Current Reads: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

Current Reads: Mr Penumbra
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
By: Robin Sloane
First published in 2012

Unemployed web designer Clay Jannon lands a new job working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. He soon realizes that something curious is going on in the quiet, dusty book emporium. The few fanatically committed customers never seem to actually buy anything; instead they simply borrow impossibly obscured volumes. The store must be a front for something larger, Clay concludes, and soon he has plugged in his laptop, roped in his friends, and embarked on a high-tech analysis of the customers’ behavior.


I was really interested when I started reading this book – I read the first few pages in the bookstore, then promptly bought it. The writing style seemed to promise a fun, easy read, something I could finish in a day or two. Also, I can relate to the unemployed graphic designer scenario, and wouldn’t say no to a job in a mysterious bookstore, myself! I started reading the book as soon as I got home, and in the beginning I was pretty into it – the setting of the bookstore with its dangerously high shelves and mysterious rules drew me in, and I liked the added aspect of technology with the main character being a web designer and the new girl he met working at Google. It seemed up my alley, and easy breezy.

Something happened in the middle of the book, though, and that’s where I am stuck now. At the moment, the story isn’t located at the bookstore, and it lost some of my interest. I don’t know, it might draw me in again later, but right now, where I am, I’m just slowly plowing through one page at a time. I’m not really interested in what is going on. In fact, I stopped reading this book for a few days and read another book in the meantime. I hoped to feel more invested when I returned to this, but meh, not happening yet. I’m still determined to finish, though, and I hope it picks up again.


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This post is linked at “WWW Wednesdays”, a weekly reading meme hosted by Should Be Reading. All the links take you to GoodReads.

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6 thoughts on “Current Reads: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

  1. I wasn’t pleased with the turns that this book made too. I really liked the beginning and then I got a bit bored. If I remember, I still liked the book okay. It just wasn’t what I was expecting.

  2. Oh, I hate it when that happens. Sometimes it completely throws me off reading altogether because I still want to finish the book but can only get through a tiny bit at a time before getting bored.
    Lynn :D

    • Yes, sometimes that happens to me, too. Especially if the book is long – this is thankfully very short. I think I was saved by reading another book in the middle of this – a book that I flew threw in a day! I’ll write a review of that soon.

    • I just learned Mr. Penumbra was first written as a short story, then expanded into a novel. I’ll try reading the short story after I finish this – the story might be better as more concise.

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