Teaser Tuesday // Mr. Penumbras 24-Hour Book Store

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First chapter, first paragraph intros, now hosted by Yvonne at Socrates’ Booknreviews, where bloggers share excerpts from a book they have read, are currently reading, or are planning to read. 

Mr. Penumbras 24-Hour Book Store a Novel by: Robin Sloan

First chapter, first paragraph:

Lost in the shadows of the shelves, I almost fall off the ladder. I am exactly halfway up. The floor of the bookstore is far below me, the surface of a planet I’ve left behind. The tips of the shelves loom high above, and it’s dark up there- the books are packed in close, and they don’t let any light through. The air might be thinner, too. I think I see a bat.

I am holding on for dear life, one hand on the ladder, the other on the lip of a shelf, fingers pressed white. My eyes trace a line above my knuckles, searching the spines – and there, I spot it. The book I’m looking for.

But let back up.


“You have come to a very special place,” he says, lowering himself into a chair. We sit, too, negotiating the folds of our new robes. His voice is very quiet, barely audible above the sun: “You must never speak of it, or reveal its location, to anyone.”

We all nod together. Neel whispers, “This is amazing.”

“Oh, it is not room that is special,” Penumbra says. “It is old, certainly. But any vault is the same: a sturdy chamber, built belowground, cold and dry. Unremarkable.” He pauses. “It is the room’s contents that are remarkable indeed.”

What do you think, would you keep reading?



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