Monday, June 30, 2014

The Prequel to Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

Seriously, I didn't see this coming !
I was queueing at the counter of Kinokuniya Bookstore last Sat, and looking at the shelves nearby almost absent-mindedly while chit-chatting with my incredible about some anime light novels.  Out of a sudden, this book caught my attention.

First the cover, then the title :
1969 -
24-hour bookstore -
Penumbra -
Prequel ?

Without hesitation, not even browsing, I asked my incredible grabbed me a copy.  I love the first printed book Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore.
Definitely, I will love this one too.

I was right.

It tells the story of Mr. Penumbra’s first trip to San Francisco—and of how he got entangled with the city’s most unusual always-open enterprise ......
San Fransisco, 1969. The summer of drugs, music and a new age dawning. A young, earnest Ajax Penumbra has been given his first assignment as a Junior Acquisitions Officer – to find a single surviving copy of the Techne Tycheon, a mysterious first volume that has brought and lost great fortune for anyone who has owned it. After a few weeks of rigorous hunting, Penumbra feels no closer to his goal than when he started. But late one night, after another day of dispiriting dead ends, he stumbles upon a 24-hour bookstore and the possibilities before him expand exponentially. With the help of his friend’s homemade computer, an ancient map, a sunken ship and the vast shelves of the 24-hour bookstore, Ajax Penumbra might just find what he’s seeking…

There are questions and answers with the author at the end of the book which I appreciate :

3. Technology is obviously having a huge impact on daily life, particularly in the world of publishing. What do you feel literature can do for technology and vice versa?
I would reframe the question slightly, because technology and literature have been fused together from the beginning of both. Books themselves are a technology - a hugely successful one - and so the emergence of things like tablets and e-readers is less of a grand reckoning and more an interesting development in a long-running saga. We only have the literature we have today because of technology. Or, to put it another way: technology is no stranger to the bookshop.

5.What would your bookshop of the future look like?
I don't think it looks that different from the very best bookstores of the present - but that's the key, isn't it? The very best. The great bookstores of 2014 do more than sell books: they serve as public spaces and gathering places. They organize events and convene conversations. In short, their shelves and their stock are only the beginning of what they have to offer, and that will only become more true as time goes on.

I wholeheartedly agree.  Book and technology surely can co-exist.

I myself like to take photos with my beloved Samsung mobile whenever I am on a trip or merely seeing something that interested me, and am not a bit satisfied just to share and view them on digital screen.  I got them printed out in book form.  Undoubtedly, I am able to to so with the help of modern technology - Photoshop to beautify the images and create the layouts, internet to transfer the image files over to the printer who in turn use Indigo Digital Press Machine to print them out.

I do believe we humans like to own somethings that are 'physical' for which we can touch, smell, taste and treasure.  That's why good stories originally published online will end up in book form. ^_^

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