Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore - Robin Sloan

Goodreads Synopsis:

The great recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But Clay soon discovers that the stories more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The customers are few, and they never seem to buy anything – instead, they “check out” large, obscure volumes from strange corners of the store. Suspicious, Clay engineers an analysis of the clientele’s behavior, seeking help from his variously talented friends. But when the bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, they discover the bookstore’s secrets extend far beyond its walls.

Rendered with irresistible brio and dazzling intelligence, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is exactly what it sounds like: an establishment you have to enter and will never want to leave.


I find this book really hard to finish – it took me at least 2 months to finally pick it back up again (I read a few other books during that slump.) Don’t get me wrong, though, it’s a great book/story. I just got truly bored with the nerdy stuff, like computer programming, Google engineering, coding, gaming, and rendering. Even the part about fonts and typefaces got me bored stiff.

I’d say the title of the book has got me fooled. Who knew that a title like Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore would be about dragon-slaying-nerds and genius Google programmers? Only thing in my expectation that was justified by the title is the secret society of book loving- nerds.

There was a great variety of characters in the book which made it a little bit confusing, especially in the case of the unbound. I did not really focus any attention on most of their names.



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