Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Books about Books

Kevin Smokler

I love reading books about other books... Clifton Fadiman (The Lifetime Reading Plan), Michael Dirda (anything by him), Nancy Pearl (Book Lust), Anne Fadiman (Ex Libris). 

So it is no surprise that the discovery of a new book, Practical Classics: 50 Reasons to Reread 50 Books You Haven't Touched Since High School, sent me running to the library to check it out. Though it has been a while since I was in high school and I may or may not have read any of the books author Kevin Smokler revisits, I do believe I will enjoy this book. 

Here is a bit from his introduction:

Either we can be the kind of reader that read Invisible Man in high school and never looked at it again, or we can be the kind of nut who reads it once a quarter and gets angry when someone doesn't appreciate it exactly as much as we do.

Those of us who love the simple act of reading, I suspect, are somewhere in between. Practical Classics is my attempt to find a place for this kind of reader, someone who loves to have worlds opened up by books but finds the act of reading as joyous as fainting into a chocolate cake.

Who knew there would be cake!


  1. I love books about books, too and this one is new to me. I'm currently reading "How to Read a Book" in an effort to become a more thoughtful reader. (Usually I just read and read and L.M. Montgomer, "I am simply a book drunkard.")

    1. Kathy, I think I used to own a copy of 'How to Read a Book'. I never read it and must have given it away. I admit that I am not a very thoughtful reader either. Book drunkard is a wonderful and fitting term!

  2. Belle!
    One of my gavourite subjects; please try any of these books by Alberto Manguel, they are wonderful especially the first one
    A History of Reading
    A Reading Diary
    The Dictionary of Imaginary Places
    The Library at Night

    1. I have heard of Senor Manguel but as of yet have not read anything by him. Thanks for the reminder, Tullik. I will take your recommendation to heart.

  3. Sounds awesome. I'm definitely writing this one down. (Mostly because I want to know if I've read any of the 50 books he mentions.)

    1. So far, I have read his essays on the first four books he looks at and turns out I have only read one of high school of course. Mr. Smokler has a nice, witty style. Oh well, more books to be added to the TBR list.