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If you’re someone for whom bookshops feel like churches – sacred space housing objects of awe – I hope you’ll enjoy these, which are set in bookshops and make heroes of booksellers.
·An antiquarian bookseller comes into possession of a mysterious codex, in the debut novel by Australian author Elizabeth Bryer, From Here On, Monsters.
· A fictionalised account of the lives of an Afghan family in the aftermath of 9/11 by Norwegian journalist Åsne Seierstad, The Bookseller of Kabul describes everyday life in a war zone.
·Sempere and Sons is the family bookshop which features in The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, in which selling books is a political act, even a dangerous one, which can get you killed.
· Parnassus on Wheels is the name of a travelling bookshop, on a wagon drawn by a horse called Pegasus, in the novel by Christopher Morley.
· Marks & Co. is the antiquarian bookshop located at 84, Charing Cross Road, in the fictionalised account of the decades-long correspondence between its chief buyer and the author, Helene Hanff.
· Located in the midst of the digital revolution, examining the transition between the printed and electronic text, Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan follows an unemployed Silicon Valley software developer who begins a job at a dusty bookstore with few customers, only to discover one secret after another.
· “A literary apothecary” runs The Little Paris Bookshop, in the novel by Nina George, where Monsieur Perdu dispenses books as medicine for the hardships of life.
· The owner of Scotland’s largest second-hand bookshop, Shaun Bythell describes the trials and tribulations of life in the book trade in The Diary of a Bookseller.
· In the shadow of Notre Dame on the Left Bank of Paris, a slice of bohemia still thrives; Canadian journalist Jeremy Mercer’s time at a very special bookshop is told in Time Was Soft There: A Paris Sojourn at Shakespeare & Co.