November 18, 2012

Review - One For the Books (Joe Queenan)

Joe Queenan became a voracious reader as a means of escape from a joyless childhood in a Philadelphia housing project. In the years since then he has dedicated himself to an assortment of idiosyncratic reading challenges: spending a year reading only short books, spending a year reading books he always suspected he would hate, spending a year reading books he picked with his eyes closed.
In One for the Books, Queenan tries to come to terms with his own eccentric reading style—how many more books will he have time to read in his lifetime? Why does he refuse to read books hailed by reviewers as “astonishing”? Why does he refuse to lend out books? Will he ever buy an e-book? Why does he habitually read thirty to forty books simultaneously? Why are there so many people to whom the above questions do not even matter—and what do they read? Acerbically funny yet passionate and oddly affectionate, One for the Books is a reading experience that true book lovers will find unforgettable.

Imagine a fellow who loves his books. I mean, really loves them. Let me introduce you to Joe Queenan, author of One For the Books - a reader with the most quirky habits, wonderfully opinioned, snarky and flippant, and let's not forget, he is quite a book snob too. Sounds bad? Trust me, it isn't. In fact I couldn't sing louder praises for a book about the passion for books. But let's not get ahead of myself.
A writer by trade, Queenan is a reader at heart. And he takes this whole reading business most seriously which, at times, made me feel slightly intimidated, especially when he mentioned yet another book and/or author I have never in my life heard about. He's got bookshelves filled with books he knows he'll never read. Reading in the bathroom is pretty much a no-go for him. Scribbling down notes in his books is basically a given. And book clubs, well, just don't get him started on those. So, did I find myself between these lines? To an extent, yes, but it was the part that was so unlike my own reading persona which made this book so refreshing.
Written in such a charmingly humorous way that I'd be hard pressed to mention just one favorite quote from it. Let me tell you, this whole book is one big quotation! All ye bibliophiles - if you love smart and gritty, and don't mind pretentious, this one's for you!
In short: Reading? Obsessed!

5/5 Trees

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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