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An unconventional biography of Vincent van Gogh, who painted Piles of French Books in 1887, maps the Dutch artist and avid reader’s life through the books on his shelves. Photo: VCG Wilson/Corbis/Getty Images

> The Listicles

Books for Book Lovers

The next best thing to reading books is reading about books, and these titles will delight bibliophiles / BY Nathalie Atkinson / January 22nd, 2021

With the pandemic going on and on, and lots more time for reading, books are more important than ever, especially in those parts of the country where you can’t get out to shop in person. The next best thing to reading is browsing the minds and bookshelves of other readers.

Obsessive Book Buyers: Zoomer editors have carefully curated our book coverage to ensure you find the perfect read. We may earn a commission on books you buy by clicking on the cover image. 

>Ex Libris by Michiko Kakutani

Enthusiastic essays on re-reading 100 favourite books by the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who spent nearly 25 years as chief book reviewer of The New York Times.




>The Art of Ramona Quimby by Anna Katz

Beginning with Louise Darling’s Boomer-era ink illustrations through to the pageboys of the Gen-X version, this is a survey of the five artists who brought Beverly Cleary’s spunky heroine to life for generations of children – and their parents.




>Vincent’s Books: Van Gogh and the Writers Who Inspired Him by Mariella Guzzoni

This unconventional biographical study maps the artist and avid reader’s life through the treasured books on his shelves (Zola, Maupassant, Dickens) and the literature that influenced his creative phases.




>Garner’s Quotations: A Modern Miscellany by Dwight Garner

Culled from his personal journal of ideas and passages (a notebook sometimes known as ‘a commonplace’), the New York Times staff book critic makes connections and riffs on the bon mots from literature and elsewhere that he’s collected over the course of 40 years.

>The Book Collectors: A Band of Syrian Rebels and the Stories That Carried Them Through the War by Delphine Minoui

Le Figaro’s Middle East correspondent profiles the secret library assembled by committed resistance fighters in a suburb of Damascus in a story that’s as much about rescuing books as the ideas they contain.




>Confessions of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

This sequel to the international bestselling memoir by a second-hand book-store owner continues his misanthropic daily commentary about the customers and eccentrics who darken the door of his shop in Wigtown, Scotland.




>Bookishness by Jessica Pressman

Physical books as fetish objects of the digital age, the meaning of bookstagram, even the social identity we construct through our shelfies: this is a brainy exploration of what it means to be a book lover in the 21st century.






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