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Books Set in Libraries and Bookstores

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Reading + Entertainment

  • A wall of bookshelves

Jennifer, Clemens Mill | February 28, 2022

I am always delighted when I’m reading a book and the hero or heroine decides to go to the library to find answers. There is something about libraries that make them the perfect setting for a story. It's in the paper-scented air, and the floor to ceiling books that you need a ladder to reach, and the helpful librarian who appears out of nowhere and sets you on the right path. When you walk through a library, you feel as if you are walking among all of the great minds that came before you--the storytellers, philosophers and scientists are all within reach. There is a feeling of adventure, and a promise of discovery that is around every corner and within every book.

Whether it’s Harry Potter walking into the restricted area of Hogwarts’ library in his invisibility cloak to learn about Nicolas Flamel and the Philosopher's stone; or the Ghostbusters tracking down a spectre hiding out in the card catalogue of the New York City Public Library, there are always wonderful nooks and crannies where you might find secret messages, discover hidden passageways, or unlock the answers to all of life's mysteries.

 

Have a look at our lists of books and movies that take place in libraries or bookstores:

Books that are set in Libraries and Bookstores

Books for Kids that are set in Libraries

Movies with Libraries or Bookstores

 

Here are a few of our favourites:

Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan, wherein hero Clay gets a job in a curious bookstore that is jam-packed with books. Once inside, he notices that this is not a typical bookstore, but more of a lending library for an eccentric group of people who frequent the shop at all hours and seem to have a mysterious agenda.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig tells the story of a library that has an infinite number of books, each one the story of a different reality. One is the story of your life as it is, another book is the life you could have lived if you had done things differently. In this novel, Nora has the chance to see what the other books hold and decide if any of these other lives might have been better.

The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald, where a young woman fulfills a lifelong dream of opening her own bookshop in a historic stone building. It's the perfect place to browse for books, and stay for a few minutes to share a tea with the bookshop owner.

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins features a beautiful little book store that is owned by the book's narrator, Lydia. She loves to discuss books, and explains it best when she says, “There’d been a wild spark of wonder in the shop, when the bell above the door was like mistletoe—a possibility of something magical"

The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue by Victoria Schwab is a story about a girl who makes a pact with the devil in order to escape an arranged marriage in the year 1714. She is granted freedom in the sense that she will live forever, and no one will ever remember her again. 300 years later, a young man who works in a bookstore remembers her name.

Camino Island by John Grisham tells the story of Bruce Cable, who owns a bookstore in a sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. The charismatic Bruce also deals in rare books, and finds himself in trouble when he gets involved in the black market of valuable books and manuscripts.