Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books

Front Cover
Leah Price
Yale University Press, Nov 29, 2011 - Photography - 208 pages

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. Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books spotlights the personal libraries of thirteen favorite novelists who share their collections with readers. Stunning 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, Leah Price 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 Price's 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.

Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books features the personal libraries of Alison Bechdel, Stephen Carter, Junot Díaz, Rebecca Goldstein and Steven Pinker, Lev Grossman and Sophie Gee, Jonathan Lethem, Claire Messud and James Wood, Philip Pullman, Gary Shteyngart, and Edmund White.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - SESchend - LibraryThing

3.5 stars for an okay read and perusal of writerly bookshelves and their discussions on what's worth reading (to them). Some essays/interviews more myopic than others, while some are loads of fun. At ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - christina.h - www.librarything.com

This was exciting to read for the fact that I felt some great commiseration with some of the authors on certain statements and answers. I really enjoyed that everyone involved shared their top ten ... Read full review


Alison Bechclel
Junot Diaz 12
Rehecca Goldstein Steven Pinker
Lev Grossman Sophie Gee 61
Jonathan Lethem
Gary Shteyngart
Edmund White 162

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About the author (2011)

DIVLeah Price is professor of English at Harvard University. She is the author of The Anthology and the Rise of the Novel, Literary Secretaries/Secretarial Culture, and How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain. She writes on old and new media for the New York Times Book Review, the London Review of Books, and the Boston Globe./div

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