‘The Bookshop Book’ by Jen Campbell was the official ‘Books are My Bag’ book of 2014. It is every booklover’s dream – a book about books, or more specifically, about bookshops. It visits bookshops all over the world and combines information about the bookshops with author’s memories and bookseller’s personal stories. It is split into sections based on continent and also contains fabulous pictures of some of the bookshops visited and some interesting bookish facts. This is a great book for dipping in and out of; not to mention it is a fascinating read, with the mix of information, anecdotes and fun facts, keeping it refreshing.
However, while fantastic, it does get a bit repetitive at times, only going into surface detail on a lot of book shops. I really enjoyed the sections that had tales from the owners, and while it would have been a huge book if Campbell had done that for everyone, it would have been nice to have a bit more than a small paragraph for some of them. There was also a huge skew in the number of bookshops for each place. The UK and USA appeared to have more than twice as many bookshops than the rest of the world, with some countries only getting one mentioned. I would have found it quite interesting if there was more comparison with bookshops from different sides of the world, and more focus on bookshops in other countries.
Besides that I really enjoyed this. It was a great distraction when I needed the odd break from exam revision, and you don’t need to worry about losing your place as you would in a story book.
Rating: 3.5/5 stars