Bookish People (Paperback)

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Bookish People By Susan Coll Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

So much love for this little gem of a book set in an independent bookstore in 2017! Sophie, the owner of the store, has grown weary of the day-to-day workings of her bookstore and lacks the enthusiasm needed to do her job well. An author event scheduled with a controversial author who has recently been cancelled only adds to her desire to want to sell the store and retreat quietly from her life as a small business owner. A wide and mostly lovable cast of characters supports Sophie: her events coordinator Clemi, her aspiring yoga teacher son Michael, and a handful of booksellers with their own quirks and idiosyncrasies. The book is set shortly after the Charlottesville car attack and the author nimbly weaves in references to those horrific events to give the reader a sense of how fraught the energy is during the week the story takes place. Bonus points for the end of day reports issued by the bookstore manager and filled with largely useless information such as, "We briefly lost internet." This book will you make you smile, giggle, nod, and shake your head. Booksellers and non-booksellers alike will enjoy this one equally.

— From Tracy A.

August 2022 Indie Next List

“Coll captures the loveable mix of quirky customers, booksellers, and writers who bring a bookstore to life. Fast-paced, hilarious, and insightful — it’s sure to appeal to anyone who works, owns, or shops in an indie bookstore.”
— Jan Danielson Kaiser, Beaverdale Books, Des Moines, IA


A perfect storm of comedic proportions erupts in a DC bookstore over the course of one soggy summer week--narrated by two very different women and punctuated by political turmoil, a celestial event, and a perpetually broken vacuum cleaner.

Independent bookstore owner Sophie Bernstein is burned out on books. Mourning the death of her husband, the loss of her favorite manager, her only child's lack of aspiration, and the grim state of the world, she fantasizes about going into hiding in the secret back room of her store.

Meanwhile, renowned poet Raymond Chaucer has published a new collection, and rumors that he's to blame for his wife's suicide have led to national cancellations of his publicity tour. He intends to set the record straight--with an ultra-fine-point Sharpie--but only one shop still plans to host him: Sophie's.

Fearful of potential repercussions from angry customers, Sophie asks Clemi--bookstore events coordinator, aspiring novelist, and daughter of a famed literary agent--to cancel Raymond's appearance. But Clemi suspects Raymond might be her biological father, and she can't say no to the chance of finding out for sure.

This big-hearted screwball comedy features an intergenerational cast of oblivious authors and over-qualified booksellers--as well as a Russian tortoise named Kurt Vonnegut Jr.--and captures the endearing quirks of some of the best kinds of people: the ones who love good books.

Praise for Bookish People:

"A smart, original, laugh-out-loud novel . . . If you sell, buy, or simply love books, Bookish People is for you. I wholeheartedly recommend this quirky gem." --Sarah Pekkanen, New York Times bestselling co-author of The Golden Couple

  • Witty, hilarious, and heartwarming contemporary book about books
  • Stand-alone novel
  • Book length: approximately 84,000 words
  • Includes discussion questions for book clubs
Product Details
ISBN: 9781400234097
ISBN-10: 1400234093
Publisher: Harper Muse
Publication Date: August 2nd, 2022
Pages: 336
Language: English