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Scenes from a Bookshop by [Gilmore, Hugh]
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Scenes from a Bookshop Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Length: 80 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

About Hugh Gilmore Hugh Gilmore has been a teacher, an anthropologist who studied monkeys in Africa, a drama critic, novelist, newspaper columnist, and owner of an old and rare bookshop. His life, he says, has involved an exciting, but driving, quest for self-improvement that eventually led to peaceful self-acceptance. Much of his life is embedded in his themed memoir, My Three Suicides: A Success Story, released in 2015. He lives with his wife and son in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia and still operates his rare book business. He is the author of two novels, a story collection, several e-books, and now, this funny and wise memoir. He writes a weekly column about books and reading for The Chestnut Hill Local.

Product Details

  • File Size: 177 KB
  • Print Length: 80 pages
  • Publisher: StarSounds Press (February 24, 2012)
  • Publication Date: February 24, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007D9TPHU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,596,099 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Lynn Hoffman, author:Radiation Days: A Comedy VINE VOICE on March 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I came upon this collection of vignettes because I was fascinated by Gilmore's 'Malcolm's Wine' a noir-ish tale of low-life and bad behavior in the fine-book trade. Malcolm's Wine is too fast-paced to give the reader more than a casual insight into the rare book business and Scenes from a Bookstore makes up for the lack. It's a series of stories, some fictionalized, some not that talk about the mysterious world of the bibliophile: a strange amalgam of refined pleasures and heavy lifting, high-minded literati, theives and scavengers.
Getting an inside glimpse is always fascinating-think of the success of books about becoming a chef or a lawyer and if you love books, this is a world you'll want to know more about. But what makes this such a good read isn't the subject matter so much as it is the author. There are universal gems like : 'I wasn't thinking clearly. . .poetry will do that to a man" and truths of the trade like "good books are harder to buy than sell." I'll probably spend a lot of time thinking about "manners of the useless kind" and the peculiar metaphorogenic captivity of a merchant inside his store while a crazy man mutters outside.
For voyeuristic delight or the sheer pleasure of the reading, you should pick this up. You may find yourself becoming a Hugh Gilmore fan too.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If these are the most exciting vignettes to happen to you within your bookstore, you either don't write a book about them or you better be a very good storyteller and have some really keen insights. Of course, the author possesses no such skills.

Each little anecdote in this book, which I assume is meant to provide a glimpse into the secret rich life of a rare book seller, amounts to much of the same thing: People own worthless books but think they are valuable - and this inconveniences the shop owner, who is one of the few on this earth who can understand the value of a book. The author recounts the often sad situations when people need to jettison their collections, but because these incidental characters are so shallow, he is unable to generate much empathy from the reader. There is a backstory of some chick who came into his shop who he is trying to shag. There is no reason why the reader should regard this woman as anyone but someone in the litany of girls the shop owner has snagged, so the reader never really cares.

The whole thing reads like a rough draft in need of proofing and would have benefited greatly from constructive criticism from a writer group. This just goes to show that because you appreciate books and know how to put a price tag on them, you don't necessarily know how to write.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you love used bookshops, this is a book for you. The pleasure of looking through crowded shelves of reader's past lives, finding the treasure,THE book you always needed to read (and own).... this pleasure is a creative work by the shop's owner. Finding those books in attics, basements and houses that are being vacated for assisted living is a very social act, a hunt that requires knowledge, guts and the toughness to say no to someone's prized shelves of books. "Scenes from a Bookshop" is a perspective from behind the counter. Great read and an interesting complement to Gilmore's "Malcolm's Wine".
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hugh writes a weekly column in our local newspaper, and I enjoy his voice. This book is more of his cultured, multi-faceted, gently humorous approach. From the time he owned a bookstore in our town and the adventures it engendered. Yes, adventures!
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