Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bouchercon 2011: The insomniacs' (fictional) bookstore

Gianrico Carofiglio's protagonist, Guido Guerrieri, sometimes visits a bookstore called Osteria Caffe Latte when he can't sleep. That establishment is a Bari bookshop run by an insomniac who opens his doors around 10 at night, closes them around six in the morning, then finally falls asleep in the apartment upstairs as the rest of Bari is well into its daily business.

At times in my life I'd gladly have lived in such a place, and the prospect is still enticing. Alas, unlike the midlife crisis and legal detail so much parts of the Guerrieri novels, this bookstore/coffeeshop/nocturnal refuge is fiction, Carofiglio says.  I'd have been ready to make pilgrimage, if not to sign a long-term lease.

What sort of commercial establishment do you most wish were open twenty-four hours a day?
***
Gianrico Carofiglio was a member of my panel "A QUESTION OF DEATH: HOW IMPORTANT IS WHODUNIT?"  at Bouchercon 2011.

© Peter Rozovsky 2011

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16 Comments:

Blogger seana said...

Oh, I'd take a bookstore with a coffee shop, all right. But it would have to be right downstairs. And one I didn't already work in.

September 20, 2011  
Blogger Fred said...

Peter,

Now that sounds interesting. A place for insomniacs.

September 20, 2011  
Anonymous I.J.Parker said...

I sleep at night, and if I can't sleep, I read in bed. Going out is too much trouble. However, I like all stores to be open at all times. I don't observe weekend schedules.

September 20, 2011  
Blogger pattinase (abbott) said...

A library, a hardware store, a nearby pharmacy.

September 20, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana, if I remember correctly, the books leave open the possibility that one floor in the building remains unaccounted for. Perhaps the owner would be willing to rent an apartment there to some deserving person.

September 20, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Fred, a store like that is fantasy for insomniacs or people who keep odd schedules. I would love to unwind there instead of at a bar after a night of work.

September 20, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I.J., some of us are already out at odd hours and would love to stop off for a quick browse rather than a quick drink.

September 20, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

A library if an item is out of stock at the bookstop?

A 24-hour hardware store would be a natural for a big city. I wonder if such a thing exists. Or maybe we could combine one with the all-night bookshop and call it Wrench 'n' Read.

September 20, 2011  
Anonymous I.J.Parker said...

Umm, about the topic of the panel: Are you going to let us in on how important the whodunit is to the plot? It sounds as though they took up the traditional puzzle approach in this. That's pretty much outdated for me.

September 20, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I.J., I'll report on the panels and post some pictures once I get home and settled. Suffice it to say that we disposed of the whodunnit question early, only to return to it at the end at Agnete Friis' insistence.

How important is whodunnit? Not at all, she said. Very, said Anders Roslund, but without the question mark. Whodunnit, in the sense of the guilty parties' identities, is vital, he said, though whodunnit? in the sense of a traditional puzzle is not.

September 20, 2011  
Blogger Dana King said...

Mattress stores should be open all night, for those who lack foresight.

Your whodunnit panel was the one I think I missed most by not being able to go this year. I'm looking forward to your write-up.

September 20, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Well, the counterargument might be that if you haven't fallen asleep by four in the morning, a new mattress won't help.

The write-ups are likely to emerge in dribs and drabs over the next few weeks, starting, perhaps, in a few hours.

September 20, 2011  
Blogger Bill Selnes said...

Peter: Most Canadian large city bookstores are open from about 10:00 in the morning to 9:00 or 10:00 at night. I have often thought that, considering the habits of readers such as myself, they would be better served open noon to midnight.

September 20, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Bill: Thanks for the comment. I'll check out your site. I read Canadian mysteries from time to time, but I've read none from Saskatchewan. Nor have visited Canadian bookstores outside Montreal or Toronto, at least not in recent years. But people read late at night, so why not a place for them to buy books at night, a kind pajama party for adults?

September 20, 2011  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

A corner bookstore in my neighborhood, with lots of fiction, especially mysteries, including global and translated books, with a section with all types of coffee and tea -- and biscotti, and other assorted Italian and other snacks. Also, comfortable chairs in which one can read for hours, and tables for imbibing while reading.

And where hanging out and chatting is pervasive, perhaps about the books being read.

September 21, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Kathy, that sounds very much like Gianrico Carofiglio's fictional booktore.

September 21, 2011  

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