Books

The Big Issue’s top 5 books about bookshops

The Big Issue's books editor Jane Graham picks the best reads to get you in the spirit for Bookshop Day on October 5

Independent Bookshops Alliance

Browse edited by Henry Hitchings

In 2016 esteemed editor Henry Hitchings asked 15 of his favourite authors to pen an ode to the bookshop which had most impacted their life and work. The result is this magical carpet ride around the globe, stopping off to visit the beloved hermitages of the likes of Ali Smith, Andrey Kurkov, Dorthe Nors, Elif Shafak and Iain Sinclair. Dreamy.

The Bookseller of Kabul by Åsne Seierstad

For more than 20 years Sultan Khan endured interrogation and imprisonment by the Afghan authorities for smuggling books to grateful readers. Seierstad tells the fascinating story of Khan and his family in the most febrile
of environments. 

The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald 

Through the story of Mrs Green’s modest little new bookshop in Fifties Suffolk, Fitzgerald charts the politics, rivalries, and memory jolts of a small town. This is classic Fitzgerald; funny, warm, understated, and ultimately very touching.  

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

An elegantly written homage to the classic romance/mystery mash-up. The pleasure of Setterfield’s beguiling tale is that much of its allure comes from the books which populate its setting.

Bookshops by Jorge Carrión

This brilliant tour of notable bookshops around the world – from Paris’ famous Shakespeare & Co to the historic Librairie des Colonnes in Tangiers – not only serves as a mouthwatering travelogue, but as a thrilling centuries-spanning literary history. Carrión delves into the rich history of books, libraries, bookshops and the legendary characters who owned them, browsed them and wrote the books which filled them.  

Celebrate Bookshop Day on Saturday October 5.

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