November 11, 2012

Review - My Bookstore (Ronald Rice, Ed.)

In this enthusiastic, heartfelt, and sometimes humorous ode to bookshops and booksellers, 84 known authors pay tribute to the brick-and-mortar stores they love and often call their second homes. In "My Bookstore" our greatest authors write about the pleasure, guidance, and support that their favorite bookstores and booksellers have given them over the years. The relationship between a writer and his or her local store and staff can last for years or even decades. Often it's the author's local store that supported him during the early days of his career, that continues to introduce and hand-sell her work to new readers, and that serves as the anchor for the community in which he lives and works."My Bookstore "collects the essays, stories, odes and words of gratitude and praise for stores across the country in 84 pieces written by our most beloved authors. It's a joyful, industry-wide celebration of our bricks-and-mortar stores and a clarion call to readers everywhere at a time when the value and importance of these stores should be shouted from the rooftops.Perfectly charming line drawings by Leif Parsons illustrate each storefront and other distinguishing features of the shops.

Is there anything that readers and writers of all trades love more than roaming bookstores? In My Bookstore authors share their memories and appreciation for their favorite bookshops, those magical places that those who live and breathe books will often call a second home.
Time for a little confession - I only knew few of the eclectic mix of authors who contributed to this charming compilation though you may rest assured that lack of having read books by all of them does not diminish the delight of being able to explore all those bookstores through their eyes. From Isabel Allende to John Grisham, from Ann Patchett to Carrie Ryan, I was enthralled by the stories and anecdotes shared.
What I found especially fascinating was the opportunity to catch a glimpse of how different the narrative voice of some authors can be when you compare their actual books to these essays, sometimes bordering on the dull while at other times full of sparkling wit. It goes without saying that learning more about authors you've always been fond of, being able to get a closer look at the person behind the writer, is a real treat.
How could a bibliophile not love this book? Makes me wish I had a decent bookstore I could brag about, alas I haven't and that makes me really sad now.
Last but not least, the adorable illustrations depicting the featured bookstores only add to the charm of this book.
In short: For the love of bookshops!

5/5 Trees

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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