Spring Reads from Papercut Books

05 Mar 2024

Downtown's Papercut Books, a charming brick-and-mortar shop, specializes in new and lightly used books, as well as collectible vintage books.

By Holly Bader  »  Photos by Erica Nichols

If you were to categorize us as a season, Papercut would be spring. I like to think of our shop as restorative, tempestuous, and overwhelmingly bursting with flowers and greenery. While every season can inspire its own special reading list, we believe spring should be met with books that match the season of Earth's exhale – books that evoke a long sigh of contentment after a particularly enjoyable story. For this seasonal changing of the guards, we recommend the following:

Sinister Spring by Agatha Christie 

A season characterized by the riotous bursting of life is an exceptional time to begin reading a book about death. As the saying goes, opposites attract! This collection of stories by Agatha Christie is short enough to hold your attention span in the days of lengthening sun but addictive enough to keep you reading through allergy-induced watery eyes. No one does it better than the Queen of Crime herself, and this collection is a great reminder of why Christie is still the best-selling author of all time.

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler 

Spring is synonymous with not only birth but also rebirth. Published in 1993, "Parable of the Sower" begins in 2024, in a dystopian world where economic and climate crises have led to social calamity. Throughout the novel, Butler's characters work not only to survive but also to help themselves and others learn to thrive despite this new phase of humanity. This is a perfect novel for the season of regeneration and renewal, a reminder to ask ourselves the important question: what do we owe to Earth's future generations? And what do we owe to each other?

Your Utopia by Bora Chung 

If you've made it this far reading an indie bookstore's spring reading recommendations list, then I can probably trust you with a weird one. This collection of short stories by one of South Korea's most popular writers will have you screaming "WHAT?!?" in about twelve different inflections. If spring is the season to celebrate the concept of "newness," then you can't pick any imagination more fertile than Bora Chung's to delve into. This book is a wonderful balm to the soul when you become jaded and convinced that "everything's been done before." Trust me,
it hasn't.

Notes on Shapeshifting by Gabi Abrão 

A recommendation from our bookseller Erica, this slim volume is the kind of book that is bought by the handful so that it can be passed around to friends. Swimming between genres as both poetry and prose, this book acts as a talisman to its readers. It's a book that both alleviates the weight of being human and inspires you to decorate your home with flowers. What more could we ask for in a spring read?

Find more “book reviews you didn’t ask for” at papercutbooks.com or visit the shop at 200 Market St., Unit 100.


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