Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012, 304 pages)
Mr. Penumbra owns a bookstore in San Francisco that’s off the beaten path and isn’t like your typical bookstore. When Clay Jannon stumbles into the store after spying a Help Wanted sign he isn’t quite sure what to make of what he sees. Up front is a small section of books you might expect to find in a bookstore, but in the back are bookshelves that rise up so high you can’t see the what’s at the top.
Penumbra offers Clay a job working the late-night shift at the store. While working Clay discovers that the books in the rear are definitely different and they have their own special clientele who come check them out. Clay makes it his mission to uncover what’s going on behind the scenes of this store. What is the store’s purpose? Who are these clients making late night visits frantically searching for their next book? Clay is getting sucked into the world of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore and the reader can’t help being sucked in with him.
I had no idea what to expect with this book but I really enjoyed it. You want to see where Sloan is going to go with the story and you want to solve the mystery of the bookstore right along with Clay. If you’re a lover of books you’ll also have an appreciation for this title given the content and “questions” raised throughout.
You can also check out Sadie’s review of this book!