The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians: Their stories are better than the bestsellers

The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians: Their stories are better than the bestsellers

The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians: Their stories are better than the bestsellers

The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians: Their stories are better than the bestsellers

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Instant New York Times*Bestseller!

This “celebration of the world of books” (Kirkus) is “a real page turner!” (Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan) that "feels like a love letter" (USA Today) to booksellers and*librarians-as told to the greatest storyteller of our time, James Patterson.

To be a bookseller or librarian...
You have to play detective.*
Be a treasure hunter. A matchmaker. An advocate. A visionary.*
A person who creates “book joy” by pulling a book from a shelf, handing it to someone and saying, “You've got to read this. You're going to love it.”
Step inside*The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians*and enter a world where you can feed your curiosities, discover new voices, find whatever you want or require. This place has the magic of rainbows and unicorns, but it's also a business. The book business. *
Meet the smart and talented people who live between the pages-and who can't wait to help you find your next favorite book.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians is very touching and beautifully crafted. It is like having the James Patterson Storytelling Fairy Dust sprinkled down upon you and your life. No wait, it IS having the James Patterson Storytelling Fairy Dust sprinkled down upon you and your life!”—Nina Barrett, Owner, Bookends & Beginnings

“I’m thrilled to be included in James Patterson’s The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians. James Patterson was kind enough to come to one of the early Mystery Writers Conferences at the bookstore. I was so in awe of him that I could barely get the courage to speak. In this book, he makes me look smarter than I am. I love it!”—Elaine Petrocelli, President and Co-owner, Book Passage

“A celebration of the world of books. ... and the deep satisfaction of creating a vibrant community for readers. A compendium of warm recollections."—Kirkus

"A lighthearted compendium of first-person reflections from librarians and booksellers about their work and passion for literature... comfort food for bookworms."—Publishers Weekly

Library Journal


Prolific novelist Patterson has collaborated once again with Eversmann (they previously coauthored Walk in My Combat Boots: True Stories from America's Bravest Warriors) to compile a varied selection of brief personal histories written by librarians and bookstore owners across the United States and Canada. Taken and read collectively as a whole—as opposed to focusing on individual stories—this volume is both moving and compelling. Readers will learn how librarians and booksellers interact with patrons, cope with financial and political challenges, delight in connecting reluctant readers to books, rise to the challenge of finding obscure volumes, savor celebrity appearances, and generally take pleasure in the everydayness of their work. All of the contributors are, of course, avid readers themselves, and their enthusiasm for books is contagious. Patterson and Eversmann document the business side of books as well. VERDICT A noteworthy addition to the literature lauding the foot soldiers involved in getting books out to readers. A good complement to Debbie Berne's The Design of Books.—Ellen Gilbert

School Library Journal


A collection of personal stories from various types of librarians and booksellers across the U.S.; Patterson and Eversmann have pulled together numerous musings from these professionals about their lives with books. A common thread comes through clearly—they love their jobs because they love books. Several of the librarians speak directly to the current state of book banning, offering stories and stating their conviction in the freedom to read. While the volume of entries is impressive, it does start to feel repetitive: in most, the person shares when they first remember loving books, their path to their current job, an anecdote from on the job, and why they love what they do. After awhile, no matter the person or the role, it starts to sound the same. While it might be this way by design, to show the common bond, readers' eyes may start to glaze over. The book is divided into five parts, but with no explanation of these or delineation of themes, it seems arbitrary. Those unfamiliar with the book business will find this volume informative as well as interesting. For others, this will serve as a way to reignite their passion for books and find camaraderie among like-minded colleagues. VERDICT An interesting though repetitive roundup of stories from booksellers and librarians that will make readers feel the passion behind the professions.—Florence Simmons

Kirkus Reviews

A celebration of the world of books.

Patterson, Eversmann, and Mooney gather first-person testimonies from independent booksellers (including author Judy Blume, who started her Key West store when she was 78); booksellers at chain stores like Barnes & Noble; and school, college, private, and public librarians from around the U.S. and Canada. They reminisce about their early discovery of books, their passion to become a librarian, or the unexpected opportunities that gave them a chance to work in a bookstore and, for some, to own one. Despite the title, few of the contributors have had a secret life. Some, though, have unexpected backgrounds: One is the daughter of Holocaust survivors, who named her bookstore after a grandmother who perished in a concentration camp. Several are military veterans. Many became a librarian or bookstore owner after a different career—in real estate, as a newspaper reporter, or, in Blume’s case, after 50 years as a successful writer. All have upbeat, inspiring things to say about connecting books and readers, and they express real concerns about the “wildly dangerous” movement to ban books. Books, they know from firsthand observation, can change lives. A librarian in charge of jail and prison services at Rikers reveals, “[O]ne of my favorite programs is Daddy & Me, a workshop that gives incarcerated fathers the skills to encourage early literacy in their children.” The youth services program director of the Cleveland Public Library describes its system’s offerings: “Beyond organizing book and culture events, the youth services department is also a resource center for parents and educators, children and students, providing free lunches and after-school tutoring at all our branches.” The librarian at Houston’s Holocaust Museum runs a children’s story hour. All testify to the extraordinary camaraderie among bookstore owners and the deep satisfaction of creating a vibrant community for readers.

A compendium of warm recollections.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940159606334
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Publication date: 04/08/2024
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 311,461
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