On the ferry from Hyannis to Alice Island, Amelia Loman paints her nails yellow and,while waiting for them to dry, skims her predecessor's notes. "Island Books, approximately $350,000.00 per annum in sales, the better portion of that in the summer months to folks on holidays," Harvey Rhodes reports. "Six hundred square feet of selling space. No full-time employees other than owner. Very small children's section. Fledgling on-line presence. Poor community outreach. Inventory emphasizes literary, which is good for us, but Fikry's tastes are very specific, and without Nic, he can't be counted on to hand-sell. Luckily for him, Island's the only game in town." Amelia yawns - she's nursing a slight hangover - and wonders if one persnickety little bookstore will be worth such a long trip. By the time her nails have hardened, her relentlessly bright-sided nature has kicked in: Of course it's worth it! Her specialty is persnickety little bookstores and the particular breed that runs them. Her talents also include multi-tasking, selecting the right wines at dinner (and the coordinating skill, tending friends who've had too much to drink), houseplants, strays, and other lost causes.The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin
A.J. Fikry is everywhere this year and thanks to the perfect alignment of circumstance (craving a lighter, gentler novel and getting to the top of the library hold list), my time to read it has finally come. After the first quarter, I am not disappointed. This brief summary from amazon makes me think it will only get better:
A. J. Fikry, the irascible owner of Island Books, has recently endured some tough years: his wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and his prized possession--a rare edition of Poe poems--has been stolen. Over time, he has given up on people, and even the books in his store, instead of offering solace, are yet another reminder of a world that is changing too rapidly. Until a most unexpected occurrence gives him the chance to make his life over and see things anew.
Gabrielle Zevin’s enchanting novel is a love letter to the world of books--an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love.What do you think? Would you keep reading?
Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.