Five words from the blurb: place, books, envy, secret, literary
A Novel Bookstore revolves around a secret committee, established to select the finest books for a new shop. This book shop will not sell new releases, but will only stock books specifically selected by the committee because of their importance and their ability to move and influence the reader.
A Novel Bookstore is billed as a mystery because members of the committee receive threats and then suffer violent attacks, but anyone looking for a mystery will be disappointed as this aspect of the book is minor and ultimately disappointing.
The main benefit of this novel is that it recommends a large number books to the reader.
The main problem, for the English reader, is that most are unavailable in this country. Some books are mentioned briefly, others described at length, but all the ones that intrigued me were impossible to track down.
This is, perhaps, the point the book is trying to prove. These gems of literature are buried under a sea of averageness and only those with a specialist knowledge will be aware of their existence.
Most blog readers will be familiar with debates about what makes a book important and whether or not readers are wasting their time by reading lighter, more entertaining books, but if you are interested in these discussions you’ll find plenty to hold your attention in this book. I thought the arguments were put across very well, but I had heard all the points before and found reading over 400 pages of them a bit tedious.
This is a book for literature lovers and I’m sure the dream of owning a perfect bookshop will resonate with a lot of people, but although I found some aspects of the literature debate interesting I thought this book was too long for its weak plot.
The thoughts of other bloggers:
While acknowledging that it is highly flawed…I also have to acknowledge that Cossé created a very appealing nook for a book lover to read in for a while. Nonsuch Book
….an engaging read which held my interest, despite the basic implausibility of the story…. A Common Reader
…it makes me think about what reading means to me, what novels mean to me, what writing means to me. Of Books and Reading