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Books about Books and The Bookish Life

Bookworms not only love to read, but we love to read stories about books, bookstores, libraries, bookselling, and everything about the bookish life.  After all, what better place to explore literature than within literature?  From classics to contemporary, check out this booklist filled with books about books and the bookish life!

The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

The Diary of a Bookseller is Shaun Bythell’s funny and fascinating memoir of a year in the life at the helm of The Bookshop, in the small village of Wigtown, Scotland.

Ex Libris: 100+ Books to Read and Reread by Michiko Kakutani

Pulitzer Prize-winning literary critic Michiko Kakutani shares 100 personal, thought-provoking essays about books that have mattered to her and that help illuminate the world we live in today–with beautiful illustrations throughout.

The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis

In New York Times bestselling author Fiona Davis’s latest historical novel, a series of book thefts roils the iconic New York Public Library, leaving two generations of strong-willed women to pick up the pieces.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Shadow of the Wind is a love letter to literature, intended for readers as passionate about storytelling as its young hero.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Reclusive author Vida Winter, famous for her collection of twelve enchanting stories, has spent the past six decades penning a series of alternate lives for herself. Now old and ailing, she is ready to reveal the truth about her extraordinary existence and the violent and tragic past she has kept secret for so long.

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

This charming classic love story, first published in 1970, brings together twenty years of correspondence between Helene Hanff, at the time, a freelance writer living in New York City, and a used-book dealer in London at 84, Charing Cross Road.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But when he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, he begins to question everything he has ever known.

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

The Little Paris Bookshopis a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people’s lives.

How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry

Enter the world of Nightingale Books for a serving of romance, long-held secrets, and unexpected hopes for the future–and not just within the pages on the shelves. How to Find Love in a Bookshop is the delightful story of Emilia, the unforgettable cast of customers whose lives she has touched, and the books they all cherish.

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

The Library Book, Orlean chronicles the LAPL fire and its aftermath to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives; delves into the evolution of libraries; brings each department of the library to vivid life; studies arson and attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL more than thirty years ago.

The Library at the Edge of the World by Felicity Hayes McCoy

Told with heart and abundant charm, The Library at the Edge of the World is a joyous story about the meaning of home and the importance of finding a place where you truly belong.

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

From internationally acclaimed author Haruki Murakami–a fantastical illustrated short novel about a boy imprisoned in a nightmarish library.

Browsings: A Year Of Reading, Collecting, And Living With Books by Michael Dirda

Browsings: A Year Of Reading, Collecting, And Living With Books by Michael Dirda

Dirda’s latest volume collects fifty of his witty and wide-ranging reflections on literary journalism, book collecting, and the writers he loves. Reaching from the classics to the post-moderns, his allusions dance from Samuel Johnson, Ralph Waldo Emerson and M. F. K. Fisher to Marilynne Robinson, Hunter S. Thompson, and David Foster Wallace.

What do you think about the books on this list?

Have you read any of the books on this list?  What are some of your favorite books about books?  What books would you add to the list?