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Bibliophilic Fiction: 7 Books About Books for Book-Lovers

Books about books are like a triple distillation of the pleasure of reading. You get to read a story about a like-minded lover of books, you get to read about the books they love and you most likely come away with several additions to your ever-lengthening reading list.

Booklovers, like the books they love, come in all varieties but there but there is a book about books for just about everyone.

The Book Thief

Liesel Meminger is a nine-year-old girl living in Germany during World War 2. She steals books, from mansions and from bonfires, because she is fascinated by the power of words.

'I have hated the words and I have loved them.'

Liesel and her foster-father help each other to read the books she steals and they write all the words they learn on a wall in their basement.

By rescuing books Liesel reclaims her own freedom. A beautiful book about the power of words to feed the soul.

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Fahrenheit 451

With a title which refers to the temperature at which paper combusts, Fahrenheit 451 was written in 1953 and set in an imagined dystopian near-future where reading is illegal. Books are banned and burned because they are considered dangerous storage units of the fuel for that great enemy of happiness: independent thinking.

The inhabitants of a generic American town are engrossed in ridiculous reality television which they watch on ever bigger, all-surrounding screens. They wear intrusive ear-pieces every waking, and even sleeping, moment subjecting them to constant advertising and distraction. Can you imagine such a world?

The hero, Guy Montag, is a fireman, a book-burner who is willing to forfeit everything to save one book.

‘Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget…they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.’

Terrifyingly accurate in its predictions, and with writing so brilliant it singes, Fahrenheit 451 is a book about the importance of books and the danger of following the crowd.

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Mr Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore

When Clay Jannon loses his first job as a web designer, he resorts to taking a job as a night clerk at eccentric Mr. Penumbra's rather unusual bookstore. The store is almost devoid of customers but Clay is instructed to log the comings and goings of all patrons and has been warned against opening any of the books.Unable to resist, Clay looks inside the books and discovers that they’re written in code.

To pass time, Clay develops a 3D model of the bookstore, which contains the inventory and inadvertently solves the Founder’s Puzzle – the first obstacle to joining a mysterious fellowship called The Unbroken Spine.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is a novel about the tension between old knowledge and new, between tradition and technology.

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The Thirteenth Tale

Vida Winter, a famous but enigmatic English novelist decides, as death draws near, to employ a biographer to tell her life story. She seduces Magaret Lea, a bookish amateur, into taking the job with the intriguing promise of a ghost story involving twins.

As Winter recounts her history, Lea researches and narrates her discoveries and thus two parallel stories unfold.

An engrossing and intelligent mystery with a dark atmosphere and impeccable writing.

The Shadow of the Wind

Set in post-war Barcelona and translated from the original Spanish, Ruiz Zafon's meticulously plotted story-within-a-story has become one of the best-selling books of all time.

Daniel Sempere is invited to choose just one book from the cemetery of forgotten books which he must guard and protect for the rest of his life. He selects The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax. Thus begins Daniel's quest to discover the history of Carax and the reason why all but one of his books have been destroyed.

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The Little Paris Bookshop

The international bestseller, translated from the German by Simon Pare. On a beautifully restored barge on the Seine, Jean Perdu runs a bookshop; or rather a 'literary apothecary', for this bookseller possesses a rare gift for sensing which books will soothe the troubled souls of his customers. The only person he is unable to cure, it seems, is himself. He has nursed a broken heart ever since the night, twenty-one years ago, when the love of his life fled Paris, leaving behind a handwritten letter that he has never dared read. His memories and his love have been gathering dust - until now. The arrival of an enigmatic new neighbour in his eccentric apartment building on Rue Montagnard inspires Jean to unlock his heart, unmoor the floating bookshop and set off for Provence, in search of the past and his beloved.

The Reader on the 6.27

This French bestseller has recently been translated into English and published with a seasonal cover.

Guylain Vignolles works in a book-pulping factory at a job which sickens him. Everyday, he rescues tattered fragments of books which he reads aloud on the commuter train to the bemusement and delight of his fellow passengers.

When he discovers the diary of a girl who is waiting to be rescued by a handsome prince, Guylain knows immediately what he must do.

The Reader on the 6.27 is a story of despair and friendship, of escapism and romance.

Most of all, it is an allegory, a parable in praise of books.

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Irish blogger and book reviewer. Official contributor to Bookwitty.com and author of Bookwitty's monthly 'Cooking the Books' feature. Erstwhile microbiologist with an MSc in Food Science, she ... Show More


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