Books for being trapped in a bookstore

I’m sure you’ve all seen the news of yet another person to be locked in a bookstore. David Willis was locked in the Waterstones in Trafalgar Square and instead of using Twitter to brag about all the awesome books he was reading (which would have been the only acceptable use in this case), he used it to tweet a cry for rescue.


What would be your plan of attack in that situation? If your answer in any way involves contacting the owner, then you’re not thinking big enough. You’re alone in a bookshop. With all the books. You don’t try and get out. You hope there’s no CCTV so you can stay the hell in. You’ve got reading to do my friend.

Inspired by Savidge Reads, here is the list of books I would read if I was lucky enough to find myself inside after the doors were locked. Although you should understand that my first hour (at the very least) would be spent running around in excited circles while I worked out where the start. And the next couple of hours would be spent reverently touching all of the books – admiring covers, reading blurbs, sniffing pages – the usual bookshop behaviours. Then I’d grab the four books I’m coveting at the moment (The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell, Amnesia by Peter Carey, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel and Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham), and ju    st have them near me all night – I wouldn’t read them, because these are the books I’m actually going to spend my hard-earned on – maybe I’ll buy them in the morning when the store opens (if I haven’t tried to claim squatter’s rights by then). I wonder if I get some sort of discount for keeping the store secure overnight?! Anyway, that’s by the by – on to the reading:

Cover by Peter Mendelsund – I really want to read this but I’m WAY too much of a tight ass to pay the big bucks for it, so this would be the perfect opportunity. Plus, I think that looking at lots of awesome pictures of books would be the perfect way to ease myself into a night of reading.

The Dept of Speculation by Jenny Offill – I’ve heard really good things about this, and I need to be realistic about my reading speed – there’s only so much I can get through in a night and this book is really small. Which also speaks to the side of me that hates paying full-price for small books.

Allegiant by Veronica Roth – I’ve been wanting to finish this series, but the holds line at the library is super long, and I haven’t liked the books enough to buy them.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell – another one with a shit-tonne of people in the library holds queue. I’m also a little dubious about buying it because Rowell only has a 50% success rate with me, so I’m not sure which side of the love/hate spectrum this will fall on.

St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell – I think short stories would be perfect for this scenario, because I could dip in and out over the course of the evening. Also, I promised myself that I would find a short story collection that I love or die trying, and so far I haven’t had much luck. While I enjoyed Homeland by Barbara Kingsolver, I certainly didn’t love it. Russell’s stories are supposed to be super strange and unique, so maybe I’ll have better luck with her.

After all of this revelling, I’m going to bet I’d be getting pretty tired, so I’d probably spend the hours I had left rereading an old favourite to keep me awake.

How would you fill your hours?

6 replies »

  1. I just love this post! I don’t have Twitter so no SOS from this girl! (I would send a mass text gloating though..and little threats telling people not to tell) But I would spend my hours running all over the place! Fingers on spines and book sniffing is a must. Percy Jackson would need to be with me though; I need my Demi God to keep me company. As for books I would read…I don’t know! My list goes on and on! I love browsing though. So I would probably add a lot of books to my ever growing TBR list 🙂


  2. I saw the news on Twitter and Waterstones is doing a competition where winners can sleepover at their Piccadilly store. So awesome that I decided to write about it.
    I need more time to think about the books if I were to spend a night in a book store. You have a great choice by the way. I like that you have a short story in your list 🙂


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