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Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap

The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap - Wendy Welch

So here's a deep, dark secret:  I would love to own a bookstore someday.


I have this bookstore planned out in my mind almost to the last detail, although I sometimes fluctuate between whether to go all-inclusive or specialise in mystery fiction and also between all new books or a combination new/used.


All of this to say that when Nothing Better than a Good Book mentioned this memoir of a couple starting a used bookstore in a small Virginia town, I had to go out and immediately order it.  This was a great opportunity to read about someone else's experience trying to do the same thing I daydream about doing myself someday .


I found a lot of good stuff in here.  A lot of things I knew, being the child of a shop (flower) owner and the wife of a business owner, but a lot of stuff too that I never took into account, like the amount of emotional baggage that can often accompany a crateful of used books or just how much a bookshop can become a community center.


There's also a fair amount of philosophising most of which was interesting and some of it a little bit defensive but all of it mostly spot-on.  Most of her defensiveness comes up when talking about ebooks and really, any bookseller would get defensive on this topic because people insist on viewing 'ebooks vs. paper' as a competition instead of what it is: a choice, an option.  I understand where she's coming from, but she protested just a bit too much.


This is solidly a memoir about starting a bookshop and it's on the meatier side of the spectrum; it wasn't a slog at all but it wasn't a quick read either.  I had sort of expected her to veer off topic once in awhile but the focus remained tightly on starting the bookshop and the first five years of keeping it running.  I found it highly informative and interesting.  Now if I can just get my husband to read it....