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Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books
     

Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books

by Leah Price (Editor)
 

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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. Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books spotlights the personal libraries of thirteen favorite novelists who share their collections with readers. Stunning

Overview

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. Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books spotlights the personal libraries of thirteen favorite novelists who share their collections with readers. Stunning 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, Leah Price 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 Price's 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.

Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books features the personal libraries of Alison Bechdel, Stephen Carter, Junot Díaz, Rebecca Goldstein and Steven Pinker, Lev Grossman and Sophie Gee, Jonathan Lethem, Claire Messud and James Wood, Philip Pullman, Gary Shteyngart, and Edmund White.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"You are . . . what you read." This book takes 13 authors from across genres and strips them, exposing their essence through a close look at their most private possessions-their books. A list of 10 favorite reads and a short interview accompany beautifully composed photographs of each private collection. Among the modern literary notables profiled are Philip Pullman (The Golden Compass), Junot Díaz (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao), and Allison Bechdel (Fun Home), all of whom impart intimate details-or lack thereof-of the relationship they share with their personal libraries, relating everything from the first book they ever purchased to how they feel about what will happen to their amassed wealth of literature after they're gone. Though Price aims to explore the nature of a bookshelf to reveal truths about its owner, perhaps more fascinating is how, while immersed in wonder about how these books may have shaped each author's work, readers are given the chance to compare their own reading lists with those of their favorites.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The Boston Globe

“In its beautiful design, Unpacking My Library is itself an argument for the continuing vitality of physical books and the libraries that contain them.”—The Boston Globe
The Chronicle of Higher Education - Jean Temarin

"Filled with juicy details about how writers read, collect, and live with their books.”—Jean Temarin, The Chronicle of Higher Education
New York Book Show - Jacket Cover Design Prize

Winner of the 2012 New York Book Show Award in General Trade Jacket, as given by the New York Book Show 
The Sunday Republican - Alan Bisbort

"[M]any of the observations may help disorganized book nuts bring some shape to the mishmash of books we call our own libraries."—Alan Bisbort, The Sunday Republican
Fine Books & Collections

Unpacking My Library is a wild, wide world of authors and their books.  Maul it savagely or gently caress it.”—Fine Books & Collections
Harrisburg Magazine - Harvey Freedenberg

"There are many expensive coffee table books about books and libraries, but for a relatively modest cost, Price's volume offers a gorgeous set of pictures . . . [a] lovely book."—Harvey Freedenberg, Harrisburg Magazine
Rain Taxi - Jeff Bursey

"[A] sensual pleasure for the eyes, and a book fans of the writers, and of books and libraries, will enjoy."—Jeff Bursey, Rain Taxi

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300170924
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
11/30/2011
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
453,389
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 2.90(d)

Meet the Author


Leah Price is professor of English at Harvard University. She is the author of The Anthology and the Rise of the Novel, Literary Secretaries/Secretarial Culture, and How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain. She writes on old and new media for the New York Times Book Review, the London Review of Books, and the Boston Globe.

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