- At the beginning of the story, Amelia says she is considering quitting online dating. How would you compare the act of buying books online to the act of dating online? Is it relevant to the story that Amelia meets her eventual husband in a very analog location, a bookstore?
- Consider the setting. Why do you think the author chooses to set the book on an island? How does the island setting reflect A.J.'s character?
- Perhaps oddly, vampires are a recurring motif in the story: for example, when A.J.'s wife throws the vampire prom and when A.J. watches True Blood to court Amelia. What do you make of the references to vampires?
- Lambiase moves from an occasional or nonreader, to a reader, to a bookseller. How do you think becoming a reader changes him? Consider the scene where he decides not to confront Ismay about the backpack. Do you think Lambiase's reaction is different than it would have been if he hadn't taken up reading?
- Did you find Ismay's motivations for stealing Tamerlane to be forgivable? How do you think she should pay for her crime? Why do you think Lambiase lets her off?
- At one point, Maya speculates that perhaps "your whole life is determined by what store you get left in" (page 85). Is it the people or the place that makes the difference?
- Compare Maya's "fiction" about the last day of her mother's life to Ismay's version. Which do you consider to be more accurate and why?
- What do you think the future holds for physical books and bookstores?
Sadly, I do have to announce that I need to take a break from hosting a monthly group read. My life is a bit too chaotic at the moment to fully commit to a specific book and what not right now. I'm trying to stay afloat with my current in person book club and possibly join another parenting one and well work is crazy and sadly right now this is what has to give. I may revisit it again in the new year or do it sporadically but right now I can't give it the attention and time that I have in the past.
Hope you have a fabulous weekend!