Anyone who reads knows that libraries and bookstores are two peas-in-a-pod and are not in the least competitive. People who love libraries also love the thrill of wandering in a good book store. So with the holidays and the thought that a book, whether borrowed or bought, is always the right gift, let’s take a look at books about bookstores at the Monrovia Public Library.
On the bestseller list is the novel The Little Paris Book Shop by Nina George. Book store owner Monsieur Perdu is a pharmacist for the soul who prescribes books to meet the needs of his patrons. Of course the good owner is forlorn and missing his lost love and needs some of his own medicine. This is a gentle and charming read.
Written in 1970, 84 Charing Cross Road continues to charm bibliophiles. For 20 years New Yorker writer Helen Hanff corresponded with a London book seller about all things literary. Although the two never meet, the book is a collection of their letters about books and their blossoming friendship. This wisp of a book is simply delightful.
On the west coast is the Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, an offbeat novel. A San Francisco techie gets an overnight job in an odd book shop where there are few customers, but many mysteries. Curious, our young hero discovers the store is used by those belonging to an unusual cult that pays homage to an ancient book. Eccentric and original.
Ah, the holidays, and all the rushing around. Sometimes only a movie will get us to sit down and relax. What better DVD than You’ve Got Mail, about an independent bookseller who is driven out of business by a big conglomerate book store and its handsome owner. Bittersweet.
And remember to check out the Friends of the Monrovia Public Library Store and its many treasures.