Today’s blog is by bookseller Jennifer Gough, an organic gardener who staffs Ebenezer Books in Fairfax, Vermont. Jennifer read my book and emailed me; we became friends, so I asked her to write a guest blog for sometime in September. I didn’t know she was going to write about her favorite five books about books, or include me in that, but I sure like that she did! (And no, I didn’t pay her, but I do intend to buy her dinner next time I’m in Vermont….) Enjoy, and if you’re headed NE, look up her organic farming business. Jennifer, maybe you could put your contact details in a comment, since I forgot to ask you to include them here? :}
And now….. JENNIFER!
As a bookseller and confirmed bibliophile, I’ve, natch, read a lot of books in my life. I’ve read books about circus freaks and snails; housekeepers and elephants. I like mysteries and memoirs; fiction and non. I read bestsellers and secret gems. I’ve been known to read a romance, but only if it’s, ahem, a very literary romance. There’s nothing I appreciate more than the diverse bookcase, but there is one subject that I can’t ever resist…books about books! Give me a title containing B-O-O-K and I’m sold. I love books about book writers, book sellers, librarians and readers, and I love books about where books live; libraries, bookshops, under the covers on dark, stormy nights. It’s not that unexpected, I live there too. I know my way around. Of course it helps that the landscape’s usually alphabetized.
So here, in alphabetical order by author, are five of my favorite books about books, and the people who love them:
The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
For anyone who’s ever wanted to dive into their favorite book…literally. As Jane Eyre is my favorite book of all time, the idea of jumping into Thornfield and palling around with Jane and the Edward had me in convulsions.
Parnassus on Wheels, Christopher Morley
Christopher Morley insisted his early writing was “received with absurd overpraise.” While I wouldn’t dream of overpraising anyone, I love this tale of coming of (middle) age in a traveling bookshop.
Running the Books, Avi Steinberg
I often daydream about becoming a librarian. Of being surrounded all day by enthusiastic patrons, stacks of books and…convicts?! Excellent memoir of an accidental prison librarian.
The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, Wendy Welch
Three cheers for Wendy Welch! Keeper of Tales of the Lonesome Pine Bookshop and this blog, on which she has so graciously allowed me to spread a little book love. This memoir is a new favorite of mine. Wendy pulls no punches writing of the bookselling life, but somehow still makes us all want to live it.
The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafon
While this book left me a touch despondent for a few days, it introduces one of my favorite places in all of book-on-book lit, The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. A collection of books, dangerous and rare, known only to a whispering few? Sign me up!