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The Bookshop That Floated Away (2014)

by Sarah Henshaw(Favorite Author)
3.11 of 5 Votes: 4
1472108051 (ISBN13: 9781472108050)
review 1: I kept waiting for this spoiled brat to grow up and be a HARD-WORKING independent bookseller. She has such disdain for JOBS and those who work hard at those jobs, yet she has no compunction about CONTINUING to sponge off those who do work hard at jobs (her parents, her boyfriend, her friends, and so forth). This story is not about a young girl being supported by loved ones in pursuit of some great dream. It's about a woman almost in her thirties who flits about and does not bother to learn how to care for her boat properly or run a business half decently. As she described a friend and herself, they are "picking up a different finger food every five minutes and exclaiming over every cocktail sausage or blini: 'This will sate my appetite...No this will.' If she wants to find... more what passion in life is going to sate her in life, she should do it on her own dime. Even at the final page, she has refused to run her business in a way that is not going to collect more debt. In fact, her way to deal with bills is to ignore them. She is not entirely alone in the blame because her parents and boyfriend continue to enable her. And now...I have joined in enabling Sarah Henshaw through the purchase of her book (to my regret). The irony is that I did so on the recommendation of an independent bookseller I respect and who has always done her best by her employees and patrons in how she runs her business.
review 2: A wonderful true story of slightly thick-headed entrepreneurship. Sarah Henshaw, with very little funds, research or planning decided to open a bookshop - a risky enough business these days, but to make things even harder for herself, she decided to open her bookshop in a narrow boat, and take it on tour across the country. This book is the tale of that tour. The boat is a wonderful and romantic ideal - trading books for a shower or a slice of Victoria sponge conjures such a beautiful image, but the writing style took me a while to get used to, this is a book of tangents, and stories not in chronological order - like trying to ask your mum about her holiday. But the story was interesting enough to keep me focused. Part two of the book, in its own, slightly insane way was able to give a bit more chronological context to what had happened so far - but I really can't decide if I loved that part, for the different way it was written, or if it is just plain bizarre.I definitely enjoyed this book. It didn't change my life, but every time I pass a canal I'll be keeping my eyes open, looking for Sarah and Joseph, to thank them for the story, and for their work to keep the bookshop alive. less
Reviews (see all)
Awe- and envy-inspiring account of one woman's quest to bring books to the waterways of the UK.
Fun, full of great literacy quotes and ideas, and just a tad nostalgic.
3.5 stars.
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