Stories, Advice, and Observations

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Pub Date 07 May 2024 | Archive Date 07 May 2024
Chronicle Books, Princeton Architectural Press

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A love letter to the small shop, and shop owners everywhere, by beloved bookseller Peter Miller.

“There is a tradition of shopkeeping, a tradition of codes, etiquette, and customs. For the most part, it is an oral history, passed along, person to person. You learn to be a retailer—not by going to college, but by going to work. You learn from people who have learned how to run a shop.” [from the Introduction]

For more than four decades, Peter Miller has run a design bookshop that shares his name in Seattle. He has also written three of his own books, manuals about cooking and about food and about eating together. In this love letter to his day job, Miller writes for the first time about his other love: shopkeeping.

Miller crafts stories from the bookshop floor with wry humor and skillful storytelling. Readers are taken on a shopkeeping journey and will come to understand along the way that small shops characterize our towns and cities, making them unique, special, and worth visiting and living near. This essay collection is for shop lovers everywhere and captures the art and heart of running a local shop treasured by the community that surrounds it. By the end, you can’t help wanting to own a shop.

A love letter to the small shop, and shop owners everywhere, by beloved bookseller Peter Miller.

“There is a tradition of shopkeeping, a tradition of codes, etiquette, and customs. For the most part...

Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781797228761
PRICE $24.95 (USD)

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Average rating from 11 members

Featured Reviews

such a cozy read!! highlights what goes into owning and managing a shop, and what owners expect/think of customers, as well as how different cultures view shops. this would be so perfect to read when sitting on a bench in a small town on a cool fall day, holding a coffee and able to look around to see shops surrounding you.
i enjoyed the author’s anecdotes and opinions, and how they were woven in with facts throughout the novel. overall so well written and really interesting, not to mention eye-opening to those of us who have never given a second thought to how retail works.

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This book would have been perfect to read while I was in my favorite coffee shop. It’s a warm and comfy book, but it would have been interesting to look up at the shop and see what they were doing compared to what the author was saying.

I enjoyed this, with my main problem being it was too short. The thoughts on shops are endless, so a few more chapters would have been great.

I recommend reading this one, in your favorite place to read and happily enjoy this well written and informative. Then maybe do what I did afterwards, and imagine what your shop would be.

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. All opinions are my own.

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a light read, a feel-good learning about other people kind of book, stories that I always wondered about.

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This book is chocolates, a bouquet of roses, and a love letter to the people who have always been there when we need something, shopkeeps

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It was a really quick read and I enjoyed his ideas for being a shopkeeper as well as his stories from shops around the world.

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Do you ever read books that make you want to give them a hug when you're done? This book is very short but I'm savoring it, because the shopkeeper in question is writing a detailed love letter to this entire way of life.
After you read this, you will look at a well maintained store in a whole new light. The writer goes through the process of maintaining a store, making changes, adding inventory, and most importantly, creating the mood. Everything in his store is placed where it belongs and inventory is chosen to improve the aesthetic, not necessarily because it would seem logical to someone unfamiliar with the store. This was amazing.
Thanks to NetGalley for letting me read this

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Gosh, this is a treasure trove of thoughtful advice from an experienced shopkeeper. "A shopkeeper puts on essentially the very same show each day."

As a shopkeeper myself, it was really sweet to know that my experiences are universal, and there is always a way to grow and improve and learn.

This is one I would love to have on my shelf to reference in the future, in the varying seasons of retail.

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A beautifully penned and honest account of what it means to be a shopkeeper.

Although, I've never personally visited Peter Miller books, after reading this, I feel as if I'm a longtime and loyal patron. Turning the pages, I learned the stories of the shop, the intentionality of the design, and the tireless efforts and profound dedication of the proprietor.

Highly recommended if you are a lover of books and independently owned bookstores.

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A cozy little book and - as advertised! - a true love letter to shopkeeping. The kind of book to be savored over a cup of tea in your favorite cafe. I appreciated and admired Peter Miller's enthusiasm; while at times his opinions struck me as a bit rigid and paternalistic, I found his passion infectious, so much so that the first thing I did after finishing was look up the website for his bookstore. (I have to admit I was taken aback by how poorly designed it was - I fully understand and agree with his preference for physical spaces, but given how meticulously he seems to care for the brick-and-mortar store, I was surprised to find so little effort applied to the digital one!) Thanks to Chronicle Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

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This is a lovely exploration of various angles of shopkeeping. I love the thoughtfulness and broad range of topics. This book has changed the way I see shops and shopkeeping.

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