Wednesday, May 04, 2016

The Bookshop That Floated Away - Sarah Henshaw

Book Details

Book Title: The Bookshop That Floated Away

Author: Sarah Henshaw

Publisher: Constable 2014

Source: The library :D

Page Count: 260

Format: Non-Fiction (Narrative)

Genre: Narrow boating - Bookshop owning - Business...

Audience: Those who enjoy stories about boating and books :D

Summed up in one word: Dedication!!

Summary of the Book:

Sarah Henshaw is a bookseller, but no ordinary book seller! SH takes the business to new places when she opens 'The Book Barge'. 'The Book Barge' is a narrow boat called 'Joseph' who has been emptied of its prior facilities and turned into a floating bookshop. Sarah had been open 2 years and business was very up and down, so one day SH decides to plot a 6 month trip around the U.K with a mission to share the plight of independent booksellers with the masses.

In May 2011 SH left Burton-On-Trent and started her long and adventurous tour of the British Waterways. Sarah encounters many trials and tribulations, from the logistics of not actually having a bathroom aboard the narrow boat, people stalking her, drunkenness around boats to trading books for food and showers, battling locks, ancient trading laws and nearly sinking.

Share her journey in this awesome telling of one woman's attempt to bring her business to new levels, survive canals, open water and the many many locks between herself and her goal. You will not be disappointed, you will laugh, laugh some more then contemplate getting your own 'Joseph' and setting sail into a new way of life. Sarah has her critics in her life but she wants this to work and fights tooth and nail to get 'The Book Barge' around the U.K and home again.

Book Review:

There is not much reviewing to do here, this book is a very unique tale that tries not to take itself to seriously. Sarah Henshaw is one of my new heroes, she wanted something and she let nothing stand between her and Joseph. This book is funny, inspiring, happy, sad and empowering.

The book is split into 60 different bite-sized chapters that all contain bits and pieces of SH 's journey. It would take forever to describe what this poor lady suffers through to achieve her goals but she has a lot of fun doing so. I loved the anecdotes, stories and the fact that she threaded through references from her favourite authors and related them to her situation as she went along. I thought this brought extra character to what she was describing and I learned some nice little pieces of trivia and facts about authors and important figures, including Peter-the-Great but I won't spoil that.

My favourite part was the chapters written in 'Joseph's' perspective, I thought that was very amusing and quite potent and important. It brought some additional craziness to proceedings and gave a fresh details to prior events. But the rest of the book is just as bizarre and I found myself reading this quite quickly as I wanted to know how her business ended up and what she has planned for the future.

Seriously take the time to read this book, it is one of many books I have discovered that are maintaining the importance of bookshops and their influence on us readers.

I will continue to search for books that reflect on books and their magic like this one does and then I will share them with you.


If you enjoyed this review or book then I have also reviewed The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell which is another great piece on the magic of bookshop culture. Add me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads or see our Reviews on Amazon UK/US and have a great day!!!

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