A Novel Source, this morning and she had just posted about it. I found the title of the story itself intriguing - a 24 Hour Book Store!! - so I had to check it out for myself. The story can be found here for FREE to read - Stop by and read it!!!
Basically we have a story about a young man who has lost his job and has been searching for a new one, but in this economy, well, that is proving to be rather difficult. So he happens to come across a Help Wanted sign in a store front - specifically, the Twenty-Four-Hour bookshop located next to the strip club. He wanders inside and finds himself applying for the job and proving to Mr. Penumbra (bookshop owner) that he can indeed climb ladders and reach for books that are not within easy grasp. He lands the job and is told:
“This job has three requirements, each very strict.”
1) “You must always be here from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. exactly. You must not be late. You cannot leave early.”
2) “You may not read, examine, inspect, or otherwise touch any of the books in this store—unless you are retrieving it for a customer.”
3) “You must keep precise records of all purchases. Time. Amount. The customer’s appearance. His state of mind. How he asks for the book. How he receives it. Does he appear to be injured. Is he wearing a sprig of rosemary on his hat. And so on.”
Talk about strange rules - working in a book shop where you can not read any of the books! That would drive me BANANAS! And keeping tabs on the customers, hmmm, suspicious! Anyhow, suffice it to say that our protagonist winds up uncovering some interesting facts about the owner of the store, the customers and the logbook - all with the help of computers, Google and technology. Yes, this is a story about how modern day techno gadgets and jargon have started to influence and affect the book world/industry. And let me just say that it is done rather well. I absolutely loved reading this story! From the beginning, you become completely engaged with the character and his struggle in searching for a job and once he starts working for Mr. Penumbra, you can't help but want him to figure out this bookshop's mystery and the truth about Penumbra.
The writing is great and the characters are fun to read about and the story itself is original and creative. I would highly recommend that you stop on by at Robin Sloan's site to read this story NOW! Check it out when you have some spare time - it does not take long to read and well, its FREE, so why not just give it a go. I love reading about books, book stores, etc - so this was definitely my cup of tea. If you give it a read, let me know what you thought of it! Enjoy!!