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Build a Perfect Bookstore and We’ll Recommend a Book for You

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Emily Martin

Contributing Editor

Emily has a PhD in English from the University of Southern Mississippi, MS, and she has an MFA in Creative Writing from GCSU in Milledgeville, GA, home of Flannery O’Connor. She spends her free time reading, watching horror movies and musicals, cuddling cats, Instagramming pictures of cats, and blogging/podcasting about books with the ladies over at #BookSquadGoals (www.booksquadgoals.com). She can be reached at emily.ecm@gmail.com.

As book lovers, we’ve all had that dream of setting our current careers aside and opening up our own bookstores. There’s a certain romance and fantasy to the idea of owning a bookstore, isn’t there? And yeah, we all know in the back of our heads that there are business-related realities to owning any kind of store, even a cozy little bookshop. We can acknowledge that.

But let’s get back to the fantasy, because that’s more fun. When you enter a bookstore, there’s something that’s kind of magical about it. It’s the atmosphere. It’s just being surrounded by other people who are dazzled by books as much as you are. And it’s the books themselves, and the way that every time you step into a bookstore, you might be about to walk out with a new favorite you didn’t even know you needed.

So let’s fully enter the fantasy and make our own bookstores, shall we? Forget all the practicalities and just focus on building your perfect bookstore. The bookstore you design here will say a lot about what you love most about books. And based on the decisions you make, I’ll recommend a book for you that you’ll love. Have fun!

Wondering what other results you could have gotten? Check these out!

never ever getting back together book cover

Never Ever Getting Back Together by Sophie Gonzales

Your bookstore is just so cozy, and maybe you even have Taylor Swift’s Midnights playing over the speakers. So pick up a cute YA romance novel like this one. Two years ago, Maya dumped her boyfriend Jordy after he cheated on her. But the guy just won’t get out of her life, no matter how hard Maya tries to shake him. So why would Maya accept an invitation to be a contestant on Second Chance Romance, a new reality show in which Jordy will re-date his ex-girlfriends in an effort to find “the one that got away”? Revenge, of course. Maya knows if she can just make it to the end, she can reject Jordy and publicly humiliate him. The only problem with Maya’s plan? Skye: the beautiful, charismatic girl Jordy cheated on her with.

the wilderwomen book cover

The Wilderwomen by Ruth Emmie Lang

Your bookstore celebrates whimsy and probably smells like magic and candles. Grab a copy of Ruth Emmie Lang’s latest The Wilderwomen. Zadie Wilder can see what’s coming before it happens, which means she should have known her mother was going to disappear. But not even her psychic abilities could save Nora Wilder. Zadie’s estranged sister Finn can’t see the future, but she has an uncannily good memory, and is even able to remember the memories of others. One day, Zadie gets a memory that she knows belongs to her mother, so she must still be alive somewhere.

someday maybe book cover

Someday, Maybe by Onyi Nwabineli

Your bookstore carries all the latest and greatest new literary and contemporary fiction novels that everyone’s going to be talking about. So you need to read this one ASAP! Someday, Maybe is an emotional novel about loss and love. It’s the story of a young woman who is mourning the loss of her husband after he dies by suicide. Thankfully, she has the support of her new friends, her tight-knit Nigerian family, and the memories of the love and laughter she shared with her husband.

secluded cabin sleeps six book cover

Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six by Lisa Unger

Your bookstore is cool and trendy (in a good way)! And what’s trendier than the latest twisty thriller? This winter, it’s going to be all about Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six. In this locked-room thriller, three couples rent a luxury cabin in the woods for a restful, restorative weekend getaway. But with a deadly storm brewing, this relaxing retreat is about to become a nightmare. And as the guests learn the truth of the cabin’s storied past, their own deep, dark secrets are revealed. Meanwhile, someone among them is planning revenge. But who?

cover of White Horse by Erika T. Wurth; photo of young Indigenous woman's face and reflective sunglasses

White Horse by Erika T. Wurth

Your bookstore has a darker vibe, which means you should grab a book like White Horse. This book follows 35 year old Kari James, an Indigenous woman living in Denver, CO. When Kari’s cousin Debby finds an old family bracelet, the bracelet calls up the ghost of Kari’s dead mother. But something else more sinister and monstrous is awakened as well. Now Kari must dig up her past to discover what happened to her mother all those years ago, even if no one else is able (or willing) to help her.

And since you love bookstores, be sure to also check out the 15 Most Instagrammed Bookstores in the World and Indie Bookstores You Can Shop At From Anywhere!