The Printed Letter Bookshop

“She always ended her suggestions with that line. Not because she wanted the customer to come buy again, though of course she did. She sincerely wanted to know what the customer thought, how she felt, and what might touch that deep place in her next. That’s what books do… they are conversation, and introduce us to ourselves and to others.”

“One of Madeline Cullen’s happiest childhood memories is of working with her Aunt Maddie in the quaint and cozy Printed Letter Bookshop. But by the time Madeline inherits the shop nearly twenty years later, family troubles and her own bitter losses have hardened Madeline’s heart toward her once-treasured aunt—and the now struggling bookshop left in her care.

While Madeline intends to sell the shop as quickly as possible, the Printed Letter’s two employees have other ideas. Reeling from a recent divorce, Janet finds sanctuary within the books and within the decadent window displays she creates. Claire, though quieter than the acerbic Janet, feels equally drawn to the daily rhythms of the shop and its loyal clientele, finding a renewed purpose within its walls. When Madeline’s professional life takes an unexpected turn, and when a handsome gardener upends all her preconceived notions, she questions her plans and her heart. She begins to envision a new path for herself and for her aunt’s beloved shop—provided the women’s best combined efforts are not too little, too late.” –

The saying is “you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover” but that’s what I did with this book. The first thing that drew me to The Printed Letter Bookshop was, in fact, the cover. I love everything about it; the books, the colors, the flowers, the lettering, and (especially) the black cat lounging at the top.  I was thrilled when I was notified by BookSparks that I was chosen to take part in the #ReadAroundTown photo challenge and that they would be sending me a copy of The Printed Letter Bookshop to read and review!

Books about books and people who love to read books are probably one of my favorite types of stories to read. I feel that I have a deeper understanding of the characters within the pages as they often feel the same way I do about reading. I found the characters to be charming, eccentric, independent, and ones that I immediately latched onto.

I loved the fierce ambition that Madeline has. I mean, she inherited a bookshop from her aunt; she had zero idea how to run a bookshop but went into it with some much gusto that I was rooting for her the entire story. I loved quirky Janet and everything that she brought to the storyline; her story was heartbreaking and a reminder that, sometimes, one wrong decision can change a life. Then there was Claire, who I think I may have held a little closer than all of the others. Claire is strong and determined but despite what she thinks of herself, she is a terrific mother and has a lot to teach those around her. The author, Katherine Reay, did a phenomenal job in creating these characters that I truly believe anyone who reads this book will find a little bit of themselves nestled within the pages.  

The Printed Letter Bookshop lived up to all of my expectations and I am so glad that I did judge this book by its cover and I wasn’t wrong in doing so.

Thank you again to BookSparks for including in me in this challenge, and thank you to Katherine Reay for telling such a beautifully compelling story.

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