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The Book Shopper: A Life in Review Paperback – June 1, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1589880566 ISBN-10: 1589880560 Edition: First Edition

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Murray Browne has published numerous essays, book reviews, newspaper articles, feature stories, and technical articles. His essays and reviews have appeared in The Elysian Fields Quarterly, The Knoxville News-Sentinel, and The Grand Rapids Press. Browne grew up in East Central Illinois, and received a BA in English and radio-television from Indiana University and a master's degree in information (library) sciences from the University of Tennessee. A proud father of two grown daughters, Browne currently lives in Decatur, Georgia, and works as a media content analyst for Turner Broadcasting.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Paul Dry Books; First Edition edition (June 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589880560
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589880566
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,755,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Murray currently lives in Decatur, Georgia. The best way to keep up with what he is thinking and writing about is to visit his blog, which can be found at thebookshopper.org

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By takingadayoff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
Literary critics are a dime a dozen. You can find any number of people who can pontificate about Jane Austen or Martin Amis, Harry Potter or Holden Caulfield. And if you want to join the discussion, there are book groups, literary clubs, classes, and blogs. What's hard is to find someone to chat with about the non-literary side of being a bookish person - shopping for books, arranging books, giving or lending books, getting rid of books.

Murray Browne is your man either way. He can hold forth on modern novelists, and has the newspaper reviewer credentials to back it up. But the more entertaining essays in The Book Shopper are about the physical aspects of books rather than their contents. He discusses used bookstores and the joy of finding cheap books. He talks about how he evaluates a used bookstore and about the people who run bookstores. He explores the ways of arranging your books and when and how you should get rid of books. Should you give books as gifts? If you do, should you inscribe them with a personal note or leave them pristine? (Amusingly, or perhaps sadly, the secondhand copy of Browne's book that I bought has an inscription from Browne addressed to someone he also thanks in the acknowledgments.)

I love this sort of discussion. I'd rather know how you arrange your books than what book you think should get the Man Booker Prize. I'd rather know who you think was right or wrong in the Jonathan Franzen/Oprah Winfrey faceoff than what you think of Franzen's latest novel. Browne weighs in on both topics, and many others.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joseph on August 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
I was really looking forward to reading The Book Shopper, and took it with me on a cross-country plane ride. (One of only a handful of books I took on summer vacation.) The first section started strong and I was confident that I made the right choice--Browne tells some great stories about being a book shopper, and I felt in good company, but his presence grew thin as he told one too many asides that counted coup with deals. The second section focused on specific writers and Browne, who was a book reviewer for a few newspapers, proved himself to be a critic who tried real hard--so hard, in fact, that I lost interest in his efforts and longed to be reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez. (Ah, the irony of being 30,000 feet above the earth's surface and reading an average critic talk about great writers!) After we landed, I actually forgot The Book Shopper on the plane, in the proverbial "seat pocket in front of you." Rather than mourn its loss, I was pleased to be that much lighter with my carry-on bag. Because I believe in book magic, I trust that my former copy found a good home and is now living a happy, useful life near Erie, Pennsylvania.
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Format: Paperback
The two icon places around which my life has revolved have been community libraries and local bookstores. They've served me as sanctuaries from the cares and concerns of the world at large as private oasis of browsing comfort and intellectual delight. Of special memory are all those used bookstores with their distinctive clutter, aromas, and colorful characters between the checkout counters. Within the pages of "The Book Shopper" I see that I've found a kindred spirit in Murray Browne, a fellow bibliophile and connoisseur of bookstores with their crowded shelves and eclectic collections. This compilation of book and bookstore related observations, anecdotal stories, fond memories, and sage commentaries is a true delight and recognizable for any and all dedicated fans of the written word who have spend hours at a time doing nothing but browsing the bookshelves in search of diverse literary treasures, forgotten tomes, timeless classics, time-lost discoveries, and fitting gifts for friends, families, and themselves. "The Book Shopper" is a terrific read and enthusiastically recommended for personal and community library collections.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Walsh on November 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book begins well. As stated , by a previous reader, the first half is the strength of the book. The second half is little more than a collection of reviews and reflections of various authors. Most of these authors were ones I was faamiliar with. I presume that anyone buying this book will have read the majority (if not all) of the books that Browne decides to discuss.
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