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Books Set in Bookshops

By Holly Presswell, Nazifa Khan

 

Bookshops have a magical feeling about them. They have a way of making time fly by while you’re browsing for your next read, sitting down and getting transported to another world or meeting a new book bestie as you reach for the same book to buy. Bookshops are a book lover's favourite place, so why not have a book set in a bookshop? We have curated a list of the best books with stories inspired by or set in bookshops, so sit back, relax and add these books to your TBR (to be read) list.

 

Days at the Morisaki Bookshop by Satoshi Yagisawa 

 

When Takako's boyfriend announces his engagement to someone else, the twenty-five-year-old reluctantly agrees to her uncle Satoru's offer to reside rent-free in the cosy room above his shop. Located in the quaint neighbourhood of Jimbocho, Tokyo, the Morisaki Bookshop is a haven for book enthusiasts.

 

Nestled in a quiet corner of an aged wooden building, the shop boasts shelves brimming with hundreds of pre-loved books. It serves as Satoru's pride and solace, as he has dedicated his life to its upkeep since his wife departed five years prior.

 

Seeking peace to mend her broken heart, Takako finds herself unexpectedly immersed in the diverse worlds hidden in the stacks of books within the shop. As the seasons transition from summer to autumn, Satoru and Takako uncover unexpected connections and shared experiences.

 

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

 

A. J. Fikry, the owner of Island Books, has faced a series of challenges over the years: his wife's passing, dwindling sales at his bookshop and the theft of a cherished possession – a rare collection of Edgar Allan Poe poems.

 

He has gradually grown disillusioned with humanity, and even the books lining his shelves, once a source of comfort, now serve as painful reminders of the ever-changing world. However, an unforeseen event presents him with the opportunity to reinvent his life.

 

Welcome to the Hyunam-Dong Bookshop by Hwang Bo-reum

 

Yeongju diligently followed the conventional path: attending university, marrying a respectable man and pursuing a prestigious career. However, her life takes an unexpected turn when everything unravels. Feeling exhausted and disillusioned, Yeongju decides to leave her former life behind.


She walks away from her demanding job, ends her marriage and pursues her long-held dream: opening a bookshop. Nestled in a charming neighbourhood in Seoul, Yeongju's bookshop becomes a sanctuary for both her and her patrons.

 

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

 

The Bookshop on the Corner follows the journey of Nina Redmond, a literary enthusiast whose passion lies in matching readers with their perfect books. However, her beloved job as a librarian in a bustling city comes to an abrupt end. Undeterred, Nina decides to start afresh in a tranquil village far away.

 

Nina, who is determined to establish a new route for herself, buys a van and converts it into a mobile bookshop. She travels around several neighbourhoods with her bookmobile, enhancing lives one tale at a time. She meets a wide range of people and is swept up in unanticipated adventures along the way. And perhaps something more…

 

The Lost Bookshop by Evie Woods

 

Opaline, Martha and Henry have played secondary roles in their own lives for far too long. In due course, these three strangers will learn that their own stories are just as remarkable as those found within the pages of their cherished books when a disappearing bookshop casts its spell. And as they discover the mysteries of the shelves, they are taken to a surreal place where nothing is what it seems.

 

This book has a dual timeline – one story is set in the 1920s and follows Opaline, while Martha and Henry’s story is set in the present day.

 

Found in a Bookshop by Stephanie Butland

 

In this follow-up to Lost for Words, which takes place in York, England, Loveday has been running the bookshop for a while when she is suddenly faced with the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Kelly is the manager of the Lost for Words bookshop, which closes due to the COVID-19 situation. One day, retired Whitby headteacher Rosemary Athey writes Kelly a letter. She asks the shop to select her and her husband George some good books to help them get through the next three months, and she encloses a cheque for £100. This ignites an idea in Loveday, and she believes there is something they can do to help people cope with the crisis while also benefitting the business. She proposes matching books to customers’ needs and desires, some of which include combatting loneliness, seeking escapism or being transported to another part of the world. A community emerges through these letters, providing a glimpse into all manner of lives, relationships and individuals with the Lost for Words bookshop serving as its hub.

 

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