The story follows Sarah Henshaw as she buys a narrow boat, converts it into a bookshop and then decides to travel around the canals of England for 6 months selling books. What a romantic vision! As someone who loves books, the water and travel, this book instantly appealed to my inner self who always wants a new adventure.
What made this book so entertaining was the author and her knack for telling a great story. When reading the book, she instantly came across as though she was your best friend telling you a story from a wild night out over wine. I felt like I was on the adventure with her! On her journeys she met some interesting people and often bartered books for food, a bed to sleep in overnight, a haircut or other such necessities- so in a way it documented a return to a more simple life where people would exchange goods for services.
This book also highlights the plight of independent bookshops as they fight to compete with chain stores and supermarkets who can offer much more competitive prices due to the fact they can buy in bulk. Sarah Henshaw is a champion for independent booksellers and the book highlighted the importance of discovering your local independent bookstore and supporting it.
I absolutely loved this book and I highly recommend it to readers. It has inspired me to visit my local independent bookstores in Edinburgh. Since the author's voyage, 'The Book Barge' has changed its specialization to designing and selling little libraries to private homes and public spaces. If I'm ever down in England, I hope to one day visit it!
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