Once Upon a Tome: The Misadventures of a Rare Bookseller

Book review by Deane Barker tags: fiction, books

I don’t really know what to do with this one. It’s a pretty unique book, but I really liked it.

It’s fiction, but not regular fiction. It’s like a series of blog posts written in the first person by a man who went to work at an old book shop in London. Each post is some aspect of what it’s like to work in this shop.

There’s no overarching plot to it. It’s just a series of vignettes about working in a stuffy historic used bookstore. And that’s what makes it strange. It’s not a novel, so to speak. It’s just a series of…observations?

And that’s what made it fun, I think. The book is low commitment. Each chapter is maybe two or three pages long at the most. And it’s completely self contained. There really are very few callbacks between each chapter – you can read one in less than 5 minutes.

So what do you call this? Is it a novel? Is it a blog that somebody published? Is it a memoir (even if it’s fake)?

I have no idea, but I couldn’t help but like the book. It was fun to read, it was interesting, and it was unique. I really enjoyed the format and would like to write something similar. It seems like a neat way to introduce people to a topic (bookshops in this case, but it could be anything).

Book Info

Oliver Darkshire
  • I have read this book. According to my records, I completed it on .
  • A hardcover copy of this book is currently in my home library.

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