A bookshop is a special (maybe enchanted) place found all over the world and staffed by booksellers who seem to have a preternatural ability to put just the right book in your hands.
People have been buying and selling books since about 300 BCE. During the latter part of the Roman empire, when all the best homes included a personal library, the book trade was boomin’. Back then, shops posted a list of titles for sale on their doors.
The kind of store we think of when someone says ‘bookshop’ was initially tied closely to printing. The first booksellers were also editors and printers who made the books, then sold them to the reading public. Eventually, those specialties split apart: Publishers worked with authors to create books, and booksellers placed them into the hands of readers.
And we’re all better for it.
In this episode, we talk about the world’s oldest bookshop and discuss some remarkable bookstores around the world, including a barefoot bookshop in paradise and another in Scotland’s National Book Town. We also learn about a shocking bookstore-related medical phenomenon! Then we recommend great books that took us inside the world of bookshops, including a haunting literary novel, a throwback detective story, two bookish miscellanies, a screwball comedy-thriller mashup, and historical fiction set in post-WWII London starring women with moxie. (show notes / transcript)
Top image courtesy of rivermartin/Shutterstock.
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