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The Bookstore by [Meyler, Deborah]
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The Bookstore Kindle Edition

3.3 out of 5 stars 120 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Between studying art history at Columbia University on a prestigious scholarship and a two-week fling with a magnetic, wealthy man, 23-year-old Esme Garland from England is happily settling into life in Manhattan when she discovers she’s pregnant. Mitchell van Leuven, the father of her child, is enchanted by Esme but not in love, and he dumps her as she is on the brink of telling him about the child. The scholarship fund won’t support two, so Esme takes a job in a secondhand bookstore on Broadway, a gathering place for the eccentric, who watch over her through her pregnancy. Then Mitchell reappears, and once again she is seduced by his worldly charms. This character-driven novel is about a woman trying to fit in and discovering her own path. It’s about the man who sweeps Esme into his orbit against her better judgment and who is battling his own demons. It’s about the quirky booksellers who adopt Esme as part of the family, including Luke, a guitar-playing loner whose blunt honesty serves as her annoyance and salvation. Above all, it’s about the love of books. A deeply satisfying novel you will keep close to your heart, written in a style by turns witty and poetic. --Diane Holcomb


"Sometimes a book is perfect company, and The Bookstore is that and more, a deeply charming, beautifully written novel, both funny and moving; a love song to a city and to books with some side smooches for painting." (Leslie Daniels, author of Cleaning Nabokov's House )

"This is a gorgeous book, witty, lyrical, and bursting with heart, an unabashed love letter to books, to Manhattan, and to human goodness. You will race home to read it, and when you finish you will be smiling, wondering what happened next . . . and quietly formulating your next excuse for a trip to New York City." (Gabrielle Donnelly, author of The Little Women Letters )

“A  deeply satisfying novel you will keep close to your heart, written in a style by turns witty and poetic.” (Booklist starred review)

Product Details

  • File Size: 2353 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; 1st edition (August 20, 2013)
  • Publication Date: August 20, 2013
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009K4ZSNQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,856 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I think that, sadly, this will be a polarizing book. readers will either connect or not, it will be just that simple. I found The Bookstore to be a well written, well researched, and easy to read debut novel. The premise was good, an unexpected pregnancy and the journey of personal discovery of the heroine, Esme, and a romance. I found the human characters to be a bit too formulaic. The non-human characters; The Owl Bookstore and New York City were however, enchanting and multi-dimensional. The book is full of literary references and quotes from poets, authors and history; again that will either appeal to or repel readers. The pacing was fairly even, if a little heavy on the main characters "reflections." I was rather dismayed by the abruptness of the ending, I would have liked it to be stronger with definite resolution, but that may be my personal preference. I can see this book being quite successful as a book club selection.
*I received my copy from in exchange for an honest review.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Note: This book review, as well as many more, can also be found on my blog, The Baking Bookworm (

Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to NetGalley and Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books for providing me with a complimentary Kindle e-book copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

My Review: From the cover photo of a woman holding a stack of books (bliss!) to the short book description I knew that requesting this book from NetGalley was a no brainer for this bookworm.

The things that I loved the most about this book were the descriptions of New York City and The Owl -- the bookstore where Emse works. Author Deborah Meyler has a unique talent in describing the sights, sounds and smells of Emse's little corner of NYC and the quaintness of The Owl. It was so clearly described that I could almost smell the old books stacked precariously all over the store and could easily envision myself wandering through the stacks in the search of a new read.

Unfortunately, I cannot say that the animate characters of the story appealed to me as much as the city or the bookstore. Esme was not a main character that I connected with. She was the clichéd overly naïve academic who was book smart but shows the reader that education does not automatically mean a person is 'street smart' too. I have nothing against a naïve character. They can be charming and a beginning point for an authentic self awareness journey. But, there's naïve and then there's gullible and I'm afraid that Esme came off to me as more and more gullible as the story went on. It got to the point where I just wanted to shake some sense into her.
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Format: Paperback
This book made me feel seriously guilty for reading books on my ipad, the second hand bookshop in this story is built up so well, you can imagine the atmosphere and how the small number of staff care for and interact with each other really pulls on the heartstrings when you think of all the business they must have lost through eBooks and websites like Amazon.

Reading this left me quite frustrated at times, I lost count of the number of times I wanted to shout at Esme (the main character) or slap some sense into her. She makes bad decision after bad decision in her relationships; she could have got rid of the boyfriend to save herself all the games. The relationship with Mitchell didn't really make much sense anyway. The author puts Esme across as this intelligent women who's independent enough to cross the Atlantic to further her education and then decide she's capable of raising a baby on her own, yet she becomes completely dependent on the love/approval of a man who to be quite frank is a complete arse (not to mention not particularly well developed as a character). I know this is a trait that is fairly common amongst chick-lit romances but at least the author could give us a consistent character.

Another slight niggle I had with the book were the frequent literary and art references, some of them quite obscure. I don't usually mind the odd reference, they're one of the reasons why I found jasper fforde's `Thursday Next' books so enjoyable, however there is a point where they get too much. They didn't really add too much to the plot other than to verify Esme's knowledge of Art History so the reader is able to just over look them and move on but if you are the curious type and not a literature or art buff you may find yourself having a sneaky Google every now and then.
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Format: Paperback
I managed to do with this book something I haven't been able to achieve in a very long time...reading the whole thing in one uninterrupted sitting. Yes, it was that good and engaging. And it's a debut novel, so kudos to this British author for finding her distinctive voice and her way to my 'bookworm heart' at her first release. The Bookstore had several features that appealed to my reader's sensitivity: the introspective tones, the numerous literary references, the heroine's personality (sweet, naive, and yet smart and articulate), the vivid characterization of supporting cast (all extremely likable, humane, memorable, and three-dimensional in their quirkiness), strong sense of space and the loving portrayal of a community (New York, The Owl bookstore and its patrons) that shields and supports Esme throughout her heartaches and some life-altering decisions. I think that labeling Deborah Meyler's debut novel as 'fluffy chick lit' doesn't really do justice to the graceful and intelligent outpouring of emotions that the author delivered in quite an effortless way: The Bookstore reads easily and pleasantly. Had the author pulled the strings of Esme's emotional resolution a little more tightly at the end, it would have been just perfect. I will certainly read more from this author. A very promising debut. Read my 4.5 stars review on Mina's Bookshelf
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