Books can do many things – they can make you disappear in a world of their own, they can enchant the pants off you, they can make you forget what time it is, and at the same time make you realize the workings of the world. Books have that effect on most readers and also on authors. Keeping this in mind, Leah Price has edited a brilliant book for bibliophiles, titled, “Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books”. The title is self-explanatory and the book is a great watch.
The reason I say a great watch is because Leah Price and her team have managed to capture thirteen writers’ libraries, up close and personal and let me tell you it is a visual treat. The writers are not only in conversation with Leah but also have had no qualms in sharing what their libraries look like.
I loved the lineup of writers that contributed to this book: From Jonathan Lethem to Edmund White to Sophie Gee to Junot Diaz, the stories are well-shared. Each writer also shares with readers his/her Top 10 books.
As a book lover, it was a great feeling reading what writers think about the advent of e-books, when they first started buying books and what does reading mean to them. For instance, this is what Junot Diaz has to say about reading, quoting from Toni Morrison’s Beloved, “She is a friend of mine. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order”. This is one of the most beautiful ways in which I have read books being described.
Leah Price knows how to compile a book about books. The questions in the interview were perfect, ranging from how the writers shelve their books to how did they come about the list of top 10 recommendations to what will happen to their books when they die (a bit morbid though). I recommend this book to every bibliophile. It would be a great addition to their library and also a great reference to what should be read next.