Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

Book: Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan 

Synopsis: The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone—and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything, instead “checking out” impossibly obscure volumes from strange corners of the store, all according to some elaborate, long-standing arrangement with the gnomic Mr. Penumbra. The store must be a front for something larger, Clay concludes, and soon he’s embarked on a complex analysis of the customers’ behavior and roped his friends into helping to figure out just what’s going on. But once they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, it turns out the secrets extend far outside the walls of the bookstore. [via Amazon]

Book Notes:

Admittedly it was the vibrant yellow cover that attracted me to this book in the first place. I know, I know... never judge a book by its cover... but come on! I know we're all guilty of it. So there was that initial attraction, the next was the fact that it was set in San Francisco- my soul city! <3 nbsp="" p="">
I think there's always something magical about a book you stumble upon. With no plan or agenda, not even a witty book review pre-scanned before entering the bookstore, sometimes you just come across good reads without even trying.

This was a light and entertaining read, that brought you along an imaginative adventure that challenges our perceptions of immortality.

It was creative, current and curious.

Book Quotes: 

"Whenever I walked the streets of San Francisco, I'd watch for HELP WANTED signs in windows- which is not something you really do, right? I should probably be more suspicious of those. Legitimate employers use Craigslist."

"He's like a storybook spirit, a little djinn or something, except instead of air or water his element is imagination."

"At first I thought I had a crush on her, but then I realized she's an android."

"It's very quiet. I set my chin in my palm and count my friends and wonder what else is hiding in plain sight."

"There is no shame in it if your friend is not yet ready for the task. Perhaps it will grow more interesting to him with time."

"There are newer Kindles with bigger screens and subtler industrial design, but this one is like Penumbra's postcards: so uncool it's cool again."

"History hinges on such small things.  A difference of thirty degrees, and this story would end here."

"This girl has the spark of life. This is the primary filter for new friends and the highest compliment I can pay."

"But, of course, the point of a programming language is that you don't just read it; you write it, too. You make it do things for you."

"It's really hard. And that's, what, a thousand years? What comes after that? What could possibly come after that? Imagination runs out. But it makes sense, right? We probably just imagine things based on what we already know, and we run out of analogies in the thirty-first century."

"We have the same hardware, but not the same software."

"So its the surface that matters. People want things to be real. If you give them an excuse, they'll believe you."

"Books used to be pretty high-tech, back in the day. Not anymore."

"This is all so obvious when you know what to listen for."

"There is no immortality that is not built on friendship and work done with care. All the secrets in the world worth knowing are hiding in plain sight. It takes forty-one seconds to climb a ladder three stories tall. It's not easy to imagine the year 3012, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. We have new capabilities now- strange powers we're still getting used to."

"Your life must be an open city, with all sorts of ways to wander in."

"After that, the book will fade, the way all books fade in your mind. But I hope you will remember this: the right book, at exactly the right time."

Rating: 4.2/5

Reading Map:

Aldus Manutius the Elder

The Alchemyst: The Immortal Secrets of Nicholas Flammel by Michael Scott

Romanov Prophecy: A Novel by Steve Berry


Post a Comment

Back to Top