Bookish: Pretending I Run a Book Shop

Like many readers, I sometimes fantasise about running my own book shop — being able to pick the books to order, helping customers find just the right book to read, organising to my heart’s content. (Some of this, perhaps, is influenced by the number of times my mum watched You’ve Got Mail when I was a teenager.) Most recently, Nickie and I talked about how amazing it would be to convert a lighthouse into a bookshop and combine my two loves!

I’m sure the reality is a lot more hard work than the fantasy. And sadly, The Open Book — an Airbnb where you can run a book shop (and blog about it) for the duration of your stay — is presumably still booked up several years into the future.

In the meantime, I write a book blog, and so I decided that I was within my rights to set myself up as an affiliate on, an ‘online bookshop with a mission to financially support local, independent bookshops’. Not only do I potentially stand to make a small commission if anyone buys books from via my affiliate link, but I also get to curate my own book lists!

I’ve started with two categories. Lighthouse Books is a collection of books with lighthouses on the cover, or which feature lighthouses in content in some way. (You can read more about my interest in lighthouses in this post.) I haven’t added the lighthouse books I’ve yet to read, but I do have at least three sitting on my shelf waiting for me to get to them!

Homelover’s Tales is my list of books that I’d like to live in. Were I to visit The Open Book, this would be one of the displays I would put out. I would print out some of the beautiful descriptions of homes to ornament the display of these titles. Starting, always, with ‘In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.’

I’ll definitely add more lists over time. I want to add a list of fantasy heists, and my favourite fantasy novels, and possibly the creepy Agatha Christie books that send chills up my spine. Even if nobody every buys anything from list, or clicks on any of my affiliate links, I’ve enjoyed pretending that I run a book shop, even if it is a virtual one!

Bookish: The Lies of Locke Lamora Wallet

I’ve needed a new wallet for a long time as my current one tends to lose coins between the folds. When I saw the wallet listings on Shop for Reading Addicts, I liked several of them, but none of them were quite perfect. So when I saw that I could get a custom order, I was immediately excited.

The Gentleman Bastard Sequence by Scott Lynch are probably my favourite books, though as I type that my mind is crowded with other candidates. Nonetheless, I love these books. And they are very appropriate books to make a wallet out of, concerned as they are with money and coins.

I reread all three books to find the perfect quotation, and asked SFRA if they could position it so that it wasn’t interrupted by the popper. I was somewhat dubious they’d be able to do that — but they came through!

Delivery took a good long while, understandably given the current circumstances, but I’m thrilled with it!

Bookish: Books with Lighthouses on the Cover

I don’t remember when my interest in lighthouses actually started. I know it was before university, because I used to tell my friends N and G that one day I wanted to live in a lighthouse. (N wanted to live in a narrowboat, and G wanted to live in a hot air balloon. We were an eccentrically ambitious lot.) Over the years, it’s become my thing, to the extent that people buy me (much appreciated) lighthouse trinkets, or recommend additions to my collection of books with lighthouses on the cover. A has even promised that if I read enough books with lighthouses on the cover, and rate them, she’ll do me some kind of spreadsheet!


This is my collection as it currently stands – five books I have physical copies of, all of which have lighthouses on the cover. I haven’t read them all yet, but I hope to review all of them in time, as well as keep adding to my collection. I’ll be reviewing The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Cherry Radford soon, and I’ll do a special tag or category for lighthouse books.