There is nothing we love more than books about books, but a special place in our hearts is reserved for books about bookstores.
Why? Because it’s any book-lovers dream to own a bookstore for themselves! While it might not be a feasible goal for most people, we can at least experience the ups and downs of selling books by reading books set in a bookstore!
Some of the novels below are historical fiction, some feature traveling bookstores, and some are just good old contemporary fiction.
Whatever your preferred genre, we think you’ll find a book about bookstores to cherish below! But if we missed your favorite, please let us know!
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Contemporary Books about Bookstores
Jess is a lawyer who needs a change when she finds out her husband is cheating on her. Her childhood best friend, Allison needs to take a hiatus from her career.
When Jess decides to return to her childhood home with her daughter, she decides with Allison to reopen the beloved bookstore in their sleepy beach town. Both Jess and Allison find meaning in their lives through the new venture and grow closer with their adult daughters.
This is a quintessential beach read for anyone who loves a cozy book about bookstores.
I loved this book about a librarian who inherits a bookshop from her estranged mother. When Valentina was a teenager, her beloved mother left her to return home to her native London and never returned. Val was left heartbroken with her father.
Now, Val has returned to London to her mother’s apartment and bookshop to try and understand her mother, her life, and why she would leave. The change could not have come at a better time for Valentina who is going through a divorce of her own. This book about bookstores was such an easy and wonderful read.
Miranda’s uncle dies leaving her a failing bookstore and a scavenger hunt for clues to decipher. What she learns over the course of her summer tracking down clues and trying to save the bookstore will turn her whole world on its head.
I guessed the ending fairly early on, but this book is all about the journey. If you are looking for books set in a bookstore, add this one to your list! You can see our interview with Amy here.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from a book that is written entirely in lists but, I absolutely loved it. Maybe because it’s one of my favorite sub-genres – books set in a bookstore! The format is so unique and never felt redundant or repetitive.
Every character really comes to life with humor and drama as Daniel tries to come to terms with the fact that his life as a bookstore owner is not what he expected. He is having financial worries and his wife Jill, who knows nothing about financial troubles, wants to have a baby.
As he tries to make ends meet and simultaneously make Jill happy, he knows that something will have to change but, he isn’t sure what that is.
This book is a page-turner from the first to the last. I laughed out loud and could relate to Daniel. His worries are universal and Matthew Dicks does such a great job of making this character likable with his flaws and all.
This is one of our favorite books set in a bookstore and its owner will capture your heart. A.J. Fikry is like a bookstore version of Ove in all the right ways except A.J. is only in his thirties.
The recent death of his wife, bad book sales, and the recent robbery of a rare book is wreaking havoc on his life. But this tale of redemption and unexpected chances has a serious soul.
There are so many books about books that we’ve read more than 50 of them! Not only does this book fit into the list but, it was such an enjoyable read as well. There is character development and growth, in this story about Madeline Cullen.
When she inherits her Aunt Maddie’s bookshop, she questions why. As she tries to save the struggling shop, she begins to learn more about herself and her Aunt.
While this secret society book was not what I was expecting, it was so fun and quirky that I loved it. Clay gets a job in a bookstore that has a strange clientele coming at very strange hours.
What is even weirder are the books that they check out rather than buy. I loved the mysterious parts of the book and the character development. This is one of my favorite books about bookstores!
For more books about bookstores, check out our Ultimate list of Books about Books featuring novels about librarians, authors, booksellers, and more!
Books featuring Traveling Bookstores
This is probably one of our favorite books to recommend to people. The story features a book apothecary whose owner can meet you and give you a story meant for your soul.
When he needs to help his own soul, he sets his boat adrift to see where it will take him. I loved every minute of it. It’s a must-read if you love books set in a bookstore.
This is the second book that I read by Rebecca Raisin and I adored Rosie’s Traveling Tea Shop.
This is a cute book centered around Aria who has a romance book shop. Aria began van life when her husband became sick and continued after he had passed away. This is the story of Aria’s search for her happy ending. I enjoyed this quick and easy read.
The Bookshop on the Corner #1
This book was the first book that I read by Jenny Colgan and is different from her others. It is not centered around food but rather, books.
When Nina, a librarian, finds herself without a job, she decides to embark on a journey with a mobile bookshop. There is nothing not to love in this sweet book.
The Bookshop on the Corner #2
I love Jenny Cogan and I was so happy to have an advance copy. This book, while related to her previous book “The Bookshop on the Corner”, is not a sequel. In fact, I felt that this book was a departure from her previous work. It dealt with some issues that are definitely more serious and delved into these issues in her unique way.
The book felt light and easy to read even though it had some more serious issues without trivializing them. Despite the length of the book( 400+ pages), I really wish the ending was longer. I loved the character development and wanted more. I’m hoping there is a sequel!
Historical Fiction Books about Bookstores
I loved this book set in a bookstore! Taking place just after WWII, the women of Bloomsbury Books are struggling to make their own way in the changing world.
We get to see alternating narrators, one of which was in Jenner’s first book, The Jane Austen Society. Each of the 3 females in the story is striving for their dreams and interacting with some of the most famous literary figures of their day!
I squealed with delight when Daphne Du Maurier appeared on the page, but you’ll see Peggy Guggenheim, Ellen Doubleday, and more scattered throughout this charming tale. At its heart, this is a book about friendship and it is an absolute delight.
I love Kerri Maher’s other two books so I eagerly grabbed this story about an American ex-Pat (Sylvia Beach) that opened a bookstore in Paris during the time between WWI and WWII.
The story was sprinkled with literary figures well-known from the time – think Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Stein, etc. But the story really revolves around Beach’s publication of Joyce’s Ulysses.
I had no idea that the famous book caused such a stir in the world at the time – with many publishing houses refusing to publish it based on its content.
The story was interesting but a little dragged out in parts. I think the tedium of the publishing process just got to be a little too detailed for my taste.
If this story catches your eye, check out our list of books about bookstores!
I had to make a reel for this book because Nancy Mitford is such eye candy!
This dual-timeline historical fiction novel is set in both WWII London, where we see a floundering Nancy Mitford as a bookseller, getting inspired to write The Pursuit of Happiness, and the present day, where another floundering writer is looking to Mitford for inspiration.
Nancy is the character that shines in this book and I love that she’s such a dynamic force.
Wow, did I love this book! Grace has always wanted to live in London and finds herself working at a bookshop as WWII looms on the horizon.
Grace’s newfound love of books, the store, and the friends who have become family, become the glue that holds her together during air raids, blitzes, and nights spent in darkness.
For more Historical Fiction picks, head over to the Ultimate List of Historical Fiction!
Christmas Books about Bookstore
What could be better than a book about a bookstore, Paris, and Christmas- especially at Christmas time? When Sarah Smith, a bookshop owner is offered a chance to do a bookshop exchange with her Parisian friend, she jumps at the chance.
Her book shop has been struggling, her boyfriend is consistently away on assignments and she feels stagnant. She hopes Paris will be just what she needs.
I wish the relationship between Sarah and her boyfriend was more believable. I feel like I came in without a background of why these two are together for reasons other than their chemistry. This book was a cute and easy read.
This is kinda like Love Actually in a bookshop and it’s one of my favorite books about bookstores. Nora and Simon’s bookshop is failing, but that doesn’t stop them from anonymously sending out 6 Christmas books to locals who need cheering up.
We see how their gifted books inspire changes in the lives of the recipients, how much their bookshop means to the community, and how all the of their lives intertwine.
I cried a few times while reading this heartwarming tale, but it deals with some pretty heavy subjects like death of a child and suicidal thoughts/depression. It’s really a wonderful book for the holiday season. Any true book lover will adore this Christmas tale.
Jenny Colgan is back with a stand-alone Christmas story about a failing bookshop and the woman that saves it. Carmen is stuck with no boyfriend, no job, and living at home, while her sister Sophie seems to have it all – a beautiful house, great husband, a killer job, and 3 kids with one more on the way.
When she realizes her client is going to lose his bookshop and home, she overs Carmen up for the job of turning the shop around, offering her a room at her house to boot.
But the long-standing rivalry between the sisters is out in full force, Carmen seems to sabotage her own happiness in the romance department, and her bookstore boss might be hiding some family secrets that need uncovering.
A charming Christmas tale in true Jenny Colgan fashion, this heartwarming story also has some appearances from beloved characters from previous books.