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I'd Rather Be Reading
Sometimes you’ll see athletes wearing t-shirts that say something like, “Eat, Sleep, Run.” If you’re a bibliophile, your shirt (or more likely your book bag) says “Eat, Sleep, READ.” You have stacks of books in your home. You never go anywhere without a book. Eating and sleeping are indeed biological requirements that you fulfill solely so that you can read more books. In other words, you love books and you love to read. And you’re not alone. There are millions of bookworms out there, some more obsessed than others, but all with an irresistible urge to buy books, collect books, or read books. And bibliomaniacs will be pleased to know that there is any number of writers who delight in similar book obsessions and write intelligently and lovingly about them. Fiction, nonfiction, memoirs, essays, novels, and scholarly tomes—no genre is untouched by lovers of books. You’ll come away from this list of books about books knowing full well that these rules of reading are true-blue: Everyone reads in different ways for different reasons. Every book has its reader; that reader may or may not be you. You don’t have to finish every book you read. You don’t have to read every book you buy. And never, ever be embarrassed by what you read. If you love it, read it. End of story.   Print this list Print this list
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Parnassus on wheels;
Roger Mifflin is a travelling book salesman who, while small and a bit funny-looking, is confident that “When you sell a man a book, you don’t sell him just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue, you sell him a whole new life.” This is news to spinster Helen McGill, who has little to do with books on her brother’s farm. But cooking and cleaning for her brother is distinctly lacking in delights, and on a whim that surprises herself most of all, Helen jumps onboard Mifflin’s traveling wagon full of books and finds herself smitten with the man’s philosophy of bookselling as a duty and an art—and just maybe smitten with the man as well. Mifflin uses his characters to expound his own theories about the tremendous joys of book reading, and as readers, we’re simply delighted to let him do so. There’s a sequel, The Haunted Bookshop, that not only furthers the lives of the Roger Mifflin and Helen McGill, but also offer more opportunities to demonstrate how influential and powerful books can be. Parnassus on Wheels was written nearly one hundred years ago and the sweet little tale of book love has well withstood the test of time. It is, after all, a romance between people as well as a romance between people and books.
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Cover Art: The uncommon reader /
The uncommon reader
Bennett, Alan, 1934-
One day at Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth II finds her runaway doggies gathered around a bookmobile that has come to deliver books to the kitchen staff. The Queen reads, of course, but not actively or with any real sense of purpose—she does, after all, have Other Things To Do. But she feels obliged to make a selection from the bookmobile, and then she’s quite surprised to find that reading is enjoyable. The Queen finds herself interested, roused, even impassioned. This is a woman who does nothing by halves; with the assistance of her kitchen-boy-turned-page Norman, the Queen becomes an avid devotee of literature. And the English people find themselves with a royal bookworm on their hands. The consequences are intriguing, to say the least. Author Alan Bennett is a gifted comic writer who pokes gentle fun at the rigidly ruled world of the British monarchy and all its antiquated mannerisms. But he writes Queen Elizabeth as a compelling character—an aging woman of great social and political power who still possesses the surprising to change and the desire to improve. For all the fun The Uncommon Reader has with its royal premise, the story is less about the power of the throne than it is about the power of the written word. This is a sly little what-if tale, a fairy tale about a real person that all book lovers--royal or commoner--will relish.
Adult Fiction BENNETT
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Cover Art: Ex libris : confessions of a common reader /
Ex libris : confessions of a common reader
Fadiman, Anne, 1953-
Anne Fadiman is a column writer, a journal editor, and an award-winning author. She’s also a life-long reader, and that means more than all her other scholarly accomplishments in this collection of her eighteen essays that pay tribute to the love of books and reading. Fadiman writes about how you’re not really married to someone until you combine book collections. She muses on how reading the same book at different points in your life can change what the book means to you. She goes into raptures over secondhand bookstores and lovingly critiques the best (and worst) inscriptions people write when they’re giving books to others. She chronicles the difficulties of being both a lover of sesquipedalians (long words) and an obsessive-compulsive proofreader. Fadiman is intelligent and passionate about books and her essays are written with a graceful elegance of style that will charm every kind of reader under the sun. In Fadiman’s hands, reading becomes an art that is to be honed and nurtured over a lifetime. Fadiman’s life is healthier, richer, funnier, and more rewarding because of her love of books, and that about sums it up for all us bookworms out there.
Adult Nonfiction Book 814.54 F126
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Cover Art: Housekeeping vs. the dirt /
Housekeeping vs. the dirt
Hornby, Nick
This second collection of Nick Hornby's essays from Britain's Believer magazine begin with an impassioned plea: If you don't like what you're reading, put it down! It's excellent advice, but you won't be tempted to apply it to Hornby's book. Hornby goes on to chronicle the books he buys and the books he reads, and is his usual witty and wise self along the way. There's one more collection of Hornby's Believer columns, 2009's Shakespeare Wrote for Money.
Adult Nonfiction Book 813.609 H784
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Cover Art: The polysyllabic spree /
The polysyllabic spree
Hornby, Nick
Nick Hornby tapped into the minds of the rock-n-roll obsessed in his novel High Fidelity. He wrote about the all-consuming passion for soccer in his memoir Fever Pitch. Hornby also writes about another obsession in the British magazine Believer—his own obsession with reading. As long as you’re a reader of books you’ll find something to love in this collection of Hornby’s columns from September 2003 to November 2004. Each month, Hornby begins by listing books bought and books read. Then he writes (chats, really) about what he bought and what he read and what he thought about the lot. Hornby doesn’t read every book he buys. He doesn’t finish every book he begins. He wishes biographers didn’t feel the need to detail every moment of their subject’s lives—it would spare the reader a couple hundred pages. He relates with real feeling the depths of despair a reader can be plunged into when a really great book is completed—a book that can never again be experienced in the same way, and what can you follow that really great book up with anyway? He’s also routinely distracted from his reading by his children, his soccer team, the pub, and an enormous supply of very amusing anecdotes. In other words, he’s a reader just like the rest of us—he loves to read but he’s got a life that sometimes gets in the way. Warm, witty, informative and irresistible, Hornby’s essays are for the bibliophile in all of us. There are two more collections of Hornby’s Believer columns, Housekeeping vs. the Dirt published in 2006 and 2009’s Shakespeare Wrote for Money.
Adult Nonfiction Book 810.9006 H784
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Cover Art: A history of reading /
A history of reading
Manguel, Alberto
Noted Argentine writer Alberto Manguel takes us on a journey through time and geography to explore a single topic: reading. From drawn symbols on ancient clay tablets in the Middle East to the typed words in the books on your nightstand, the ability to read is something that every culture has in common. Whether ancient tribesmen are reading the pictures they’ve drawn on cave walls or you are reading this paragraph, reading—which Manguel defines as interpreting the meaning of signs or symbols—is something every human can do. And the history of reading is fascinating. Manguel does not tell this history from start to end; he jumps around in time and leaps across continents, telling an anecdote here or a explaining a myth there. From Princess Enheduanna, one of the very few women to read in 2300 B.C. Mesopotamia, to acclaimed author Jorge Luis Borges, who Manguel himself read to when the writer went blind, Manguel shares the lives of the world’s readers. He explores the role of libraries throughout the ages. He profiles great authors and writers. Most of all, Manguel celebrates how every individual reader recreates the written word with his or her own unique experiences and imagination. Filled with photographs and illustrations that highlight ancient and modern readers alike, A History of Reading is an illuminating look at the deceptively simple act of reading.
Adult Nonfiction Book 028.9 M
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Cover Art: Book lust : recommended reading for every mood, moment, and reason /
Book lust : recommended reading for every mood, moment, and reason
Pearl, Nancy.
Nancy Pearl is a superstar librarian. Director of the Washington Center for the Book, she also has a weekly book review program on National Public Radio and worked as a public librarian in Seattle for years where she created the program “If All Seattle Read the Same Book.” There’s even a librarian action figure modeled on her. So when Nancy Pearl says “This is a good book,” people listen. With Book Lust, Nancy recommends over one hundred of her personal favorite books. Grouped into creative subjects that vary from “Bird Brains” to “Elvis On My Mind” to “Lady Travelers” to “Three-Hanky Reads” and everything in between, Nancy muses about plot, pacing, setting, character, and gets to the heart of why this book or that book is a good read. Book Lust (and its subsequent companion titles More Book Lust, Book Crush, and Book Lust To Go) is a book to be flipped through and dipped into depending on the moment and your own particular mood. Whether you’re a romance reader or a historical fiction fan, a lover of nonfiction or of fantasy, you’ll come away from Book Lust with reading possibilities galore.
Adult Nonfiction Book 028.9 P
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