Mystery Monday: The Haunted Bookshop


THIS SHOP IS HAUNTED by the ghosts
Of all great literature, in hosts;

We sell no fakes or trashes.
Lovers of books are welcome here,
No clerks will babble in your ear,

Please smoke–but don’t drop ashes!
Browse as long as you like.
Prices of all books plainly marked.
If you want to ask questions, you’ll find the proprietor
where the tobacco smoke is thickest.
We pay cash for books.
We have what you want, though you may not know you want it.

Malnutrition of the reading faculty is a serious thing.

Let us prescribe for you.


(From The Haunted Bookshop)


Tomorrow is the autumnal equinox, which maybe explains why I’ve started to “draw in,” if only mentally. I love a bit of cozy: warm fires, woven blankets, and books. Books that ooze indoor comforts and give me a little excuse to put the kettle on just a few more times a day.

One of the best for doing this is my old friend The Haunted Bookshop. Written in 1919 (handy because the book is now in the public domain) by Christopher Morley, it features a suspenseful little mystery that’s really just a vehicle to let our hero, bookstore owner Roger Mifflin, extol the power and wonder of books. There are plenty of warm fires to be had in this Brooklyn shop, and Mr. Mifflin would be happy for you to join him in front of one. I come every year and he’s always happy to see me.

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