Another Idea Stolen!

Well, stolen from me… before I was born.

When I was at Shakespeare & Co. in Paris, I considered writing a mock-children’s book about a bookstore in which the characters in famous books come to life at night and haunt the daughter of the owner.  Dorothy Parker would teach her all about the stupidity of romance, Yukio Mishima would commit seppuku on loop, and Jean-Paul Sartre would smoke (a lot.)  It would be kind of like In the Night Kitchen meets Midnight in Paris, except with a more international cast of writers.

However, it seems someone else, namely Christopher Morely, wrote a book called The Haunted Bookshop, which will be out this August from the adorable Melville House.  Synopsis as follows:

“When you sell a man a book,” says Roger Mifflin, the protagonist of this classic novella, “you don’t sell him just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue—you sell him a whole new life.” Mifflin—whom we first meet in Morley’s Parnassus on Wheels—is an itinerant bookseller, ensconced in literary Brooklyn.

“If you are ever in Brooklyn, that borough of superb sunsets and magnificent vistas of husband-propelled baby-carriages,” he advises, “it is to be hoped you may chance upon a quiet by-street where there is a very remarkable bookshop.”

The shop, haunted by “the ghosts of all great literature,” provides the alluring setting for this suspenseful novella. Strange things are happening: books disappear and reappear, suspicious characters lurk, and the distant First World War may be encroaching even on the peaceful old brownstone where the shop makes it home. A thoroughly entertaining tribute to the bookseller’s art, and one of the most beloved bookish novels of all time.

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