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13 books set in bookshops

Bookshop Day takes place every October to celebrate bookshops big and small. To mark the occasion, we curated a list of 13 books which take place in bookshops, from literary fiction and fantasy to ghost stories and thrillers. These spectacular books, packed with heartwarming tales, distinctive characters and, above all, brilliant bookshops, are perfect for picking up with your National Book Tokens.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

One day, A.J. Fikry, the grumpy owner of Island Books, finds 2-year-old Maya sitting on the bookshop floor, with a note attached to her asking the owner to look after her… This compassionate book was published with a new cover to match Gabrielle Zevin’s bestselling novel, Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Midnight at the Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan

One to curl up with this winter is the sequel to last year's The Christmas Bookshop. Carmen is at a loose end. Her gorgeous Edinburgh bookshop is the filming site of a cheesy Christmas movie, she's been ousted from her sister's house, and the love of her life has just flown thousands of miles away. But Carmen might just pull her greatest magic trick yet...

Midnight at the Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan

Welcome to the Hyunam-Dong Bookshop by Hwang Bo-reum and translated by Shanna Tan

Set in Korea, this heart-warming story is about the healing power of books. Yeongju did everything she was supposed to: go to university, marry a decent man, get a respectable job. Then it all fell apart. Burned out, Yeongju abandons her old life and follows her dream. She opens a bookshop.

Welcome to the Hyunam-Dong Bookshop by Hwang Bo-reum and translated by Shanna Tan

Days at the Morisaki Bookshop by Satoshi Yagisawa and edited by Eric Ozawa

25-year-old Takako has never liked reading, although a Tokyo bookshop, full of hundreds of second-hand books, has been in her family for generations. When her boyfriend gets engaged to someone else, Takako reluctantly accepts her uncle's offer to live rent-free above the shop. Hoping to nurse her broken heart in peace, Takako is surprised to encounter new worlds within the stacks of books lining the Morisaki bookshop.

Days at the Morisaki Bookshop by Satoshi Yagisawa and edited by Eric Ozawa

The Door-to-Door Bookstore by Carsten Henn

Carl's job at City Gate Bookshop is threatened. Will he, and a 9-year-old in a yellow raincoat, be able to restore his way of life, and return the joy of reading to his little European town? 

The Door-to-Door Bookstore by Carsten Henn

Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a web designer and landed him a new job working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. And it doesn't take long for Clay to realise that the quiet, dusty book emporium is even more curious than the name suggests.

Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

In (an alternate) London in 1983, Merlin is a young left-handed bookseller (the fighting ones), who with the right-handed booksellers (the intellectual ones), are an extended family of magical beings who police the mythic and legendary Old World when it intrudes on the modern world, in addition to running several bookshops. If you read and love Garth Nix's magical adventure through London’s bookshops, you'll also want to pick up the follow-up, The Sinister Booksellers of Bath.

The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix

The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

In 1959, when Mrs Florence Green, a 'small, wispy and wiry woman', decides to open a bookshop in the small Suffolk town of Hardborough, she has no idea of the force of opposition that will ensue…

The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

Death of a Bookseller by Alice Slater

Roach is a bookseller, loner, and true crime obsessive – and she's not interested in making friends. That is, until Laura joins her bookshop. In this darkly delicious thriller set in a popular high street bookshop, Roach's curiosity in Laura blooms into morbid obsession, and it becomes clear that she is prepared to infiltrate her life at any cost.

Death of a Bookseller by Alice Slater

The Sentence by Louise Erdrich

In this original and timely novel, which deftly weaves the pandemic and social unrest in the USA following the killing of George Floyd into a ghost story, a small independent bookstore in Minneapolis is haunted from November 2019 to November 2020 by the shop's most annoying customer. Flora dies on All Souls' Day, but she simply won't leave…

The Sentence by Louise Erdrich

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Nora is a cut-throat literary agent at the top of her game. Her whole life is books. Charlie is an editor with a gift for creating bestsellers. And he's Nora's work nemesis. This popular contemporary romance novel is one for fans of enemies-to-lovers, small towns, and rescuing bookshops!

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Bookshops & Bonedust by Travis Baldree

Bookshops & Bonedust takes us on a journey of first loves and second-hand books. When an injury throws a young, battle-hungry orc off her chosen path, she finds that what we need isn't always what we seek. The first book, Legends & Lattes, is just as whimsical.

Bookshops & Bonedust by Travis Baldree

The Paris Bookseller by Kerri Maher

For fans of historical fiction, this novel is inspired by an extraordinary true story. Sylvia runs a little bookshop called Shakespeare and Company in 1920s Paris. Here she welcomes the greatest writers of the day – and from the moment James Joyce finally walks through her door, the two become friends. When Joyce's controversial novel Ulysses is banned, Sylvia is determined to publish it herself.

The Paris Bookseller by Kerri Maher


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