Today's book was a Kindle free book, and particularly appropriate given yesterday's announcement by Encyclopedia Brittanica that they're no longer going to publish their volumes in paper! (To me, that's sad. I do actually have an Encyclopedia Brittanica, along with several others, and I love them. You can open any volume and find something interesting to read in a short time. Try doing that with an electronic encyclopedia. I can't even figure out how to use the free dictionary that came with my Kindle.)
THE LAST BOOKSTORE IN AMERICA
by Amy Stewart
Everyone in America has a Gizmo. Your Gizmo is your phone, and your music player, and your internet connection, and your e-reader all in one. Lewis and Emily have Gizmos. When they're going on vacation, they download books to read on the Gizmo, but, like almost everyone, they never get more than a few paragraphs into their books. There's just too much else to see, read, hear and do on the Gizmo. Tomes of 100,000 to 125,000 words are just obsolete! And books printed on paper? They're only decorator items these days, or maybe something you give to Granny as a reminder of "The Good Old Days."
Life in the San Francisco Bay area is just dandy for Lewis and Emily. Oh, Emily would like to move out of their 2 bedroom condo and into a place in the city, even though it would have to be much smaller to fit in their budget, but they both have good jobs, and they have a nice life. Then, one morning, Lewis receives a phone call from a lawyer, informing him that his Uncle Sy has died, and left Lewis The Firebreathing Dragon in Eureka, one of the last 8 bookstores left in America. So, amidst great protest from Emily, they pack for a vacation and drive to Eureka.
Lewis had spent a summer with his Uncle Sy when he was a kid, and has fond memories of Uncle Sy and the bookstore. Sure enough, the bookstore, located in a former carriage and buggy store, looks pretty much the same, although messier; Uncle Sy's house is a big mess. When Lewis finds an accounting ledger indicating that the bookstore made 1.2 million dollars the previous year, he becomes quite determined to continue running it, cleaning up and organizing the store and house over Emily's great protests. There are a few questions that Lewis never bothers to ask, such as, how can this store survive selling the same books over and over, what's Sy's girlfriend doing in her hidden garden on Sy's property, why is an executive from a tobacco company snooping around Eureka and, more specifically, The Firebreathing Dragon, and, ultimately, why does Maxine Rogers, president of the company that makes The Gizmo, take an interest in the store?
This book was written by a lady who owns a bookstore in Eureka, and her descriptions of the town, its waterfront and scenery are great. It's a fun read, and not all that farfetched. Even though it's no longer free, I think everyone would enjoy this book.
So, Happy Thorsday, everyone, and happy reading!