What can be better than getting engrossed in a book that talks about the love we all share for reading? The very idea of a story that brings about a sense of bookish warmth and happiness is enticing, and when it comes to diving deeper into the culture of books, the sensation is phenomenal. Here are six marvellous reads that talk about the joy of books, featuring everything from amazing bookshops around the world to sharing a love for the often-overlooked importance of book covers.
Ask any voracious reader about their dream job, and the answer is bound to be that of running their very own bookshop. For Shaun Bythell, owning a second-hand bookstore, called The Bookshop, in Scotland is second nature, something he is immensely passionate about. In this often hilarious and sometimes mundane book, Shaun talks about the ups, downs, and the changing nature of the book business. His astute observations about the people who work in or visit his bookshop are to the point. Whereas his openness towards sharing the monotony of being a bookseller has an unusual charm to it. An international hit, Shaun released the sequel, Confessions of a Bookseller, to his book, in 2019.
An underrated art form, book covers and jackets unknowingly make an immediate impression on the reader without them even realising. In The Clothing of Books, Jhumpa Lahiri shares intimate thoughts about her admiration for book covers and the love-hate relationship she shares with them. True to her nature, she doesn't hold back in showing disappointment when a book cover is not to her liking but is equally thoughtful about the occasions when she has grown to love a cover over time. A quick and pensive read, this is Jhumpa Lahiri at her intellectual and eloquent best.
The intoxicating smell, stacks full of hardcovers, the latest paperbacks on display, and the crispiness of the pages when you open a book for the first time; a bookstore is a gateway into a distant world filled with stories of adventure, magic, and romance. Bob Eckstein takes his love for bookstores and lists some of the most captivating independent literary shops across the world. What makes the book a real collector's item are the gorgeous drawings of each bookstore that accompany the anecdotes about them. Footnotes* is a must-have for readers who feel a sense of euphoria every time they step inside a bookstore.
A classic when it comes to real-life stories about books, 84, Charing Cross Road is a heart-warming tale of two book lovers in distant countries. A collection of letters sent over 20 years, the book follows the correspondence between the author, living in New York, and Frank Doel, working in sales at London's Marks & Co bookshop. What results over time is a beautiful friendship that starts with talking about books but transforms into something profound as they both discuss everything from sports to cooking. Sadly, Helene never got to meet Frank in real life, but 84, Charing Cross Road remains a testament of the fact that books have the power to bring people together, even if they are far away from each other.
There's hardly a bibliophile alive who hasn't dreamt of finding a Harry Potter first edition. For Rebecca Barry, her love for rare books emerged when she bought the first edition of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman for $1, at a book sale. Taking her passion for discovering old books further, Rebecca lists, in Rare Books Uncovered, several accounts of ordinary people finding extraordinary arcane treasures. Bursting with unbelievable bookish discoveries, Rare Books Uncovered will make you look closely to every vintage book you come across in a barn or car boot sale, with keen interest.
As one of the most prolific English writers, Nick Hornby has entertained readers with his stories for decades. However, in Stuff I've Been Reading, a collection of articles he wrote for the magazine The Believer, he talks about some of his beloved reads. What's interesting about Stuff I've Been Reading is the variety of genres that Hornby delves into, and the honest and detailed analysis he does in a rather uncomplicated manner. The only negative aspect of this book is that you are more than likely to end up with a lengthy books-to-read list by the time you finish reading it.