I still fondly remember the “sure, sure” looks that I received when going to the library to pay for their copy of A Gentle Madness that I somehow misplaced (I, really did lose it). That was about 20 thousand volumes ago and my collection has most likely passed the level of the local library. Anyway, here are my picks for a few recent books about books:
My Ideal Bookshelf by Jane Mount (ISBN 9780316200905, $21.24)It is always interesting to see what writers and other cultural figures have read, value, and keep on their bookshelves. This volume is presented in a unique, illustrated way that is perfect addition to any bookshelf or coffee table.
One for the Books by Joe Queenan (ISBN 9780670025824, $24.95) A hard-to-put-down volume of funnyman Queenan’s thoughts on reading and books, filled with humor and insight.
This Is Not the End of the Book by Umberto Eco, Jean-Claude Carrière. (ISBN 9780810127470, $24.95). Some of the best thoughts on the future of the book in world of overwhelming digital media by two masters of the literary essay.
Phantoms on the Bookshelves by Jacques Bonnet (ISBN 9781590207598, $17.95) A wonderful little study of how personal libraries reflect the individual, written by a collector who is almost as mad as I am.
Forgotten Bookmarks by Michael Popek (ISBN 9780399537011, $18.95) Unfortunately the coup of a hundred dollar bill found between the pages of a used book still eludes me. But recently, I found about a dozen neatly-pressed marijuana leaves inside a book that I picked up at a thrift store. Now I can joke that I bought pot at Goodwill. This book showcases many similar type items found in books–a welcome sort of “Found” book for the booklover.
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores by Jen Campbell (ISBN 978-1468301281, $15)Not specifically about books, but that sometimes hilariously funny space where the booklover and the general public meet.