My List of Books about Books
Fall in love with books. Learn to read for pleasure and immerse in the joy of being human. Literacy is a skill so please don't be ashamed if you are struggling or new to the English language. Practicing is the most important aspect of reading, like riding a bike. Read out loud - to yourself, your pet, your grandparent, your child, etc. As a person, I've just grown up loving books and stories. Reading has taken me to so many places and I'm not ashamed to have stayed up all night with the page turner I couldn't stop to go to sleep. As a graphic designer, I love books as an object. As a graphic design history buff, I love the art of the book and the development of the form from before mechanization with Gutenberg's inventions to the plethora of book cover design that we can adore in today's society. Print is not dead. Reading has been transformed. Listening to a book is legitimate if that's what you choose. Consider that before the alphabet was developed and writing was part of society, humans lived in an oral culture where storytelling was key. Listening while you work, drive, garden, etc. is a great way to spend time with books if you don't have the patience to sit and read. However, I truly love the object of the book, pages and form that you can hold in your hands, mark and observe in your home surroundings. This is a list of 10 titles I highly recommend of a list of 30 I've compiled of books about books. I'll explain that at the end of this post. If you haven't read any of these books, I would start with the first.
Why start here? It's a journey of a book lover who develops a really lovely creative habit that I would recommend to anyone who comes across this blog. I won't give away the secret so just make this the first book you'll read in the new year.
Many a book club has read this title. There are actually volumes available with book club reading advice for your conversations. Why do I recommend this? Not only is it a book about books, but the structure is really fascinating way to dive into this time period. As an epistolary novel, it's composed in letters of various lengths making it a really simple process to just read a little bit a day.
This title may be more for the youth or young adult genre, however I thoroughly enjoyed the adventure. There's a really fun unexpected treat if you actually by this particular cover and leave it out on a shelf or table exposing it to light during the day, then picking it up to read in the dark.
You may get so obsessed with the character's adventures in Fforde's book that you'll be like me and read all 7 in the series! I absolutely LOVE this book and the series, I just could not stop.
Forget Marie Kondo and indulge your joy into books. Feeling guilty about unread titles on your shelves or stacked by your bed? This delightful memoir really gives you a sense of everything is okay because of our love of books.
I admit it, I listened to this book. It was actually a really wonderful way to experience the story of a man's journey with his mother in what started as an activity for them during chemotherapy treatments. The lessons and stories made me cry. I highly recommend this book to anyone who maybe feeling out of sorts or looking for validation in your own life purpose.
I listened to this too on a long road trip and commuting to work. I really love this memoir as it takes the reader on a journey from this person's childhood to adult life discovering his love of books. Along the way, you are introduced to his challenges with Tourett's Syndrome and how he's found joy, passion and a life purpose as a librarian surrounded by books.
This book will take you on a journey and also give you a little dose of the history of the book. It is witty and written in a non-linear narrative style with stories within stories. The primary character writes and designs books so you see the book covers and stories behind them. It's also an interesting critique of the book publishing industry and ghost writing, but I don't want to give the whole thing away. This in the hardback is a bigger and heavier book. I like to read before going to bed and the size of this made it a little bit challenging, but I found the storytelling to be really compelling. And I've met the author, so that's really awesome too to learn about his process.
If you like books that delve into social history, then this one about the library is a delight. It's quite a journey that you'll encounter in learning about architecture and the evolution of the library. After all, they hold books so this counts as a book about books.
The book as object is also a relevant rabbit hole to venture into. What to do with books that you've read and no longer wish to keep around? Do you just love venturing into thrift shops or garage sales and want an upcycling project? Artist books are another avenue of the art of the book as they are one of a kind written, designed, and made by hand. If you are interested in expanding your love of books into book cover design, or objects that maybe adorn your home environment, then check out this example of several options about the craft.
What am I reading next? I think that "The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek: A Novel" by The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek: A Novel is next on my list, but I have so many books about books on my bedside table and a few in my audio library that it's hard to choose. I have made a habit of this quest to read as many books about books as I encounter. This started with a class I envisioned, developed, and taught several times as a seminar in the University where I once taught. I had to have at least one book per student so I had a list of 25 books for them to choose from to read and present at some point in the semester.
It made me sad when I would hear students tell me they had never read an entire book in their life sitting next to someone who considered themselves a bibliophile. If I can spread the joy of reading one person at a time, that would be a rewarding result. If you want a more comprehensive list of books about books, I've compiled it here. What was your first memory of reading? Did you have books surrounding you as a child? Can you give that gift to a child now that may not have the opportunity? Did you go to the library? Did you buy books from the book mobile? Do you have a little free library near you?