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The Last Bookstore In America [Kindle Edition]

Amy Stewart
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99

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Book Description

A comic novella about the future of books and bookstores by New York Times bestselling author Amy Stewart.

Nothing is what it seems in the offbeat and out-of-the-way town of Eureka, California. Shrouded in fog and hidden behind a curtain of redwoods, this rundown mill town is home to a peculiar cast of characters, a unique homegrown horticultural industry, and one of the last bookstores in America.

No one is more surprised by the unlikely survival of the Firebreathing Dragon than Lewis Hartman, its newest owner. By the time his uncle Sy died and left the bookstore to Lewis, even the most ardent bibliophiles had abandoned printed books in favor of a charming and highly literate digital device called the Gizmo. Bookstores all over the country had closed their doors. But somehow, the Firebreathing Dragon has kept going.

Lewis and his wife Emily find themselves in the unlikely position of owning one of the last bookstores in America. But how has the Firebreathing Dragon managed to survive the death of the book? And if it isn't keeping itself afloat selling books, what is it selling? Reporters, federal agents, and corporate executives out to salvage their own imperiled industries all converge on the bookstore to uncover its secrets. What they discover is a small town that has fallen under the spell of the Firebreathing Dragon's unique offerings.

In this short work of fiction, bestselling author and bookstore owner Amy Stewart takes an offbeat and lighthearted look at small-town life and the future of that marvelous two thousand year-old communication device, the printed book.



Product Details

  • File Size: 364 KB
  • Print Length: 271 pages
  • Publisher: Amy Stewart (July 1, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002FU6LYC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,208 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved this novel even if a beta version! November 11, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I welcomed the discomfort of the cognitive dissonance of reading "The Last Bookstore in America" on my Kindle. It made the novel even more delightful! Although the Gizmo seems a real possibility in the near future, I had never intellectually pursued its logical end result. I feel strangely compelled to defend my e-book ownership: Since June, the 60 Kindle books I've read are not swaying in dangerous 4-to-5-foot towers in front of the eight floor-to-ceiling bookcases in our house.

Also because our daughter graduated three years ago from Humboldt State University in contiguous Arcata, I am familiar with Eureka, its Old Town, and the waterfront. I love the North Coast culture.

Amazingly, as a writing professor and lover of books and bookstores, I found no plot line, character development, or local description that I would recommend Amy Stewart to change before final publication.

I'm putting this on all amazonian.com's required reading list. Read it now!
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Last Bookstore in America November 21, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have just about finished reading this very funny "book" on my Kindle -- how ironic. I must say that the premise and the story itself was thought provoking. I thought the character development was charming and I grew to like being in the company of most of these people right away.
I was disappointed however with the editing. It was quite jarring in places how many spelling and grammatical errors were in this manuscript. Do e-books not get edited for this kind of thing?
I would recommend this as a fun romp of a read. I will NEVER give up books and I think most readers -- however much they love there e-readers -- feel the same way. No Gizmos for us.
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44 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Length: 5:54 Mins
***EDIT: The video shares some parts of the premise that you may consider spoilers, though these plot points are revealed within the first couple chapters of the book, and the author herself discusses these elements of the book in The New York Times. If you want to be fully surprised, don't watch the video. But I had read all about the book before picking it up, and knowing more about it actually increased my level of excitement about reading it. The written review below contains no hints beyond what is in the synopsis above.***

This was a cracking good read. As a Kindle owner, I was fascinated by the premise - a world with a Kindle-like device which is so great it obliterates the printed book, and nobody's disappointed about it, either. Against this backdrop, Lewis and Emily inherit one of the last five bookstores in America from Lewis' eccentric Uncle Sy, and they travel to sleepy Humboldt County, CA to check out this romantic relic of a bookstore. The story takes some unexpected directions from there.

The book itself was beautifully crafted - I loved the characters, the setting and details were so easy to imagine, and the writing was witty and full of personality. On the Kindle, you can highlight your favorite parts, and I found myself highlighting every other page through the entire book - there were so many gorgeous snippets of perfect writing throughout.

If you're a fan of Amy's non-fiction about gardening and the outdoor world, you are going to love this book. There's some of the best garden writing and imagery in this book that I have read anywhere, and the rest of the book was so full of liveliness and personality that you're sure to love it as much as I did.

And once you finish, join the discussion at Amy's site by doing an internet search for Last Bookstore in America.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By Mieko*
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I live in N. California. My son went to Humboldt University..a spit away from Eureka.
If you haven't been up here, you might not know that kids come up here to go to college, first time away from home, and start wearing tie dye, woven shorts and birkenstocks. Within a week, they are stumping for the legalization of Hemp.They mean cannabis, of course, but they say hemp. 4 years later, with an education they head for Silicon Valley for the big tech money..and have forgotten about Hemp.
This wonderful book takes a look at the rapidly changing technology (Gizmos) and of course Nile.com...and extrapolates the end of Dead Tree Books, therefore the end of bookstores.
An 'out of it' couple go to Eureka to claim a bookstore the husband's Uncle Sy left him in a hard to find will. This couple may as well have lived on the moon..they have missed the eccentricity of San Francisco which is not far from where they were living. Protected by their condo walls and high end jobs, they have no idea of any other way of life.
I won't give away the plot. If you don't know that marijuana is California's largest cash crop, and Humboldt county the largest growing area, and that getting a medical card here to buy legally grown pot takes 5 minutes, you may not 'get' this book. Every now and then our very own state leaders try to decide if marijuana should be legalized to pay off the state debt. So far, it hasn't happened.
The couple learns that the falling apart bookstore is making a million plus $ a year, and give up plans to go back to their feathered nest in San Jose. Greedy? Well who wouldn't be? They begin living out of the cash register and never see what is really going on.
The rest of the story is in the book.
Don't let your sensibilities decide..OMG this is about POT!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny as can be!
This was chosen for our Book Club. It was NOT what I expected from group of retired teachers. The main character is a goofball, but means well. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Barbara Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars what an unusual treat!
Clever plot. The reader feels present in the store and in love with the cast of characters. Found this read to be a taste of something different.
Not for the serious minded!
Published 3 months ago by barbra
5.0 out of 5 stars Hopefully it won't come true....
I would be heartbroken if there were no more bookstores. I very much enjoyed the story and who doesn't love a happy ending. Thank you!
Published 5 months ago by sheldea
5.0 out of 5 stars Cute story
Cute story that doesn't really go anywhere. It is light, very light, and clearly intended to be satire. Read more
Published 5 months ago by LDLewis
4.0 out of 5 stars loved the underlying humor
Great story
Great characters,
Loved the underlying humor.
I hope to read more from this author when available on the kindle store
Published 5 months ago by D. Webb
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun
Was fun to read this particular book on my Kindle, since it was about the end of all the bookstores in America due to e-readers. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Deborah Ogden
4.0 out of 5 stars Not far from the truth.
Fun book especially since I live in Southern Humboldt Co. I like all of Amy Stewart's books. This one is delightful.
Published 7 months ago by Nancy R. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Cute story, well written.
This book kept me interested from start to finish. Cute story, well written. Not a free one, but worth buying.
Published 7 months ago by mizjean
5.0 out of 5 stars a romp through the fields of pot
This delightful story gives us a view of small town politics, snobs, pot growers and a clueless protagonist. The plot has more twists and turns than a drunken snail. Read more
Published 8 months ago by tontine
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and creative read
This is such an entertaining book, and the characters are wonderful. Their interaction with each other just makes you feel you are part of the story. And a great story it is.
Published 9 months ago by willowdances1
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More About the Author

Amy Stewart is the award-winning author of six books on the perils and pleasures of the natural world, including four New York Times bestsellers, The Drunken Botanist, Wicked Bugs, Wicked Plants, and Flower Confidential. She lives in Eureka, California, where she and her husband own an antiquarian bookstore called Eureka Books and tend a flock of unruly hens in their backyard. She has spent the last few years on arduous research trips through the world's distilleries, wineries, and bars for her latest book, The Drunken Botanist.

She has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and many other newspapers and magazines, and has appeared frequently on National Public Radio, CBS Sunday Morning, and--just once--on TLC's Cake Boss. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, the American Horticulture Society's Book Award, and a California Horticultural Society Writer's Award.


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