The Last Bookstore in America
A comic novella about the future of books and bookstores.
Nothing is what it seems in the offbeat and out-of-the-way town of Eureka, California. Shrouded in fog and hidden behind a curtain of redwoods, this rundown mill town is home to a peculiar cast of characters, a unique homegrown horticultural industry, and one of the last bookstores in America.
No one is more surprised by the unlikely survival of the Firebreathing Dragon than Lewis Hartman, its newest owner. By the time his uncle Sy died and left the bookstore to Lewis, even the most ardent bibliophiles had abandoned printed books in favor of a charming and highly literate digital device called the Gizmo. Bookstores all over the country had closed their doors. But somehow, the Firebreathing Dragon has kept going.
Lewis and his wife Emily find themselves in the unlikely position of owning one of the last bookstores in America. But how has the Firebreathing Dragon managed to survive the death of the book? And if it isn't keeping itself afloat selling books, what is it selling? Reporters, federal agents, and corporate executives out to salvage their own imperiled industries all converge on the bookstore to uncover its secrets. What they discover is a small town that has fallen under the spell of the Firebreathing Dragon's unique offerings.
In this short work of fiction, bestselling author and bookstore owner Amy Stewart takes an offbeat and lighthearted look at small-town life and the future of that marvelous two thousand year-old communication device, the printed book.
Availability: Sold as an ebook from most major ebook retailers.
Read Amy's New York Times op-ed about truth and fiction in Last Bookstore in America
A discussion between Amy Stewart and Paul Collins about the writing life.