Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

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Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore.jpg
AuthorRobin Sloan
Cover artistRodrigo Corral
CountryUnited States
PublisherFarrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardcover, Paperback)
Pages288 pp (US Hardcover)
LC ClassPS3619.L6278 M7 2012
Preceded byAjax Penumbra 1969 

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is a 2012 novel by American writer Robin Sloan. It was chosen as one of the best 100 books of 2012 by the San Francisco Chronicle,[1] was a New York Times Editor's Choice,[2] and was on the New York Times Hardcover Fiction Best Seller list[3] as well as the NPR Hardcover Fiction Bestseller List.[4] The US book cover, which glows in the dark, was done by Rodrigo Corral and chosen as one of the 25 best book covers for 2012 by BookPage.[5][6][7]

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore combines elements of fantasy, mystery, friendship and adventure as a way of looking at the modern conflict and transition between new technology (electronic) and old (print books). The protagonist is a laid-off Silicon Valley tech worker who begins working at a dusty bookstore with very few customers, only to start discovering one secret after another. The mysterious old books, along with the store's owner, lead to a 500-year-old secret society.[8]

A prequel novelette, Ajax Penumbra 1969, was published in 2012.

He was inspired to write the story after a friend misread a sign claiming the existence of a "24 hour bookshop".[9]


  1. ^ McMurtrie, John (December 21, 2012). "Best books of 2012: 100 recommended books". San Francisco Chronicle. Hearst Communications. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  2. ^ "Editor's Choice". New York Times Sunday Book Review. December 21, 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  3. ^ "New York Times Hardcover Fiction Best Seller list for October 28, 2012". New York Times. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  4. ^ "Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore". National Public Radio. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  5. ^ "'Mr. Penumbra' Bridges The Digital Divide". NPR. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  6. ^ "25 best book jackets of 2012". Book Page. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  7. ^ "Book Review: "Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore"". PhiloBiblos. November 26, 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  8. ^ Maslin, Janet (November 7, 2012). "Google Aces Can't Defeat Bibliophiles 'Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore' by Robin Sloan". New York Times. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  9. ^ Bilton, Nick (October 12, 2012). "One on One: Robin Sloan, Author and 'Media Inventor'". Bits Blog. The New York Times. Retrieved 2020-05-27.

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