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A Treat For a Bibliophile - 13 Books About Books

Add your recommendations in the comments section of the original post!

 


 

 

 

What's the better way of celebrating book love than reading books about books? We've prepared 13 fiction and nonfiction titles which will make your connection with books even stronger. And now let's meet other bibliophiles.

 

 

The Book Thief - Markus Zusak 

 

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. 

 

One of my new favorites

This is a superb book filled with heart, tragedy, and even a lot of moments of genuine humor. It's hard to think how a story about the Holocaust narrated by Death can work, but by golly it does. 

"So ugly and so glorious, so damning and brilliant."

I was writing a long, deep review, but f... it. Markus Zusak is just better at it than me. Brought to you by Death itself, a sassy little shit that made me cry in front of people.  

The Book Thief

I feel very strongly that a good review should praise a book for its strengths and critique it for its flaws. But when I love a book as much as I loved this one, it's hard for me to think of any flaws.

 

 

Fahrenheit 451- Ray Bradbury

 

The hauntingly prophetic classic novel set in a not-too-distant future where books are burned by a special task force of firemen. 

 

Fahrenheit 451

I loved Fahrenheit 451 because it was a book about burning books that was far more than a book about burning books. F451 is a book about the true cost of the loss of culture. 

Fahrenheit 451: Or why we all need to slow down and read more

Reading it now, as an adult in a media saturated time of history, is a kick in the ass I would never have gotten as a teenager. 

 

 

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

 

A gleeful and exhilarating tale of global conspiracy, complex code-breaking, high-tech data visualization, young love, rollicking adventure, and the secret to eternal life—mostly set in a hole-in-the-wall San Francisco bookstore.

 

Mini Review: Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore 

The geekery is over the top and you just enjoy where this story takes you. I love that so much of this story revolves around the association of a fantasy dragon trilogy. 

#CBR Book 154. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

As someone who loves books, a book about a mysterious book store and a mystery surrounding reading sounded pretty enticing.

Review | Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, Robin Sloan | 5 Stars

Is this book perfect? No. Is it my favorite book I've read this year? Yes.

 

 

The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafón 

 

Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the 'cemetery of lost books', a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print.

 

Review: The Shadow of the Wind

A novel about books is always a treat for readers, at least for those of us who have such a passion for books.  I’m terribly jealous of Daniel and his father who own a bookshop because they are allowed to spend all day dealing with books.  

A Review of The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The author writes in a lyrical prose that is exquisite and many times I found myself re-reading passages I liked just to meditate a while longer on those said passages.

 

 

 Inkheart (Inkheart Trilogy) - Cornelia Funke

 

Meggie loves books. So does her father, Mo, a bookbinder, although he has never read aloud to her since her mother mysteriously disappeared.

 

Review Inkheart

The idea for this book is amazing; it's an idea that makes you wonder why no one wrote it years ago. Every reader would love the chance to meet their favorite characters in person, wouldn't they? 

Review - Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

The concept is a fascinating one. The ability to read characters and things out from the pages of a book. As great as that sounds, the reality of it is more of a curse than a gift as the lead characters find out.

 

 

 

 The Man Who Loved Books Too Much - Allison Hoover Bartlett 

 

Rare-book theft is even more widespread than fine-art theft. Most thieves, of course, steal for profit. John Charles Gilkey steals purely for the love of books.

 

Review: The Man Who Loved Books Too Much

I have some respect for those book thieves that steal because they have a love of rare books. 

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much

I liked reading this, though it's not really about a man who loves books too much, but rather is about The Man Who Couldn't or Wouldn't Stop Stealing Something. 

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much

I mean how can you love books too much?! Well apparently you can and John Gilkey was tremendously good at it.I've always wanted to collect books thanks to Beauty and the Beast, and this was right up my alley.

 

 

 Sixpence House: Lost in A Town Of Books - Paul Collins 

 

Paul Collins and his family abandoned the hills of San Francisco to move to the Welsh countryside-to move, in fact, to the village of Hay-on-Wye, the "Town of Books" that boasts fifteen hundred inhabitants-and forty bookstores.

 

Lost in a Town of Books

The chapter titles are very amusing in and of themselves, and the quotes from antiquarian books and magazines remarkably applicable to modern life. A very entertaining read for a bibliophile. 

Sixpence House

As much as I am a bookaholic, I am glad I do not live in Hay-on-Wye as I believe that I would have no money left for food!

 

 

 A Passion for Books

 

A Passion for Books is a collection of sixty classic and contemporary essays, stories, lists, poems, quotations, and cartoons on the joys of reading, appreciating, and collecting books.

 

A Passion for Books

Another piece I really enjoyed was Umberto Eco's examination of the large personal library, something he most definitely possesses. It's suggested reading for anyone who has ever had a non-bibliophile friend survey your overstuffed shelves and ask "Have you read all of these books?"

 

 

 Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World - Lawrence Goldstone

 

When Nancy Goldstone bought a vintage copy of "War and Peace" to win a birthday bet with co-author Larry, the couple began their journey into the world of book collecting, meeting a hilarious cast of eccentrics along the way.

 

Used and Rare

The Goldstones are clearly a literate couple who delight in the content of the books as well as the joy of owning a first edition “first state,” unlike the people who purchase books by the yard.

 

 

 Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader - Anne Fadiman 

 

For Fadiman, as for many passionate readers, the books she loves have become chapters in her own life story.

 

Ex Libris

They read everything and anything. You have boxes of books on shelves and in corners that really need to be sorted and either kept or given away for someone else to read. 

Confessions of a Common Reader

As enjoyable as this little read was, I have to say that I disagree with Fadiman in some ways: I don't think readers are so clear-cut in the way they love books. 

Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader

Each essay has a different topic, but each touch upon her life and how books have impacted it. There are written with great humor and language.

 

 

 Phantoms on the Bookshelves - Jacques Bonnet 

 

This enthralling study on the art of living with books considers how our personal libraries reveal our true natures: far more than merely crowded shelves, they are living labyrinths of our innermost feelings.

 

Phantoms on the Bookshelves

Jacques Bonnet is a French art historian with a collection of over 40,000 books. In this brief book he discusses the unique challenges that possessing so many books creates and the passions that drive a serious bibliophile.

Phantoms on the Bookshelves

For me this book is a little treasure that I will proudly add to my personal library (in the non-fiction section, alphabetically under author’s name to be precise).

 

 

 A History of Reading - Alberto Manguel 

 

At one magical instant in your early childhood, the page of a book—that string of confused, alien ciphers—shivered into meaning. Words spoke to you, gave up their secrets; at that moment, whole universes opened. You became, irrevocably, a reader.

 

A History of Reading

Overall though, there were plenty of interesting topics covered, from the origins of reading and writing, reading aloud, banned books and even the history of eyeglasses and rise of anti-intellectualism.

 

 

 The Whole Five Feet - Christopher Beha 

 

Beha’s chronicle is a smart, big-hearted, and inspirational mix of memoir and intellectual excursion—and a powerful testament to what great books can teach us about how to live our own lives.

 

The Whole Five Feet

Christopher Beha was in his early 20's, living with his parents and just entering his 5th year of remission from cancer when he decided to tackle a task he had kept in the back of his mind for some time: read through the entire Five Foot Shelf in one year and write a book about it.

 

We'd love to hear your bibliophilic stories :)

 

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