There are books in life that should be read for the simple pleasure of unplugging a bit. Books with few but well-defined characters, with a simple but captivating plot and that once laid do not leave with too many doubts and questions, but simply with an ironic smile, and a polite relaxation.

Many snub this type of books because they think that a “true reader”, a “pure reader” must necessarily cite great authors or critically recognized works.

A true reader reads everything, even the harmonies. He is capable of grasping the greatness of literary masterpieces as well as giggling over an appendix volume.

So, be cautious of those who do not read something so-called “lighter”. Just like those who don’t drink wine, they certainly have something to hide.

While I was helping one of my students of show business law and economics, in the winter of 2015 (in that very short period when I tutored at the university), I was in dreadful need of a break. So, browsing through my student’s library, I came across a book that, from the title (The case of the missing books) and from the cover, did not give the idea of ​​being too demanding or taking itself too seriously.

Just what I needed!

“They were always there for you, books, like a small pet dog that doesn’t die.”
― Ian sansom, The Case of the Missing Books

Stove on, freshly baked cookies and liters of coffee ingested to spend the night on codes and laws, I was blessed with a well-deserved break from my studies to immerse myself in a small town in Northern Ireland with Ismael, the protagonist of the above-mentioned novel. A curious protagonist. As well as the story[1].

What convinced me immediately and kept me reading is that Ismael is very unlucky! Clumsy, a bit pedantic. In short, not exactly the classic novel hero. Rather. And then the underlying mystery: where did the books go ????

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I have never been to Northern Ireland, but thanks to Ian Sansom it seemed so, for the descriptions of the landscapes and characters that he traces with great skill. With an ironic and amusing pen at the right point, he gives us the wonderful figure of a librarian whose lesser evil is to find the 15,000 lost books of the bus that he must lead through the green streets of Ireland; an apparently ironic narrative composition, but serious in lecturing the painful and discouraging theme of the increasingly numerous cessation of libraries and the ever-decreasing use of municipal resources in education.

“the kind of child who seemed to start reading without anyone realising or noticing,”
― Ian Sansom, The Case of the Missing Books

So, if you need to smile, to think that, no matter how unlucky you are, there is always someone MUCH unluckier than you, or if you need a break from stress without giving up reading, you can escort Israel Armstrong, a graduate in letters, unemployed, English transplanted to Ireland, vegetarian and drug addict in his astonishing misadventure.


[1] https://www.amazon.com/Missing-Books-Mobile-Library-Mysteries/dp/0060822503