I received this Kindle uncorrected proof from NetGalley
I’ve never posted reading updates before but I couldn’t resist now. I like this book so much. It’s full of wonderful quotes, despite being a translation. Isn’t it interesting? The book was originally written in German. It takes place in France, with all the characters being French. And I’m reading it in English.
The narration often swings from poignant to funny in the space of one paragraph. I would read about the hero’s deep sorrow, my tears not far from the surface, and then some other character comes along, says something ridiculous or wise, and the mood switches rapidly, and I’m chuckling with delight. Emotions throb, but humor finds a way to balance the scores.
Human life in all its absurdities and beauty, warmth and ugliness stands up from the pages. Grief and betrayal, cowardice and pride, kindness and compassion, men and women – they are all there, in that file on my Kindle. And of course, there are books. The protagonist, Jean Perdu, is a bookseller. He loves books. He sells books. And he treats his books as medicine for the soul. His floating bookstore on a barge is even called Literary Apothecary.
“… 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.”
Perdu reflected that it is a common misconception that booksellers looked after books. They look after people.
He wanted her to sense the boundless possibilities offered by books. There would always be enough. They would never stop loving their readers.