A Book I Wanted to Live In


I love books about books, and I love stories set in remote, coastal locations, so a memoir about a woman who decided to move to stay in a bookshop in Scotland felt like it was made for me. The excitement when I originally heard about this book (through Jen Campbell's podcast) and learned that there was a 'book town' in Scotland, where they hold annual literary festivals, was a bit much.

I immediately persuaded my partner that we should go there for a holiday at some point.

Anyway … So, this memoir by Jessica A. Fox almost felt too good to be true, which made me slightly wary going in. From the first page, I was whisked along with her on the bookish adventure that I would like one day to live. She obviously did live it, and that in itself made me a bit awestruck with admiration. Her description of the places she visited (the book is partly set in LA and then in Wigtown and various Scottish locations) were rich and vivid, and I felt like I was there with her, having never been to the locations.

The story took me quite a while to read - around a week - purely because I was so curled up in it that I wanted to savour each chapter rather than whizzing through.

I was aware before picking this up that there is also a book called Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell, which is also referenced inside, and I now can't wait to buy and devour that too. The tag line is spot on, it's a book for anyone who has ever thought 'what if?', but more so, it's a book for anyone who loves books. It's inspiring, but real and the wonder of Jessica's story just blew me away.

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