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Booktroverts, Unite: 5 of Our Favorite Books about Bookstores

by  | August 28
Greenlight Bookstore

Independent Bookstore Day is this Saturday and we’re already overflowing with love for our favorite stores. To celebrate—and to help us manage our anticipation—we’ve rounded up some of our favorite books about bookstores from around the world. These shops are quirky, friendly, and mysterious, basically all the qualities we cherish while walking through the shelves. Happy reading and browsing, bookworms!

As always, if you can’t get to the stores in person, you can further support your favorite independent bookstores by shopping online at bookshop.org or libro.fm.

A Bookshop in Berlin

A Bookshop in Berlin

by Françoise Frenkel

In 1921, Françoise Frenkel—a Jewish woman from Poland—fulfills a dream. She opens La Maison du Livre, Berlin’s first French bookshop, attracting artists and diplomats, celebrities and poets. The shop becomes a haven for intellectual exchange as Nazi ideology begins to poison the culturally rich city. In 1935, the scene continues to darken. First come the new bureaucratic hurdles, followed by frequent police visits and book confiscations. Françoise’s dream finally shatters on Kristallnacht in November 1938, as hundreds of Jewish shops and businesses are destroyed.

What follows is a remarkable story of survival and resilience, of human cruelty and human spirit, telling the tale of one fearless woman whose lust for life and literature refuses to leave her, even in her darkest hours.

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The Bridge

The Bridge

by Karen Kingsbury

For over four decades, Charlie and Donna Barton have run The Bridge, the oldest bookstore in historic downtown Franklin in Nashville, providing customers with coffee, conversation, and shelves of classics—even through dismal sales and the rise of digital books. Then the hundred-year flood sweeps through Franklin and destroys everything.

Can two generations of readers rally together to save The Bridge? And is it possible that an unforgettable love might lead to the miracle of a second chance? Karen Kingsbury's heartwarming story about two couples, love lost and found, and the miracle that saved a bookstore is also the basis for a Hallmark Channel movie.

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A Window Opens

A Window Opens

by Elisabeth Egan

A Window Opens introduces Alice Pearse, a compulsively honest heroine for our social-media-obsessed, lean in (or opt out) age. Like her fictional forebears Kate Reddy and Bridget Jones, Alice plays many roles. She is a (mostly) happily married mother of three, an attentive daughter, an ambivalent dog-owner, a part-time editor, a loyal neighbor and a Zen commuter. She is not: a cook, a craftswoman, a decorator, an active PTA member, a natural caretaker, or the breadwinner.

But when her husband makes a radical career change, Alice is ready to lean in—and she knows exactly how lucky she is to land a job at Scroll, a hip young start-up which promises to be the future of reading. Despite the disapproval of her best friend, who owns the local bookstore, Alice is proud of her new “balancing act” until life takes an unexpected turn. In the midst of her second coming of age, Alice realizes the question is not whether it’s possible to have it all but, what does she really want the most?

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The Bookstore

The Bookstore

by Deborah Meyler

Brilliant, idealistic Esme Garland moves to Manhattan armed with a pres­tigious scholarship at Columbia University, and life seems truly glorious . . . until a thin blue line signals a wrinkle in Esme’s tidy plan. Determined to master everything from Degas to diapers, Esme starts work at a small quirky West Side bookstore, finding solace in George, the laconic owner addicted to spirulina, and Luke, the taciturn, guitar-playing night manager. The oddball customers are a welcome relief from Columbia’s high-pressure halls, but the store is struggling to survive in this city where nothing seems to last.

When her ex returns with passion and promises that are hard to resist, Esme wonders if she should give him a second chance or, if she, like her beloved book­store, might lose more than she can handle?

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The Last Equation of Isaac Severy

The Last Equation of Isaac Severy

by Nova Jacobs

Hazel Severy, the owner of a struggling Seattle bookstore, receives a letter from her adoptive grandfather—mathematician Isaac Severy—days after he dies in a suspected suicide. In his puzzling letter, Isaac he charges Hazel with safely delivering his secret bombshell equation to a trusted colleague. But first, she must find where the equation is hidden. While in Los Angeles for Isaac’s funeral, Hazel realizes she’s not the only one searching for his life’s work. She must unravel a series of confounding clues hidden inside one of her favorite novels, drawing her ever closer to his mathematical treasure.

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