Issue of February 19, 2012

It’s a book world, after all—and I hope I have not put that song in your head to endlessly rewind—and we have if not all of them at least some good ones. Everyone is talking, it seems, about books they have on their readers, their desks, their nightstands, their bookshelves. What books? Come see.

Authors often dream of seeing their books turned into plays or films, but Carl Rollyson is one of the few to actually try. From that first experience, he learned, as he details in Biography on Film, that he had to do a lot more than just re-write what he had to bring justice to both filmgoers and to the character.

Most of us, as readers, favor one or more genres but rarely read everything. Those who do, especially as children, gain special insight as Lev Raphael points out in Reading Without Frontiers if they later become writers.

Piles and readers go together much as basil and tomatoes—a literary synergy in which each feeds off and complements the other. Pete Croatto, in My Life in Piles, shares some of what is in his current piles, each area a section of his “book town” that threatens to grow evermore.

Gillian Polack spent a couple months on the road last year and of course the first thing she packed was books. Electronic books, more than enough to make up for waiting times at train stations and airports. But not all of them got read, and in Travel Reading she discloses why she chose them and why they will be there for her next trip.

What a recent re-organization did for Lauren Roberts, besides making her happy about her new bookshelves, was to remind her of books she long owned but hadn’t yet read. In Finding Treasures, she shares two of them that she has finally read—and how one is helping her through a bout of illness despite or (or maybe in support of) its hefty size.


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