Monday, October 20, 2014

Tomes of Terror: Haunted Bookstores and Libraries by Mark Leslie

Release Date: September 27, 2014
Publisher: Dundurn Group

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

Libraries and bookstores are much-loved places among those who treasure the written word. As with any place that makes a huge impact on one's life, some chose not to leave once their time on earth is done. This book is filled with tales of those who stay for one reason or another, whether it be the company or a specific and beloved tome.

Mark Leslie combines his love of books with his love of the supernatural to give this listing of places that would delight ghost hunters and bookworms alike. Filled with history and tales of things that go bump in the night, this books gives its readers a taste of local legends from across Canada and the United States. Who knows? You might just find your beloved bookstore or childhood library among them!

While searching through the titles available for review at NetGalley, I found this gem of a book and had to request it. Not only did the book cover the supernatural, but it also visited a wide variety of both bookstores and libraries. Those places have always held a special place in my heart and probably will continue to do so for as long as I'm alive. After reading through this book, there's hope for my love of books to continue even after my physical years are through.

Whether your love extended to either books, the paranormal, or both, this book explored many places within Canada and the United States which have plenty to offer patrons. Each library or bookstore received its own section or chapter, filled with details such as the building's history as well as some of the ghostly occurrences that were reported by owners and patrons alike. One difference between this particular book and others like it was the author's inclusion of more recent information. I could tell that the author did a lot of research into the histories of the libraries or the bookstores and included the changes in management or location and whether the store is still operating. Many of the chapters ended with the library or bookstore's present contact information.

I liked how the author gave enough information about the paranormal experiences to spark my curiosity, but not enough that it overwhelmed the history or legacy of the area. The reader can visit these places for themselves with some foreknowledge, but their experiences can still be their own. There seemed to be a more personal, conversational feel to the mini-biographies. While I knew that many of the places mentioned in the book, there were a lot that were surprises. It brought to mind that saying I've heard a number of times about walking in the footsteps of another wherever we go on this earth. Bob's Beach Books in Oregon was one of my favorite stories because it's not necessarily a ghost story, but it's still on the creepy side. Of course, the Willard Library in Indiana was one of the stories that I've known about for years. Each time I see the story, it brings back wonderful memories for me. Odd for a ghost story, of course, but I've had some good times looking into the supernatural.

Overall, I liked this book because it did combine two of my favorite things. I also liked it because I could tell the author put his heart into the work. That made a big difference in the style of writing for me, making it much more than just a collection of dry facts and already known legends or myths. The author's enthusiasm came through in the chapters, especially those in which he personally had visited a place that was mentioned. Pictures of the libraries or bookstores helped to frame the information in reality for me, making it seem as though anything could be possible. I have added quite a few of these places on my list to visit one of these days. If you're a lover of either the supernatural or literary treats, this book is the perfect combination.  

Tomes of Terror: Haunted Bookstores and Libraries by Mark Leslie is currently available at many online retailers and local bookstores. It can be purchased in either paperback or digital formats including Kindle. The link provided below will bring up the book's page Amazon.
Tomes of Terror: Haunted Bookstores and Libraries by Mark Leslie

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