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.
Alison Bechdel Stephen Carter Junot Diaz Rebecca Goldstein and Steven Pinker Lev Grossman and Sophie Gee Jonathan Lethem Claire Messud and James Wood Philip Pullman Gary Shteyngart Edmund White.