12 Best Books Set in Bookshops

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Novels set in bookshops delight readers. All of us readers spend a lot of time inside bookstores when we can. We walk the corridors, we leaf through books that we did not know or special editions of our favorite books, and we caress covers that captivate us.

Whether in our city or on trips around the world, we are always looking to pass by a bookshop full of treasures in languages we know or others we don’t understand a word of.

And if you dream of having your own bookstore, I’m sure this list is for you. It contains 12 books set in bookshops and has a lot of variety, from fiction novels to non-fiction books and also books for children and teenagers.

Read on to select your next read!

Novels and Fiction set in Bookshops

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

Clay is recently unemployed and looking for a new job. In doing so, he finds work on the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s local bookstore, which stays open 24 hours a day.

To work in the bookstore he only has to follow three rules: punctuality, not browsing the books, and writing a detailed report of the clients in an ancient book.

Little by little, Clay discovers that there is a special type of client that is eccentric and mysterious. Clay begins to unravel the mystery that the shop is part of a larger plan that haunts one of the oldest quests and embarks on a weird and wonderful path.

Read Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore: Amazon | Goodreads

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

This book follows Jean Perdu who runs The Literary Apothecary – a bookshop on a boat that floats on the river Seine in Paris. He calls his bookshop “Pharmacie littéraire” or the literary pharmacy and prescribes books to his customers which will help them with their current state of mind.

Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.

He says “A book is both medic and medicine at once. It makes a diagnosis as well as offering therapy. Putting the right novels to the appropriate ailments: that’s how I sell books”.

Enjoy even more books set in Paris.

Read The Little Paris Bookshop: Amazon | Goodreads

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Translated by: Lucia Graves

Barcelona in 1945 is a city that is recovering from the consequences of the war.

Daniel is taken by his father to a place called the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, to adopt a book and take care of it. The peculiarity is that the books that are in that place nobody remembers that they exist and the secrets that each book contains are unknown.

Daniel picks up a book called “The Shadow of the Wind”, reads it, and becomes so obsessed with the story and its author, that he starts touring the city of Barcelona to find information about its author Julián Carax.

This book is one part mystery, one part tragedy, and one part love letter to great literature.

Read The Shadow of the Wind: Amazon | Goodreads

The Paris Bookseller by Kerri Maher

Sylvia Beach is an American woman who moves to Paris to live. There, besides finding love, she will fulfill her dream of opening an English bookstore in the middle of Paris, called Shakespeare & Company.

What she doesn’t know yet is that she is making history.

Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein, among others, are just a few of the notables who frequent her bookstore. Among them is also James Joyce, with whom she strikes up a friendship when he faces a ban on the publication of his new book “Ulysses”.

Will Sylvia be the one to take on the responsibility and risk of publishing the most infamous book of the century?

Read The Paris Bookseller: Amazon | Goodreads

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

This book is a beautiful romantic comedy that tells the life of 29-year-old Nina who decides it’s time to live her dream and quits her job as a librarian in a hectic city.

Nina moves to a quiet town and there she buys a van, which she turns into a mobile bookstore with which she travels through the beautiful landscapes of Scotland. Her job now is to match books with people, though soon she too will find love.

Will she be able to write her own happily ever after?

Read your way across Scotland with these books.

Read The Bookshop on the Corner: Amazon | Goodreads

Non-fiction books about Bookshops

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

A disastrous fire broke out on the morning of April 29, 1986. The Los Angeles Public Library burned for 7 hours.

When the fire was extinguished, it was learned that half a million books had been reduced to ashes. Investigators rushed to the scene, but more than 30 years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposely set the library on fire, and if so, who did?

Read The Library Book: Amazon | Goodreads

Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany by Jane Mount

This book is the joy of all book lovers! Full of literary facts and book recommendations, Mount beautifully illustrates her book about books.

In it, you will find book lists, famous bookstores from around the world, and the workspaces of well-known authors.

Read Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany: Amazon | Goodreads

Children’s books set in Bookshops

Bookstore Babies by Puck

These children love to read and explore their favorite bookstore. Bookstore Babies includes educational reading tips and activities to help parents enjoy books with their children.

Read Bookstore Babies: Amazon | Goodreads

Sylvia’s Bookshop by Robert Burleigh

This beautifully illustrated picture book celebrates stories, reading, and the importance of sharing ideas.

Told by the bookstore itself, Sylvia’s Bookshop tells the story of the legendary Shakespeare and Company, its owner Sylvia Beach, and the many great writers who gathered there to meet, read, and remind us that books are more than the words on the page.

Read Sylvia’s Bookshop: Amazon | Goodreads

The Bookstore Cat by Cylin Busby

He is everything from intelligent and loyal to naughty and vocal! But most of all, the bookstore cat is a well-loved kitty. Follow his funny antics from A to Z through a day in his bustling, book-filled shop.

An irresistible and engaging picture book perfect for story time, and for cat and bookstore lovers alike!

Read The Bookstore Cat: Amazon | Goodreads

Young adult books set in Bookshops

The Magical Bookshop by Katja Frixe

Mrs. Owl had a knack for finding the perfect book for every customer before they even realized what it was they were looking for. 

When her best friend moves away, Clara feels lonely and sad, but she takes comfort in her favorite place: Mrs. Owl’s bookshop. Surrounded by books that spring to life, a rhyming cat, and mounds of cinnamon buns, Clara never feels alone.

Read The Magical Bookshop: Amazon | Goodreads

The Bookshop of Dust and Dreams by Mindy Thompson

It’s 1944 Sutton, NY, and Poppy’s family owns and runs, Rhyme and Reason, a magical bookshop that caters to people from all different places and time periods.

Her family is devastated by World War II, but the main rule is that merchants must never use magic for themselves.

When one of Poppy’s brothers dies in the war, her brother wants to use magic to save him, and young Poppy is caught between her love for her brother and her loyalty to her family.

What does all the magic in the world matter if it can’t save the ones you love?

Read The Bookshop of Dust and Dreams: Amazon | Goodreads

What Are Some Of Your Favorite Books in Bookshops?

Have you read any of these books set in bookshops? Do you know some great books that I’ve missed? What is your favorite book set in a bookshop? I’d love to hear your thoughts on books set in bookstores in the comments below!

More Great Books

Start with our list of the very best travel adventure books. It includes great reads that will fuel your wanderlust and have you staying up late to finish them. Or check out these books set in FranceItaly, or Spain.

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