In Praise of Good Bookstores

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Lest anyone be uncertain of the ways to acquire specialized reading material, Jeff Deutsch eloquently explains how in his scholarly paean to bookstores. As Director of the Chicago Seminary Co-op Bookstore, he views bookstores as sanctuaries.

Customers are not directed to current bestsellers but can browse and focus attention on books of both yesterday and today, discussing choices with a bookseller or other customers (not too loudly!), telling how they complement library, online, or electronic options. One of the book’s outstanding features is the abundant name-dropping of renowned authors and their work published through the ages.

Bibliophiles will hasten here or to a bookstore closer to home to explore, ponder, deliberate, and find treasures they had never known existed. The book is divided into merging sections. A past-master at options, Deutsch discusses ways to shelve books, and tells of a tenth century grand vizier of Persia who traveled with his book collection arranged alphabetically, transported on four hundred camels.

He compares a “good” bookstore’s atmosphere to an eighteenth century London coffeehouse. This is a stretch. A comparison between a university and a book plus more store is more appropriate. In whimsical spirit, he writes about bookstores as a “magical labyrinth.”


Reviewed By:

Author Jeff Deutsch
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 216 pages
Publisher Princeton University Press
Publish Date 05-Apr-2022
ISBN 9780691207766
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue July 2022
Category Books About Books
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