Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Haunted Bookshop, by Christopher Morley

The Haunted Bookshop, by Christopher Morley

Set in Brooklyn just after the close of WWI, this novel is filled with observations about books and the literary trade. The entire profession of the bookseller is romanticized here; the task of matching customers with the most appropriate tome is portrayed as the noblest of avocations: “Malnutrition of the reading faculty is a serious thing.” Within the trappings of a bookstore, a mystery of German saboteurs is unraveled and a romance blossoms. Told with a healthy dose of humor (“It is only the very young who find satisfaction in lying abed in the morning.”) this is a very entertaining yarn, especially for a bibliophile.

First Sentence:
If you are ever in Brooklyn, that borough of superb sunsets and magnificent vistas of husband-propelled baby carriages, it is to be hoped you may change upon a quiet street where there is a very remarkable bookshop.

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