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3 Reasons to Love "Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore"
October 9, 2012 - 9:00pm

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel by Robin Sloan

Published in October of 2012.

We have too few books that feature designers who work in 24 hour (potentially magical) bookstores who can program in Ruby and who are obsessed with fantasy literature and data visualization.

If this sentence describes your views, then you should immediately download Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore.

3 reasons why our technologically savvy book obsessed IHE community will love this book:

#1: Who Hasn't Dreamed of a 24 Bookstore?: Sure, Amazon is great - but I want to go somewhere with other people to buy my books at 2:00am. Many of you work at places where the library stays open 24 hours. I'm sure you can attest to the magical and mysterious goings on in the late hours.  

#2: One of the Main Characters Works for Google:  Are there other books that feature Google's book scanning equipment? How many novels utilize Hadoop, Amazon's Mechanical Turk, and Google's massive processing power as a central plot device? We should have more adventures inside the Googolplex.

#3: Data Visualization and Ruby Programming: This is a novel about ancient books, obsessive readers, old bookstores, eccentric book clerks, unbreakable codes, and inscrutable secret societies. Sloan manages to write fluently (and hilariously) about book culture and technology culture - as the characters move across these worlds in order to solve the book's central mystery.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is also the first novel that I read with my new Kindle Paperwhite (a first generation Kindle make an appearance in the story), and I think the elegance of this e-reader added to my enjoyment of the book. 

The beautiful lighted screen, fast and easy page turning, and clear font make reading with the Kindle Paperwhite feel almost magical.  

An example where the content and device merge into a superior experience. Amazon should give this book away with every new Kindle Paperwhite.

What (fiction) are you reading?


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