Did you ever read a book and the more you got into it, the more it seems like you read it already but nothing in your records shows that you did? I didn’t blog about it. It’s not in my Librarything library. Yet, the more I read The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler, the more I remembered reading it…but maybe not.
The plot is simple. Brit Esme Gardner is on scholarship at Columbia to study art history, in particular Thiebaud. Several weeks into her New York residency, she attends an art gallery event and meets the ultra rich, ultra suave Mitchel van Leuven, an old monied guy. During their one and only unprotected sexual encounter, Esme gets pregnant. After deciding to keep the baby, she must then decide to tell or not tell Mitchell. Since they’re not an ‘item’, she decides against it. Thinking that money might come in handy with a baby on the way, Esme sees a help wanted since in the Owl Bookstore that she frequents and gets the job. Of course she ultimately does tell the father. You can guess the rest. It is no secret that Mitchell is a shit and ultimately her bookstore friends win out.
The book jacket says “A sharply observed and evocative tale of learning to face reality without giving up your dreams, The Bookstore is sheer enchantment from start to finish.” And it is. You’ll fall in love with Esme, with the bookstore employees and customers. You’ll truly hate Mitchell, right from the start. So, people who aren’t familiar with this particular bookstore, but love bookstores in general, will certainly enjoy this book.
Ms. Meyler, actually British herself, worked in a bookstore on Broadway in the upper west side, which apparently is a source for her bookstore. I have no doubt it is Westsider Books on Broadway between 80th and 81st Streets. When she describes the narrow staircase with books on both sides, this is what I envision. I can see the books two deep on the shelves. I can picture the cramped quarters upstairs and the books going all the way up to the ceiling.
So, the two things you should do are : (i) read The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler and (ii) go to Westsider Books. Enjoy.