41 The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan Book Club Questions &Snack Ideas

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Explore discussion worthy-book club questions, snack ideas and book club activities for Jenny Colgan’s bestselling novel, The Christmas Bookshop.

The Christmas Bookshop is an uplifting, feel-good Christmas romance set in Edinburgh.

It’s easy to read and packed with so many memorable moments that I highly recommend this book as your Christmas book club book.

And in case your book club has chosen this book, I am so excited for you because there are so many great topics to discuss.

First of all, the plot involves revitalizing a struggling bookshop. There is also a main character who struggles to make ends meet, almost clueless about her future. The book also includes sisters with different challenges in the family and finally finding love.

Also, there is an author who comes in as one of the main characters. So many good things to discuss.

So get ready to grab 41 thought provoking questions, snack ideas and book club activities for The Christmas Bookshop

The Christmas Bookshop Summary

The story is about Carmen, who loses her job when the department store she works in closes down.

She’s low on money and doesn’t want to live with her seemingly perfect sister Sofia in Edinburgh.

Sofia, despite some reservations, invites Carmen to stay because she’s expecting another baby. She also wants her family to get along, and has a client with a struggling bookshop who needs help.

Carmen ends up working in Mr. McCredie’s old bookshop.

Throughout the story, Carmen faces choices between two romantic interests, Blair and Oke. The narrative also explores Carmen’s relationship with her family, especially her sister Sofia, and whether she can mend the strained ties.


About the Author 

Jenny Colgan is a Scottish author who is known for her heartwarming and feel-good stories that celebrate the beauty of a simple life. 

She weaves uplifting tales that resonate with the joys and challenges of everyday existence. Born in Scotland and having traversed various corners of the world, including London, the Netherlands, the U.S., and France, Colgan eventually found her home just North of Edinburgh.

If you are new to Jenny Colgan’s books, I highly recommend her novels The Bookshop on the Corner, The Christmas Bookshop, and Little Beach Street Bakery.

42 Book Club Question for The Christmas Bookshop

What initially drew you to pick up The Christmas Bookshop?

How did you feel about Carmen’s character at the beginning of the story?

Who is your favorite sister? Discuss the dynamics between Carmen and her sister Sofia. Did your perception of their relationship change throughout the book?

What challenges did Carmen face while transforming Mr. McCredie’s dusty old bookshop into a new store?

How did the setting of the ancient bookshop in Edinburgh enhance the story for you?

What are your thoughts on Colgan’s portrayal of the Christmas spirit in the book?

Were you surprised by Carmen’s decision to take on the job at the bookshop? Why or why not?

Share your impressions of Mr. McCredie and his role in the story.

Describe the differences in characters between Oke and Carmen. How do you think Carmen would have defined happiness?

How do you think Carmen was able to work on herself, mend relationships with her sisters, and transform the bookshop? Discuss the challenges. 

How does Carmen find peace and quiet amidst all the chaos?

Discuss the theme of family in the novel. How does it play out with Carmen and Sofia?

What role does humor play in the book, and did it enhance your reading experience?

How did you feel about the love triangle mentioned in the book description? Did it add to the plot for you?

Explore the significance of the shabby bookshop in the context of the story.

Were you familiar with the author’s other works? How does The Christmas Bookshop compare?

Discuss the Christmas theme in the novel. Did it evoke a holiday spirit for you?

Were there any aspects of the book that you found particularly heartwarming?

How did you feel about the sudden interest of the famous author in the bookshop—and Carmen?

Share your favorite moment or scene from the book and why it stood out to you.

Explore the role of suspense in the story. Did it keep you engaged?

Discuss the resolution of Carmen’s fractured family. Did it satisfy you?

What are your thoughts on the book’s pacing? Did it hold your interest throughout?

Reflect on the title,The Christmas Bookshop .How well does it capture the essence of the story?

How did the author balance humor and suspense in the narrative?

Discuss the author’s writing style. Was it easy for you to get into the story?

What do you think the author wants readers to take away from the book?

Explore the theme of second chances in the context of Carmen’s life.

Describe the secondary characters such as Pippa, Phoebe, and Jack. How were they characterized in the book? What do you think of the nanny Skylar?

What are your thoughts on Blair’s book? 

Compare Carmen’s experiences with Mr. McCredie versus with Mrs. Marsh

What are your final remarks on the book? Discuss the overall impression of the book’s characters and themes.

What is the best aspect of Jenny Colgan’s writing?

How does The Christmas Bookshop setting compare to other Jenny Colgan books set in the countryside?

What are your thoughts on the plot involving a love triangle in the book? Do you think it was necessary?

Discuss the favorite characters and scenes of The Christmas Bookshop with book club members.

What is your opinion on Oke and Blair? What would you have predicted for Carmen’s ending?

Jenny Colgan’s novels always describe the setting well. How did you find her decision to set the story in Edinburgh city?

Discuss the types of customers Carmen has to deal with in the bookshop. Which one is your favorite?

Discuss the snarky tone of the book, including topics such as the use of self-help books and yoga in the novel.

Do you think The Christmas Bookshop is the perfect Christmas romance to read? 

How important is the plot of revitalizing the bookshop in addressing modern issues? Do you think it connects well with what’s happening in today’s world?

The Christmas Bookshop Book Club Snack Ideas

  • Christmas Cookies: Serve festive holiday cookies, such as gingerbread or sugar cookies, to align with the Christmas theme of the book 
  • Warm Cocoa Bar: Create a cozy hot cocoa station with various toppings like whipped cream, marshmallows, and chocolate shavings.

The Christmas Bookshop Book Club Activities  

Character Impersonation: Have members choose a character from the book and share their thoughts and opinions as if they were that character.

Favorite Quote Sharing: Ask each member to bring their favorite quote from the book and discuss why it resonated with them.

Book-related Trivia: Organize a trivia game with questions related to the book, the author, and literary themes.

Holiday Ornament Crafting: Create personalized book-themed ornaments or bookmarks as a creative activity related to the Christmas theme.

Books Like The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan 

  • Midnight at the Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan: I’m super excited to read this sequel to The Christmas Bookshop. We learn more about Carmen and her efforts to enhance the bookstore, as well as the potential for it to become a film location.
  • In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren: This Christmas romance features a delightful setting with a time-travel twist, and I absolutely loved it.
  • Merrily Ever After by Cathy Bramley: Another picturesque Christmas book showcasing two heroines and their unexpected bond.
  • The Christmas Holiday by Phillipa Ashley: This is an unexpected Christmas romance similar to Jenny Colgan’s novel, involving the main character Krys forming a connection with Max, a reserved man with a tragic past.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Christmas Bookshop

  • What is the book The Christmas Bookshop about?

The Christmas Bookshop tells the story of Carmen, who loses her job and home, moving in with her sister Sofia in Edinburgh. Carmen faces the challenge of reviving a struggling bookstore.

  • Is there a sequel to The Christmas Bookshop?

Yes, there is a sequel titled Midnight at the Christmas Bookshop, published on October 10, 2023.

  • When was The Christmas Bookshop published?

The Christmas Bookshop was published in October 26, 2021

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Stephy George
Stephy George

Hi I am Stephy ! I became a bookworm in my late twenties. So I created this little corner of books online to share my love of reading with YOU! I want to help you find the best books to read so you won’t ever have to worry about your next read!

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