“There’s something kind of heroic about being  a bookseller.”

My Five Favorite Books About Booksellers

  1. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. A bighearted novel that won booksellers’ hearts. (See above quote)
  2. 84, Charing Cross Road. A customer first recommended this jewel of a book to me. She couldn’t remember the name of it and when I reached out to colleagues to try to figure it out, I discovered that my fellow booksellers not only knew the book (and the title), but had all along loved this unlikely 20-year correspondence between a New York writer and a London bookseller.
  3. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. Protagonist Clay Jannon comes to bookselling like most booksellers–not by plan. Thus begins this spirited novel with a mystery and a bookstore at its center.
  4. The King’s English. Betsy Burton, author of this charming book and owner of the bookstore of the same name, has written a wonderful account of her 30 years running one of the most well respected independent bookstores in the country. Betsy is one of my favorite booksellers and reading her book is like spending a perfect afternoon with a lovely, well read host who has great stories about authors and the inner workings of a bookstore.
  5. Blind Submission. I’m partial to this one because the bookseller character is based on me. (According to author Debra Ginsberg, “Elise” is a composite of me and two other booksellers: Adrian Newell of Warwick’s and Carole Carden, formerly of Esmerelda Books.) But I’m also partial to anything Debra writes. Whether she’s writing a memoir about her days waiting tables, novels, mysteries, or a book about her son, Debra is just a great storyteller and a solid writer. She also happens to be way cool.