The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians: True Stories of the Magic of Reading

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This collection of short stories delves into the lives of booksellers, whether they operate independently or within corporate settings, as well as librarians in both public and school environments. It's an intriguing exploration that tackles hot-button issues like banned books in schools, alongside the highs and lows of running a bookstore. The narratives also shed light on the impact of the pandemic, particularly on the challenges faced by independently owned stores. Amidst these trials, the…

I really enjoyed reading this collection of essays. It was easy to get through and I nearly finished it all at once. James Patterson organized the stories into different parts, which was helpful. Since books have been such a big part of my life, it was inspiring to read stories that felt so relatable. It’s worth noting that even though Patterson’s name is on the cover, the book actually features stories from librarians, with short intros about each of them. There’s also a short essay by Patterson at the beginning.

One part I particularly liked was hearing a librarian’s take on banned books. When I used to teach at a middle school, I often had to deal with parents wanting certain books removed from the shelves. I tried to stand up for them, but the principal usually made me take them down. It’s good to know that teachers and librarians are working to keep those books available for students.

I also enjoyed reading about the challenges faced by librarians and booksellers, especially with everything changing because of COVID-19. It was uplifting to hear stories about people staying strong during tough times.

However, the reason I didn’t give this book a perfect rating is that many of the stories seemed to cover the same topics, which made it a bit repetitive and sometimes boring. I still liked the stories overall, but I wish there had been more variety. It would have been nice to hear from readers about how libraries or bookstores have impacted them, and including pictures of the places or people would have been a nice touch.

In summary, I really liked reading about people’s connections to books and their reasons for loving reading. It was so inspiring that it motivated me to write another blog post about my own experiences with reading and books.

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