This is a book about books. Queenan wrote eight essays, covering everything from public libraries to keeping books you know you will never read. It’s usually fun to hear another bibliophile’s take on these topics. Queenan is a witty writer, but he’s also, well, snarky (in the words of his local librarian). He’s been a voracious reader since his youth, reading mostly classic literature and nonfiction on obscure topics. And somehow those reading choices make him a better person – or at least, reader – than I am. Or you are. He comes across as a bit of a reading snob, even looking down his nose at classics like To Kill a Mockingbird. I enjoy reading about others’ reading tastes, but not if it makes me feel like less of a person because I read fiction books that people have actually heard of. I enjoyed Queenan’s take on some bookish things, but I would have been just fine without having ever read this book.
Paul Collins has fallen in love with the town of Hay-on-Wye in Wales. Who wouldn't? It's a town with 1,400 residents and 30 bookstores. Every book lovers' heaven! Collins loves it so much, however, that he decided to move there - taking along his wife, young son, and many, many boxes of books. And we get to embark on his adventure along with him. Sixpence House follows him in and out of the bookstores and unstable piles of books. It chronicles his family's search for the perfect house in Hay-on-Wye ("perfect" being defined as level-ish floors and not too much mold). It introduces us to some of the residents of the town. Bibliophiles galore! Collins also intersperses amusing quotes from obscure books that he has read. These were some of my favorite parts, since I know I would never have come across these quotes in any other way. Collins writes with wit and humor. His adventure in this bookish town in Wales is well worth your time. You will most certainly add Hay-on-Wye to your list of places to go someday, just as I have!
My name is Julie, and I own a lot of books. As in, they are stacked on the floor because I've run out of room on the shelves. And those shelves? There are so many books on them that they smile -- not sag; smile. This blog will cover book reviews and all manner of other bookish things.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.