Shelf Life: Writers on Books and Reading


Shelf Life: Writers on Books and Reading


ISBN: 9780712352864 Category:


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Books; reading, collecting and the physical housing of them has brought the book-lover joy – and stress – for centuries. Fascinated writers have tried to capture the particular relationships we form with our library, and the desperate troubles we will undergo to preserve it.

With Alex Johnson as your guide, immerse yourself in this eclectic anthology and hear from an iconic Prime Minister musing over the best way to store your books and an illustrious US President explaining the best works to read outdoors. Enjoy serious speculations on the psychological implications of reading from a 19th century philosopher, and less serious ones concerning the predicament of dispensing with unwanted volumes or the danger of letting children (the `enemies of books’) near your collection.

The many facets of book-mania are pondered and celebrated with both sincerity and irreverence in this lively selection of essays, poems, lectures and commentaries ranging from the 16th to the 20th century.

Additional information

Dimensions 130 × 198 mm

Alex Johnson

Author Bio

Alex Johnson is a freelance journalist and part of the digital team at The Independent. He is also the author of four books, including Improbable Libraries, Bookshelf, and Shedworking: The Alternative Workplace Revolution. His latest title, A Book of Book Lists, was published by the British Library in 2017.



Book Type

Paperback / softback

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