by Robin Sloan
“What do you seek in these shelves?”
Thus, Mr. Penumbra introduces us to his peculiar little bookstore, sitting tall and thin, tucked next to a strip club with free wifi. Its most popular books, in terms of demand, are shelved way back and way up, accessed only by ladder and wild abandon. They aren’t bought but are checked out by furtive customers with odd mannerisms at all hours of the day. (The mannerisms are odd at all hours…the books are mainly checked out at night.) The contents of these mysterious tomes thrust the story into an international mystery and a race to discover the key to immortality.
This is a nerdy little book about books (the dust jacket even glows in the dark!) – a geek love letter to the 21st century that mixes technology, cryptography, and conspiracy into an optimistic story of friendship and love. A lighthearted reminder that books and technology are not mutually exclusive.
After reading, I now know what I want my home library to smell like…
What does yours smell like?