Friday, January 29, 2010

Books on Books

I'm a big fan of reading books by subject. I like to go on mini reading sprees by topic or author. In the last couple years there have been a significant number of books published about books and their readers. Here is a small grouping of them.

"So Many Books" by Gabriel Zaid $12.00 This is a phrase we hear frequently at the store most often followed by, "so little time." Zaid does a great job of distilling the many aspects of the book world--publication, distribution, sales, returns, etc. It has a fairly academic style without becoming too obtuse. It is used as a primer in lots of classes and I found it incredibly informative.

"The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop" by Lewis Buzbee $14 This is another favorite from Graywolf Press. Buzbee has worked in the book industry in a number of capacities. One portion of the back jacket of the book reads, "As much a history of bookstores as a meditation on the reading life, The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop speaks to the book lover in all of us." Indeed.

City Secrets is a small off-shoot that, until recently, has published mostly small travel guides to a select few cities. Their most recent book is entitled, "Books: The Essential Insider's Guide"$19.95 It is edited by the poet Mark Strand and contains a cornicopia of great book selections. This is perfect for book clubs or the individual reader who is stuck on what to read next. It is filled with long-forgotten gems and I love this book dearly.

To finish we have "The Book Shopper" by Murray Browne $14.95 which is exactly what it sounds like. This is about the hunting, searching and sometimes finding of books for true book nuts.

The first and last of these four books are published by Paul Dry Books which is a small place out of Philadelphia. All four offer different things to the book crazy reader. All four worthwhile from places that care about books in very serious ways.

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