Books About Books

Some of my favorite stories are about books.  As a pretty bookish person myself, I love finding a book where the main character is fascinated with a book, or works in a bookstore, or writes books themselves.  I feel like bookish people have some sort deep connection.  It’s easy to picture myself in their shoes.  A perfect example of this is the movie You’ve Got Mail, where the quote that became the name of this blog came from.  Every time I watch that movie, I dream of owning my own adorable children’s bookstore, just like Meg Ryan does (never mind that she has to close her shop, shhh).

If you feel the same way, here are some personal recommendations for books about books!

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Adult Novels

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin: A wonderful story about a man (A.J. Fikry) who owns a bookstore on a small island.  Initially picky and a bit condescending, the appearance of a baby abandoned in his store forces him to look at life a little bit differently.  The prose is simple but the message is deep.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan: The story of a man who goes to work at a very odd 24-hour bookstore (owned by a man called Mr. Penumbra).  Clay works the night shift, and he hardly ever sells any books, although occasionally people will come in and borrow books without paying.  Determined to uncover the secret of the shop, Clay combines new technology with ancient literature for a wonderful combination of fun.

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Young Adult/Children’s

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: Great for teens/young adults/millennials or anyone who is part of the fandom culture of today.  The story of Cath and Wren, two twins going off to college for the first time.  Cath is obsessed with the Simon Snow book series (read: bascially Harry Potter), and she writes a very popular fanfic online.  This is all about Cath adjusting to her life in college and trying to decide how fandom fits into her new adult life.

Inkheart Trilogy by Cornelia Funke: (pictured: Inkspell, book two – first book is Inkheart and third book is Inkdeath) A children’s series (but appropriate for all ages) about a girl named Meggie whose father has the unusual power to “read” characters and objects out of books.  What happens when villains leave there stories of innocent characters are displaced into the real world?  What happens when normal people get trapped inside the book in their place?

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Books I Haven’t Actually Read Yet…

Afterworlds by Scot Westerfeld: A YA novel about a teen girl (Darcy) who is getting her first novel published.  She tries to navigate the complicated publishing world and deal with this development in her life.  Also tells the story of Lizzie, the main character of Darcy’s novel. (I am determined that Scott Westerfeld called his characters Darcy and Lizzie (a la Pride and Prejudice) on purpose, although I have no proof…)

The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell: A nonfiction book all about the history of bookshops.  Spotlighting many fascinating and unique stores from around the world.  A British book that is apparently not available in the US yet, but you can order it online from The Book Depository.

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Miscellaneous

Indy Writes Books: A Book Lover’s Anthology: A collection of works in various genres by Indianapolis, IN area authors (including John Green, Dan Wakefield, and Ben Winters.  All proceeds from sales of this book benefit Indy Reads, a charity that supports adult literacy in Indianapolis.  You can purchase it here: http://www.indyreads.org/indy-writes-books/.

Texts from Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg: A hilarious collections of text message conversations between the characters of your favorite books.  It contains everything from The Odyssey to Pride and Prejudice to Hamlet to The Baby-Sitter’s Club.  A riot for anyone who loves to read!

What are your favorite books about books?  Let me know in the comments!

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