Holiday Closing: All branches will be closed on Sunday, May 24, and Monday, May 25 in observance of Memorial Day. If you need to renew your materials, please click here for the catalog.

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

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

Which is cooler: Finding the answer to life’s most important question using brain power or Google? Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is optimistic about the future of technology and people working together as it looks at the question of immortality. In the novel, friends care about each other. A multi-generational fellowship forms. Two young couples get together. Read deeply and follow the clues to solve the mystery of the Unbroken Spine left by the fifteenth-century printer Griffo Gerritszoon. This novel is a mystery, but it is also about the love of books, whether you find them in the Central Rappahannock Regional Library; a big-box store like Barnes & Noble; a local, independent bookstore like The Griffin; or the quiet little stores built into our Kindles and Nooks.

After the economy tanked, Clay Jannon loses his job in marketing design for NewBagel-- where ex-Googlers have created an algorithm for the perfect platonic bagel--after less than a year with the company and gets a job as the night clerk in Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. His only experience is loving a book called The Dragon-Song Chronicles as a kid. Something is afoot in the tall, skinny bookstore which sells no books but has a “waybacklist” of shelving with mysterious coded books and an eccentric clientele of readers who borrow them.

Clay thinks he has gotten mixed up in a cult called the Unbroken Spine with Novices, The Bound and The Unbound and the codex vitae, the book of life, of early printer Aldus Manutius, which is hidden in a batcave-like library underneath New York City, and holds the secret to immortality.

Clay has a gift for collecting good people just like Mr. Ajax Penumbra has for choosing good clerks for his store. When Mr. Penumbra disappears, with the help of his rebel alliance--which includes his millionaire software developer best-friend Neel, his creative roommate Mat, his cute Googler girlfriend Kat and a rogue hacker called Grumble--Clay goes on a quest to find the answer to the secrets of the Unbroken Spine.