Penelope Fitzgerald (1978)
A “veddy” British little novel about a woman who decides to open a bookshop in her small seaside town, only to learn the hard way that it was never a welcome idea. Good sense of place and character, but depressing throughout–kind of permeated the story, like the dampness in the old house turned into a bookshop.
Interesting to compare this book with 84 Charing Cross Road. While the central location of each is a bookshop, 84 is infused with a real love of books; in Bookshop, books are merely a commodity. You never get a sense that the main character enjoys books or even reads them.