Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

"After that the book will fade, the way all books fade in your mind.  But I hope you will remember this: A man walking fast down a dark lonely street.  Quick steps and hard breathing, all wonder and need.  A bell above a door and the tinkle it makes.  A clerk and a ladder and warm golden light, and then: the right book exactly, at exactly the right time."

"What do you seek in these shelves?" 

 This book was brilliant.  I read a lot of books, and it's rare that I find a novel so wonderful and unique as this one.  An idea that just...simply hasn't been done before.  To my knowledge anyways.  At least not done as well as this.  Its cute and quirkey - the main character is a total 21st century geek - yet surprisingly insight full.  

When Clay Jannon loses his job as a web designer, he stumbles into Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore and takes up the late-night shift.  With very strange and random customers, Jannon begins to realize that there might be more to the bookstore than he thought.  Enter a world of card cataloging meets the internet, the book has everything: bookstores, libraries, Google, audio books, data visualization, secret societies, history of print, typography, children's fantasy novels, databases, remote storage facilities, digital vs. print, coding, cataloging, ebooks, the internet, information overload, Wikipedia - and of course, books.  When Penumbra mysteriously dissapears, Jannon and his friends soon find themselves on the quest for immortality amongst the shelves.  

This is the ultimate book for book lovers and I couldn't put it down!  It's about finding "the right book, at exactly the right time" and creating a world where print and technology can exist side by side.  Not only was it fascinating, but super fun to read.  I just loved it.  Robin Sloan got this one right.  

Oh, and did I mention that the cover glows in the dark?  Yep, it does...way cool :)

This book was #5 on my top ten list of 2014.

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