Books about Books Part 3: Do you come here often?

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Part 1 of this feature looked at the beauty of books about bookstores and libraries, and part 2 was about some of the picture books budding bookworms can be inspired by. So, in this next edition the focus is on the heartwarming fiction set in and among bookstores; from meeting the most unexpected personalities while browsing the shelves, to the solace that can be found in stories that reflect our own narratives.

Lost for Words

    You can trust a book to keep your secret . . . Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look closely, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are things she'll never show you. Fifteen years ago Loveday lost all she knew and loved in one unspeakable night.

    Now, she finds refuge in the unique little York bookshop where she works. Everything is about to change for Loveday.

    Someone knows about her past. Someone is trying to send her a message. And she can't hide any longer. Lost for Words is a compelling, irresistible and heart-rending novel, with the emotional intensity of The Shock of the Fall and all the charm of The Little Paris Bookshop and 84 Charing Cross Road.

    I have a copy of this book on my shelf still to read, and it sounds like a quirky story with heart. Plus, how often do you come across a character with a name like 'Loveday'?

    How to Find Love in a Bookshop

    Everyone has a story . . . but will they get the happy ending they deserve? 

    Emilia has just returned to her idyllic Cotswold hometown to rescue the family business. Nightingale Books is a dream come true for book-lovers, but the best stories aren't just within the pages of the books she sells - Emilia's customers have their own tales to tell.

    There's the lady of the manor who is hiding a secret close to her heart; the single dad looking for books to share with his son but who isn't quite what he seems; and the desperately shy chef trying to find the courage to talk to her crush . . .

    And as for Emilia's story, can she keep the promise she made to her father and save Nightingale Books?

    Who wouldn't want to work in a store that sounds as enchanting as 'Nightingale Books'? The idea of exploring the lives of some of the customers is a concept that I'm sure will make for a fun read.

    84 Charing Cross Road

    In 1949 Helene Hanff, 'a poor writer with an antiquarian taste in books', wrote to Marks & Co. Booksellers of 84 Charing Cross Rd, in search of the rare editions she was unable to find in New York.

    Her books were dispatched with polite but brisk efficiency.

    But, seeking further treasures, Helene soon found herself in regular correspondence with bookseller Frank Doel, laying siege to his English reserve with her warmth and wit.

    And, as letters, books and quips crossed the ocean, a friendship flourished that would endure for twenty years.

    This has to be one of the most popular 'books about books' out there. It was made into a movie and is actually a true story - time to move it closer to the top of my TBR!

    The Little Paris Bookshop

    Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can't seem to heal through literature is himself; he's still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened. After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story.

    Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself. Internationally bestselling and filled with warmth and adventure, The Little Paris Bookshop is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people's lives.

    A love story set in Paris, influenced by books, on a floating bookstore - what a combination! I haven't read any books set in France before so this might just be a good place to start.

    The Reader on the 6.27

    An irresistible French sensation - Mr Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore meets Amelie - The Reader on the 6.27 explores the power of books through the lives of the people they save. It is sure to capture the hearts of book lovers everywhere. Guylain Vignolles lives on the edge of existence. Working at a job he hates, he has but one pleasure in life ...Sitting on the 6.27 train each day, Guylain reads aloud. And it's this release of words into the world that starts our hero on a journey that will finally bring meaning into his life. For one morning, Guylain discovers the diary of a lonely young woman: Julie. A woman who feels as lost in the world as he does.

    As he reads from these pages to a rapt audience, Guylain finds himself falling hopelessly in love with their enchanting author ... The Reader on the 6.27 is a tale bursting with larger-than-life characters, each of whom touches Guylain's life for the better. This captivating novel is a warm, funny fable about literature's power to uplift even the most downtrodden of lives. 'The humanity of the characters ...the re-enchantment of everyday life, the power of words and literature, tenderness and humour.

    Another French book, this time 'man on the train' (with a twist). Also, it's really useful looking at these blurbs and seeing even more recommendations - 'Mr Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore' is another one I'll be checking out!

    What are some of your favourite bookish love stories?


    1. Death in the Stacks by Jenn Mckinlay, though it is a mystery it does have a bit of romance(s) in it, and its set in a library.

      1. Thanks for the recommendation Joann, I'll definitely have to look into that one!


    Feel free to leave a comment below - I love reading them!