Thursday, 8 November 2018

Candlestick Press ~ The All Night Bookshop by David Belbin

Candlestick Press
September 2018
My thanks to Candlestick Press for my copy of this story

An elusive owner who lives on the top floor but is never seen… customers who turn up after midnight in slippers and dressing gown, driven by an urgent desire for a book about Icelandic myths or pottery… a beautiful and insomniac manager who is blind in one eye…

The ingredients of David Belbin’s intriguing tale take us into a shadowy world that seems to exist somewhere between reality and dream. The mysteries deepen as the story unfolds and then there is also love, never spoken or acknowledged, but somehow amplified amid the hushed aisles and dusty shelves.

This is a story for all those who love books and bookshops – or indeed for anyone who simply enjoys a good old-fashioned yarn.

My Thoughts...

When I was little girl there was a local shop which looked very similar to this one, with windows on both sides it curved around the edge of the street. Wonderfully dark inside, it was filled with all sorts of delicious things, the smell of sweet and sugary, the crackle of newspapers and the sharp tang of paperback books. It was a treasure trove and I loved it.

The All Night Bookshop conjures the world of the old fashioned book store quite perfectly, from the  display-free dusty front window there is something quite special about opening the door to a magical world of books. Books which come in every shape and size and which cover five floors, from the basement to the attic where the mysterious shop owner lives.

Beautifully compact at just over five and a bit pages, The All Night Bookshop is a lesson in short story perfection and will appeal to all  those who love books and bookshops. It's such clever little story written with so much care and attention to tiny detail, it leave you with a lovely warm feeling inside,

There's also two lovely poems to enjoy :

from Bookshops by Jim Burns

"It's difficult to find one these days,
a dusty place piled high with books,
and looked after by an old man
sitting in a corner by an electric fire "

 from Silver Moon by Jackie Kay

"And by the silvery light of the bookshop you grew up

By the open door, standing alone, together
Other readers as engrossed, browsing, basking"

David Belbin is the author of The Pretender, Bone and Cane and numerous novels for young adults. His short stories have appeared in many magazines and anthologies. More can be found in Provenance: New and Collected Stories from Shoestring Press.

Includes poems by Jim Burns and Jackie Kay.

Cover illustration by Steven Hubbard.

Candlestick Press is a small, independent press publishing sumptuously-produced poetry pamphlets, as well as short prose fiction and non-fiction. The pamphlets make a wonderful alternative to a greetings card, with matching envelopes and bookmarks left blank for your message. Their subjects include Home, Clouds, Football and Kindness. Short stories include Gift of the Old One and Holly and Ivy, while The Wood in Winter is a highly-popular non-fiction title. Candlestick Press pamphlets are stocked by chain and independent bookshops, galleries and garden centres nationwide and available to order online.

Twitter @poetrycandle


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