6 Books about Books

  • Shanna Wilson
  • December 2, 2013

What’s better than reading a book? Reading books about books, preferably ones that overflow with recommendations, bookish characters, author crushes, and themes of storytelling as lifeblood.

6 Books about Books

In honor of the movie adaptation of The Book Thief, here are six other great books about books:


  1. The King’s English by Betsy Burton. Burton knows book-selling, and she’s the queen of making book lists. Her many lists throughout the book—among them, “25 Novels That Stood the Test of Time and Stand Out Still”will leave readers with decades of options.
  2. The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: a Memoir, a History by Lewis Buzbee. Buzbee’s homage to the history and business of books and the shopkeepers who keep his favorite places humming. “I find myself maddeningly hungry for the next one, as yet unknown. I no longer try to analyze this hunger; I capitulated long ago to the book lust that’s affected me most of my life.”
  3. Time was Soft There: A Paris Sojourn at Shakespeare & Co. by Jeremy Mercer. A Montreal man on the run crosses an ocean and finds salvation (and a bed) in a shabby little English-language bookshop along the Seine. The old American proprietor, George Whitman, has lived a life that inspires Mercer to change his own.
  4. How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen. In this slim memoir on her reading life, the award-winning author gives a nod to the histories, relationships, and life lessons absorbed from books.
  5. 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff. Shaking her fists in fury and passion, Hanff was a renegade. The epistolary chronicle of the relationship between Hanff and the staff at British bookshop Marks & Co. is one of charm, shared ideals, and a mutual admiration for the printed word.
  6. The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. Featuring a book club of two—mother and son—Will and Mary Anne Schwalbe read everything from Stegner to Larsson in this intimate look at a man’s relationship with his dying mother. In her words, “Reading isn’t the opposite of doing, it’s the opposite of dying.”

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