Thursday, 20 November 2014
Blog Tour: Review - The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell
Format: Hardcover / eBook
Released: October 2nd, 2014
We're not talking about rooms that are just full of books. We're talking about 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). The Bookshop Book is a love letter to bookshops all around the world.
The Bookshop Book is the perfect book for book lovers (try saying that five times fast!). It's a love letter to bookshops everywhere, as well as being an ode to the simple act of actually stepping inside a shop, browsing, and purchasing a book you never thought you'd leave with. It's a testament to the art of bookselling, designing bookshops and engaging the world of readers through buildings, displays and good old-fashioned bricks and mortar atmosphere. If you love books and bookshops then you absolutely can't go wrong with The Bookshop Book.
This book starts with a brief history of the world of books before moving on to talk about bookshops around the world, including shops in Europe, North America and Asia. Littered throughout are bookish facts (did you know Dickens was a member of the Ghost Club?) and quick chats with authors all about their favourite bookshops. The best part of this book for me is the section of photos included, depicting numerous amazing-looking bookshops that I didn't even know existed. Leakey's Bookshop in Inverness, UK looks unbelievable, and Tell a Story in Portugal looks so fun and compact. I'm sure I'll be dreaming about these bookshops soon!
The Bookshop Book is a great book to read in one go, or to dip into whenever the fancy takes you. It's written with the love of a reader and book collector, and will appeal to casual readers as well as hardcore book fanatics like me. Jen Campbell has done a great job of compiling a book with a difference, and it's no wonder it was chosen as the book for the 2014 Books Are My Bag campaign. It's left me with a desire to one day visit some new bookshops in the UK, particularly the one in Inverness, and to open my eyes a bit more when I'm out and about. It also shows that bookshops aren't going anywhere - they're an important part of our society and should remain so forever!