Posted in Book Reviews, Posts

The Unknown Unknown; Bookshops And the Delight of Not Getting What You Want

Mark Forsyth – author of the Sunday Times Number One bestseller The Etymologicon – explores in this essay specially commissioned for Independent Booksellers Week, why Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy would never have met online, the pleasure of leafing through a dictionary, and why only a bookshop can give you what you never knew you were looking for.
Unknown Unknown
I’ve never really read any essays like this, not all the way through at least, and definitely not outside of school. So it was interesting to read something really different and out of my comfort zone, particularly when it was an easy 25-page read. I was gifted it by my Gran, who is a massive book lover, and enjoys giving me odd little things like this.

I found the topic of it really fun to read; bookshops are a wonderful, magical place, and I’m glad there’s an author who appreciates that! I never really analyse what I’m shopping for when I’m in a bookshop, so it was strange (in a good way) to see someone who had done all that thinking. Then he made me think of it all myself. It should make my next book shopping experience different!

My favourite thing was his style of writing, including all the references to his real life examples. There were book that everyone knows, books that only he knows, and stories that he obviously loved telling. He was obviously really passionate about what he was writing about, and I love that that was clear through his writing. It wasn’t a ‘scary’ essay like you’d expect. Instead, it was really personal, and he made it feel like a little chat between book lovers.

I’m not sure if this essay has convinced me to read more, but it certainly hasn’t put me off reading more. If this is something you’d usually enjoy, I’d definitely recommend it!

 Four Stars


I was a book blogger for a while, and I now blog about every little thing in life I can think of. Bear with me while I try all these new posts out... I'm a New Zealand teen who gets angry about the world (but not angry enough for tumblr). I like to capture the world through photos and words, and read in all the moments in nz-squadbetween. I have an overwhelming desire to see every corner of the world I possibly can, and hug the people I love in all those corners. I can't do make up to save myself, and you're more likely to find me buying matching stationary than matching clothes. My nerd hobbies include a new found love of the Avengers, reading YA, watching Game of Thrones, How I Met Your Mother, and every vlogger I can find, and being the last person on the music bandwagons. I have big plans for the rest of my life, including university, teaching, travelling, and having an army of puppies. I plan to blog every second of it!

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