Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore
Mr. Penumbra's twenty-four hour bookstore
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The protagonist, Clay Jannon, is hired by San Francisco independent bookstore owner -- Mr Penumbra -- to retrieve books from 10 pm to 6 am, at the request of long time bookstore customers holding an unusual interest in highly obscure volumes. Clay has never heard of any of these book titles, which are never purchased, only loaned.
When Clay examines one of these books, he sees page after page of unreadable encrypted characters, no spaces, no punctuation. Yet the customers return night after night, returning one book, and taking another.
The question is: Why?
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Neel takes a sharp breath and I know exactly what it means. It means: I have waited my whole life to walk through a secret passage built into a bookshelf.
Walking the stacks in a library, dragging your fingers across the spines -- it's hard not to feel the presence of sleeping spirits.
"...so many favors have passed between us now that they are no longer distinguishable as individual acts, just a bright haze of loyalty. Our friendship is a nebula."
Your life must be an open city, with all sorts of ways to wander in.
"We need James Bond with a library science degree."