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Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their…

Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books

by Leah Price (Editor)

Other authors: Alison Bechdel (Contributor), Stephen L. Carter (Contributor), Junot Díaz (Contributor), Sophie Gee (Contributor), Rebecca Goldstein (Contributor)8 more, Lev Grossman (Contributor), Jonathan Lethem (Contributor), Claire Messud (Contributor), Steven Pinker (Contributor), Philip Pullman (Contributor), Gary Shteyngart (Contributor), Edmund White (Contributor), James Wood (Contributor)

Series: Unpacking My Library (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3211256,943 (3.68)27
As words and stories are increasingly disseminated through digital means, the significance of the book as object, whether pristine collectible or battered relic, is growing as well. This book spotlights the personal libraries of thirteen favorite novelists who share their collections with readers. Photographs provide full views of the libraries and close-ups of individual volumes: first editions, worn textbooks, pristine hardcovers, and childhood companions. In her introduction, the author muses on the history and future of the bookshelf, asking what books can tell us about their owners and what readers can tell us about their collections. Supplementing the photographs are interviews with each author, which probe the relation of writing to reading, collecting, and arranging books. Each writer provides a list of top ten favorite titles, offering unique personal histories along with suggestions for every bibliophile.… (more)



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» See also 27 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
3.5 stars for an okay read and perusal of writerly bookshelves and their discussions on what's worth reading (to them). Some essays/interviews more myopic than others, while some are loads of fun. At least worth looking at to see how some folks' shelves almost reflect their writing (orderly vs. chaotic, etc.) ( )
  SESchend | Sep 6, 2017 |
This was exciting to read for the fact that I felt some great commiseration with some of the authors on certain statements and answers. I really enjoyed that everyone involved shared their top ten books, and that I drew a few more recs off of their shared bookshelves.

The opportunity to read about the reading and collecting habits of other people--especially this variety of people--is both interesting and helpful as I spend too much time in my own head trying to figure out my own thoughts on the reading, keeping and sharing of books.

Such different personalities and sentiments are shared here, that despite the interviewer posing the same questions to each author (which, admittedly, makes perfect sense) over and over, I couldn't help but love it. ( )
  christina.h | Sep 23, 2016 |
What books do writers have in their libraries and why do they keep the books they have on their shelves? That is the subject of this little book. ( )
  debnance | Feb 21, 2016 |
Can't resist scouring bookshelves. This was mostly visual - photographs of writers' bookshelves, with short commentaries - a little delight. However, two stars only because it was a very simple idea, which entailed not a lot of work. ( )
  c_why | Feb 28, 2015 |
A great concept. As other reviewers have remarked, the repetition of the stock questions is distracting (only one contributor used the questions to write a single essay). This format -- it appears that the questions must have been submitted by email, and then the authors wrote their responses -- prevents any follow up questions based on the comments provided. The end result, therefore, is a bit flatter than it could have been. The effort is saved by the thoughtful answers provided by the selected writers. ( )
  dono421846 | Aug 25, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Price, LeahEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bechdel, AlisonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carter, Stephen L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Díaz, JunotContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gee, SophieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goldstein, RebeccaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Grossman, LevContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lethem, JonathanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Messud, ClaireContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pinker, StevenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pullman, PhilipContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shteyngart, GaryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
White, EdmundContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wood, JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed

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As a teenaged babysitter, I went straight for the books.
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