Monday, July 28, 2014

The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap by Wendy Welch

In my opinion, some of the most wonderful books in the world are books about books. And this book was no exception. A summary, written by me:

Wendy and Jack, a married couple, have always talked about someday owning and operating a used bookstore--and they've finally decided to live their dream. They purchase an old house in the small town of Big Stone Gap and open a bookstore right away, without any experience or know-how except a love of books and people. As they traverse the trials of running a bookstore in a small town, they also find unexpected joys in their new life's work. 

Have you ever dreamed of owning a bookstore? I totally have, even though I know it's the most unrealistic thing in the world and I probably wouldn't love it as much as I think I would. So living vicariously through Wendy and Jack's experience is my best option. Welch doesn't try to make running a bookstore sound easy--she and her husband go through some tough times and have to solve some interesting problems--but she still keeps the book lighthearted, focusing on the benefits of owning a bookstore. This book was certainly a fun read, but it also made me think about how and where I buy my books. Most of us book lovers have contemplated the question of whether e-books are going to eventually overcome print, but Welch also brought my attention to big online sellers of print books (cough, Amazon). Welch pointed out that buying books online is what's putting bookstores out of business because they can't compete with online prices. It made me reconsider the way I buy books (although honestly, I hardly ever buy books anyway--unless they're for school--because I'm a poor college student. But, you know, someday). 

To anyone who loves books and especially those who have dreamed of owning a bookstore, I would absolutely recommend this book. It makes me want to visit all the used bookstores in a fifty-mile radius and buy out all their inventory. 


  1. I also love books about books! Maybe when I get home I'll read this one. Thanks for the review.

  2. That sounds like a cool book! I'd love to own a little used book store too -- maybe when we've retired, lol. We have an independent used book store here in town, and I try to patronize it whenever I can. We have a larger used book store too, that's part of a small chain made up of 20 stores in the south and east, and I also like it a lot. The only other physical book store near us is a Barnes & Noble, and I go there probably 4 times a year, looking for Christmas presents and books for my kids' school work, etc.

    Lately, I've been trying not to buy as much on just because of the way they're treating some publishers right now. I've been buying from B& a little bit, or just reminding myself I don't need that movie/book/CD Right Now (or maybe even at all).