BOOK TITLE: Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, #1)
BOOK AUTHOR: Robin Sloan
October 2nd 2012
GENRES: Contemporary Fiction, Literary Fiction
CHECK IT OUT AT: Goodreads
Also by this author: Sourdough
BUY IT: Buy on Amazon
The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, but after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The customers are few, and they never seem to buy anything; instead, they "check out" large, obscure volumes from strange corners of the store. Suspicious, Clay engineers an analysis of the clientele's behavior, seeking help from his variously talented friends, but when they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, they discover the bookstore's secrets extend far beyond its walls.
This week I finished reading Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. Actually, I finished listening to it. I should have read it. I usually love listening to books, but this one was all about reading and the wonders of books AND technology, and how the two can work together, but can also be wonderful apart. How magical the written word, printing and FONTS can be. Who knew? So, yes, I felt like I was betraying books by listening to a book about reading. I probably would have felt guilty reading on my Kindle, but I rarely buy ‘books’ any longer. I guess guilt was going to happen no matter what.
This was a wonderful story, combining many of my favorite things. The wonder of words, the beauty of books, and the mystery that books and history can hold. It also was the story of two types of people we all know; those refusing to embrace technology (call them Luddites if you will), and those who believe only in technology. This book shows that there is a middle ground, and in that middle ground lies the mystery and the answer. It was a wonderful listen, but I think it would have been a better read.