Books & Mortar: A Celebration of the Local Bookstore

Books & Mortar: A Celebration of the Local BookstoreBooks & Mortar: A Celebration of the Local Bookstore
by Gibbs M. Smith
Rating: ★★★★
isbn: 9781423650430
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Pages: 152
Genre: Books and Reading
Publisher: Gibbs Smith

A visual feast celebrating the alluring power of bookstores - 68 paintings by illustrator Gibbs M. Smith.

The local bookstore, a place of wonder, refuge, and rejuvenation for book lovers the world over. Books & Mortar is a celebration of these literary strongholds. Sixty-eight oil paintings capture these storefronts at a moment in time, and pair the artwork with quotations about the joy of reading, the importance of bookstores, and in many cases, anecdotes about the shops and owners themselves.


I’m a sucker for these types of books, even though I know they date quickly, and I was feeling grumpy about my DNF and needed something easy and quick.

Based on the About this Author on the back page, I gather that this was a posthumous publication of primarily the author’s (who was also a publisher) personal paintings of bookstores around the country, put together as a memorial of sorts.  As such, some of the bookstores included had already closed (thought only a small number).  Most have some description about the history of each shop, some only a quotation.

The painting style appeals to me and I was delighted to see a section at the back for “bookshops I have visited” with each shop listed and a place to include the date, making this book a journal of sorts for anyone willing to write in a book.

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