15 Feb 2011

Willa Wants to Read... Books about books!

We all do it sometimes - read books about books. Because when you are addicted to reading and addicted to fiction, it is so inspiring to read about books and get ideas for new adventures into unchartered territory.

Here are a couple of books about books that I really want to read. Can we call it meta-reading, I wonder?

Faulks on Fiction by Sebastian Faulks,
From guardian.co.uk:
"Faulks on Fiction romps through novels, providing plot summaries based on chosen characters. Avoiding anxiety about what a "character" is or about treating literary fictions as real (and rather modern) human beings, Faulks categorises into heroes, villains, snobs and lovers. These he calls "living people created in the minds of others"; he will, as it were, act as a midwife to them, for us."
Sounds delicious doesn't it? I had read the books from which most of these characters are taken, so reading this one will be more about revisiting happy memories of the characters than about getting inspired to do new reading. Nonetheless, this one is on my TBR and I predict it will land in my mailbox soon.

At Home with Books: How Booklovers Live with and Care for Their Libraries by Estelle Ellis
One of the things I dream about having when I get a house of my own is a library. I love being surrounded by books, looking lovingly at the spines, dusting them. Taking one down and reading a few passages. Putting it back again. Picking out an old favourite. Sounds like heaven, doesn't it?

Ruined by Reading by Lynne Sharon Schwartz
From amazon.co.uk:
"Novelist Schwartz (Disturbances in the Field) learned to read at the age of three, encouraged by parents whom she describes as "people of the book." As a seven-year-old, she was reading every book in her Brooklyn home and remembers being captivated by classics from the Little Leather Library such as "The Little Mermaid," from Andersen's fairy tales; Edward Everett Hale's The Man Without a Country; and The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. In this thought-provoking essay, Schwartz links her sense of self to what she has read over a lifetime. Although she acknowledges that literature has not transformed her life or taught her how to live, reading, to Schwartz, is a pure activity that has made her receptive to the ideas of authors who have enlarged her vision of the world. So intimate is the connection between Schwartz and books that have made an impact upon her emotionally that she cannot bear to see the film version, for example, of A Little Princess, because she does not want to see the author's words transformed visually. Author tour."
Sounds fun I think though I haven't heard about this author before. I absolutely looooove the title!

So have you read any books about books that you can recommend?


  1. That 'At Home with books' sounds amazing. I dream of one day having my own library too....of course, I need to actually buy a house first!

  2. My favorite book about books (and libraries) so far is The Library at Night, by Alberto Manguel. I can't recommend it highly enough! He has written other books about books, too, which I haven't gotten to yet but that look wonderful. At Home With Books sounds excellent as well!

  3. I enjoyed Howard's End is on the Landing by Susan Hill and Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman.

  4. One that I adore is Honey for a Women's Heart by Gladys Hunt. It was first published many years ago. She has also written Honey for a Child's Heart and a Teen's Heart. All are brimming with really good reading. Belle

  5. I love Manuguels books and also the susan hill book both have been mentioned already I see ,all the best stu

  6. Thanks for all the great suggestions, they will go on my TBR list :-)

  7. I am not sure if I want the Faulks on Fiction book or not - going to have to look at it in Waterstones first.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, hope to see you soon.

  8. I love books about books! Sometimes I think I spend far too much time reading and looking at pictures of books and shelves than actually reading! I love that At Home with Books book. I keep borrowing it from the library. You should also check out Nicholas Basbanes' 'A Gentle Madness'. No pretty pictures though.