Lines & Literature | The Haunted Bookshop
What I've been reading (off-line, that is):
"If you are ever in Brooklyn, that borough of superb sunsets and magnificent vistas of husband-propelled baby-carriages, it is to be hoped you may chance upon a quiet by-street where there is a very remarkable bookshop."
If ever there was a book meant for booklovers, this novel is certainly it. Christopher Morley’s The Haunted Bookshop is one of my oldest favorites and I've quoted bits and pieces of it on this blog over the years. My own copy is a worn first edition, handed over to me by a friend and roughly used with weak binding and torn pages. But if you have read the story, you will understand that such wear is entirely appropriate for a book such as this.
This summer, I read The Haunted Bookshop again, this time, out loud to my husband. Every weekend trip away, he drove the car and I read. There were moments when I tried to narrate all the voices with their proper accents, failing triumphantly, and we fell to laughing instead. But it was a good way to pass the time and, in the end, I won Zack over to the wonder of Christopher Morely.
The story is set in Brooklyn just after the first World War. Roger Mifflin owns a used Bookshop, his shop girl Titiana fall head-over-heels for an book-loving advertising man, and a number of German spies seem to have an unusual interest in one particular book that keeps disappearing from Mifflin's shelves. There is a dash of sentimental romance, and an ounce of theatrical mystery in the novel, but truly, it's entire purpose is to give the author a means of writing his own detailed love letter to literature.
Pick up and read accordingly.