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Book Idea

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Booking Through Thursday asks:
If you could write a book, what would it be about, and why? (Though, of course, some of you already HAVE.)

I hope this doesn’t sound too clichéd because it does to me when I first conceived the idea to write a novel, in stream of consciousness, of a day at the bookstore. The book’s format would be reminiscent of the film Smoke, following the lives of multiple characters, all of whom are connected by their patronage of a bookstore like Shakespeare & Company in Paris. When I was in Paris last summer, I spent a lot of time lingering, browsing, poring and people-watching at the landmark. People in all colors and origins came and went, some were serious readers and others tourists who just wanted a snapshot of the bookstore. For three or fours days I paid my visit, I noticed they have a core clientele of regulars who arrived prepared with a list of books. Americans in Paris, wealthy wives, backpackers, foreign students—they all converge at this haven of books and call each other by first names. What are their stories? What brought them to Paris? Do their liaisons go beyond the threshold of the store? The book would pan into a day at the bookstore, with flashbacks of lives. I’ve got a few characters sketched in my mind. A rich woman comes in to buy books and falls in love with the owner. She’s sorta like Anna Karenina. Some old man, survivor of the Holocaust, died in the rabbit warren of the shelves—but the death was no accident….


7 Responses

  1. Write it! I find nothing pretentious about the idea at all and actually think the setting and it all occuring in one day sounds wonderful. I just finished a book where it took place over a course of 24 hours…found it delightful! Do it!

    • Thanks Staci. The challenge of writing a book where it takes place over a day is the characterization. I need to work on the characters on my notebooks before I can write the story.

  2. Plots are irrelevant. Sure a novel as you described could work, providing you could pull off the characters. Unless you are going for something extremely experimental you’d have the make the characters more than types. That’s where it gets tricky — getting people to live on the page. I like that you’re planning a mysterious death — that could be the piece that holds it together. Good thing you said a bookstore “like” Shakespeare — recreating it as a fictional place gives you infinitely more freedom, but of course you’d be creating the bookstore itself as a character. You could also report your progress on this blog. Good luck.

    • Characters are difficult to pull off since the actual book takes place within a window of one day. I just though the death would be a good device to connect these characters. Bookstore can be an ideal one that I visualize, not necessarily any that I have been. Thank you for your input. 🙂

  3. Oh please do go on….I would be a willing reader!

  4. Sounds like wonderful idea for a book and it would make a great movie too!

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