Book Review: Confessions of a Curious Bookseller by Elizabeth Green | Jo Linsdell

Book Review: Confessions of a Curious Bookseller by Elizabeth Green

Book Review: Confessions of a Curious Bookseller by Elizabeth Green

My thoughts about Confessions of a Curious Bookseller by Elizabeth Green

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Disclosure: I got sent a free copy of this book by the publisher via Net Galley.

Confessions of a Curious Bookseller by Elizabeth Green
The book synopsis:

Without question, Fawn Birchill knows that her used bookstore is the heart of West Philadelphia, a cornerstone of culture for a community that, for the past twenty years, has found the quirkiness absolutely charming. When an amicable young indie bookseller invades her block, Fawn is convinced that his cushy couches, impressive selection, coffee bar, and knowledgeable staff are a neighborhood blight. Misguided yet blindly resilient, Fawn readies for battle.

But as she wages her war, Fawn is forced to reflect on a few unavoidable truths: the tribulations of online dating, a strained relationship with her family, and a devoted if not always law-abiding intern—not to mention what to do about a pen pal with whom she hasn’t been entirely honest and the litany of repairs her aging store requires.

Through emails, journal entries, combative online reviews, texts, and tweets, Fawn plans her next move. Now it’s time for her to dig deep and use every trick at her disposal if she’s to reclaim her beloved business—and her life.

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Discussing Confessions of a Curious Bookseller by Elizabeth Green

Quotes from the book:

You are either a detective or a skilled peruser, or you are spinning me quite a yarn. I give you the benefit of the doubt and think that you love perusing and so came upon it by happy accident. Sometimes that is how the greatest books are found.

After watching him eat that soup all night, he really expects me to kiss him? The dribbling, Florence! The front of his shirt was sodden in vegetable broth before the main course had even arrived.

The truth of it is that most people who come in are quite satisfied, but generally speaking, happy people don’t leave reviews. So we hear the negativity far more frequently.

Sometimes the hardest thing is the right thing.

They say times are changing, and I see it myself: everyone in Philadelphia has an electronic reading device like a Kindle or an iPad, it seems. But I think there are still people out there who want to hold on to the printed page like a newborn baby or a small animal—gently, lovingly, and viscerally. And even though I see a resurgence in people’s interest in books and the independent bookstore (thank god!), my store, it seems, is left behind.

I won’t be young forever—I’m already going rather grey, even though I dye. And sometimes when I see myself in the mirror, I realize with horror that my feet have a natural splay to them, almost like that of Daffy Duck. I can only imagine how ridiculous I appear when I walk.

Black Friday is a mandatory, all-hands-on-deck day. Come to me if you have an issue with this, but unless you are bleeding from your neck or any necessary appendage, you are REQUIRED to show.

The thing about computers is that they are presumptuous machines and show neither patience nor adaptability based on the user’s level of comprehension. Although I understand they are insentient machines, this still infuriates me, as I am forced to write to my dear employees for help the night before Thanksgiving when most of you are no doubt hitting the booze. I, too, am minutes away from that myself—not because of relaxation, but because I can’t handle this project sober for another minute.

When it comes to literature, I find that it’s less about the books themselves and more the moments we take in the day to read the books.

Book Review Confessions of a Curious Bookseller by Elizabeth Green

Luckily it was an open bar, and most everyone was too drunk to notice me sneaking the mini sandwiches into my overnight bag. The olive array was, by far, my favorite—though they are rather difficult to sneak into anything but one’s mouth!

Christmas is a strange holiday for families that don’t get along. We dislike each other for 364 days out of the year and then childishly expect a single day of gift giving to wash all the bad blood away.

P.S. I’m sorry. I meant nothing by it. I was mostly referring to the ridiculousness of monthly bleeding. I’m not sure how well that worked out for us in our caveman days as we traipsed across the African savanna smelling like blood to any lions or leopards nearby. We must have been as enticing as a street-taco truck to a college kid. On the other hand, perhaps the fact that women survived that is indeed a testament to how strong we are!

In addition, my claw-foot has been leaking black water onto my fiction section for some time. I realized this when I went down to get Jane Austen’s Emma and found that she was covered in black mold. She, Louisa May Alcott, and Hans Christian Andersen were just wet with sludgy decay. How long they have been enduring these harsh conditions I’ll never know.

On days such as Christmas I wish I had children of my own, though it is a passing fancy. I have neither the patience nor the necessary hip width to bear motherhood.

Januarys are hard. The only thing worse than January is February, and the only thing worse than either is attempting to get through them sober.

I think the new person I hired is a bit slow. Either that or he doesn’t know what to think of me. Sometimes when I speak to him, his eyes become very wide and he just nods as if what I am saying to him is the word of God. As long as he does what he is told, I don’t really care what he thinks of me. I am finished trying to be friends with my employees.

Being alone isn’t bad unless you don’t want to be alone, and I don’t. I don’t think she did either. And that is why I sat there and wept.

It’s funny how, when people die, you think about all the things you didn’t get to talk about. Not necessarily what you never said—that’s something entirely different—but rather what conversations you never had. 

Where to find Confessions of a Curious Bookseller by Elizabeth Green online:

Book Review Confessions of a Curious Bookseller by Elizabeth Green

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  1. I feel the same way about computers are the quote!

  2. I do like the look of this book, but them I like books about books, if that makes sense. Great review.

  3. Adding to my TBR since I am from the Philly area!

  4. I haven't read this one but oh my gosh, I love the Black Friday quote!! Great review, Jo :)

  5. This sounds wonderful. Love those quotes

  6. loved the quotes.. and definitely adding this to my tbr.. that title itself would have tempted me!