just look up books
about bookstores
then sigh in frustration
as another small town
woman who is living a failed life
gets a new start
when her grandmother dies
and leaves her a rundown bookstore
or she trades shops with another woman
from somewhere else
who is running away from the same thing
no men ever own bookshops and run away
the point is
all these women
are running from something
or someone
they are
and none of them appear
to have a spine
I don’t get it
I read the blurbs and other than the names
they are almost completely interchangeable
sometimes there is a murder
but they all seem to be about
women in tiny towns
here’s the thing
If we took all the women
who were running away
from small towns
to open or inherit bookstores
we could put them together
and have a much larger town
and more choices
I keep thinking about that old saying
“if you can’t find the book you want to read
write it yourself”
I’d write about a woman who had a bookstore
featuring banned books
in the middle of a huge CITY
with a couple of dogs and cats
she’d want all kinds of customers
there would be Saturday Kiddie Book readings
on how to overthrow the government
and self-defense classes for girls
there would be a really cool cafe
and the vegetarian cook books would have a
free DON’T EAT ANIMALS poster in the back
tarot card readings
and past life regressions would be available
and there would be a special parking place
for motorcycles
author readings twice a month
plants would be everywhere
unless the cats would eat them
and there would be a used book section
and free books in front
for those who found themselves on hard times
but no one would probably read that book
because it seems that a lot of women want to read
the small town heartbroken woman books
I seriously doubt that a man
would ever read one of those
who can blame them
I know I can’t do it


Photo:  Nathalie Stimfl


My condensed version of the many blurbs I have read:

Audrey is running from a small town and a failed relationship.  Her grandfather, the man she looked up to during the summer’s she spent helping him in his bookstore, dies.  He leaves the store to her.  It’s the perfect escape.

The shop is in poor condition.  The electricity isn’t working properly and she almost fell up the broken stairs to the small two rooms she will use as her apartment.  More than likely, the books need a good dusting and the windows need washing.  Maybe this was a bad idea.  She’s broke.  She finds a stray kitten.  Someone waves to her.

She asks the owner of the shop next door to recommend a carpenter.  He does.  Thor shows up with a tool kit.  He has gorgeous eyes and a dog.  He smiles and her heart beats faster.

Some nasty person walks in for some reason, but is eventually turned into a friend, is killed, or just goes away.  She finds hidden letters showing that her grandmother had an affair in her forties. She’s shocked.  Does her mother know?  And what does the tiny key open?

Thor fixes the lights and a drawer, or two.

He finds her crying, for some unknown reason.  He comforts her.  She nestles in his arms.  His dog lets the cat sleep on his back (as if the dog had a choice).

She cooks a feast on the hot plate, in the tiny upstairs room.

Business picks up.

They all live happily ever after, even if there is a murder.



Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel

everyone likes different things
I liked this book
you might hate it

Comments on: "Okay, so…fiction books about bookstores" (21)

  1. Now I wanna barf after all those condensed blurbs.
    I much prefer your book owner story who is not afraid of the demons and angels 😉

  2. Hahahahahahaha!!!!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: