Monday, September 9, 2013

The Bookstore (Deborah Meyler)

Nothing fancy, no literary masterpiece, but just a feel-good read: that is Deborah Meyler’s The Bookstore in a nutshell.  There's nothing I love more than going into a good old-fashioned bookstore (which are few and far between nowadays), and Meyler seems to share my grumbling about e-readers through her characters' words.  Turning the pages and feeling the actual book are things you just can't do with an electronic device.

Esme Garland is an English woman living in New York City on a Columbia University art history scholarship.  She is quickly swept up by Mitchell, a wealthy man swimming in confidence, and soon finds herself pregnant with his child.  Her "dreamboat" guy soon wants nothing to do with either Esme or her baby, so she realizes that she's going to need money for her new life.  She begins a job at The Owl, a bookstore she's been frequenting as a customer.  And so the novel really begins here: with the stories of the "regulars" and Esme's fellow employees as they become ingrained in her life.

Reading this novel immediately made me want to go and visit some old bookstores.  Going to one is like settling under a cozy throw blanket or into a pair of well-worn slippers.  And while the ending of this novel was a little too abrupt for my taste, it's a worthwhile read that lets you take comfort in, unfortunately, what seems to be a dying breed.