Village BooksPosted: June 7, 2017
by Craig McLay
Kindle edition $4.98, Amazon paperback $14.99
Amazon Digital Services LLC (March 28, 2012), 325 pages
The joys of working in a bookstore! This book captures that. Although I worked for a national chain and this novel is about an independent bookstore, I related to the variety of characters working there. It certainly made me think of the variety of people who were employed at B. Dalton/Pickwick in Montclair Plaza in 1975.
The story is told in the first person by one of the managers at Village Books, which, I finally learned about halfway through the book, was in Toronto. The narrator describes the various employees coming from different backgrounds with different levels of motivation. He talks about the store’s general manager who is gay, but in the closet, and who keeps looking up various illnesses to make excuses to his mother who keeps trying to set him up with women. He describes his own relationship with a woman who walks in as a customer and becomes an employee.
There are a number of threads and plot twists and the story remains a page-turner (or iPad tapper) throughout. There is the local pub, the girlfriend who is intent on becoming an actress, the Italian restaurant owner who wants to return home to Italy, and the evil corporation which wants to buy the bookstore and the building.
Village Books is a lot of pleasurable reading for $4.98. The end of the book is somewhat overly cheery (not that I don’t like happy endings) and perhaps a little unrealistic with respect to where everyone lands. The journey getting there, however, is a lot of fun.