You know you’re a bookworm when you can’t get enough of books about bookstores, libraries, and books. Don’t worry, you’re in good company.
Write what you know. That’s the advice most authors are given.
If you are a bookworm, what you know best is usually books.
Every book lover fantasizes about owning a gorgeous library or working in a bookstore. The smell of the printed page is so alluring to bibliophiles. That’s why books about bookstores catch the imagination.
If you are looking for the best books about books or just need to fill in a category of your reading challenge, I’ve got the perfect list for you. Just scroll down to see my extensive list of books perfect for any book lover.
Books About Bookstores
The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
Crotchety old A. J. Fikry is struggling in life. He is now a widow. His bookstore is failing. To top it off, his rare edition of Edgar Allan Poe has been stolen. On the verge of becoming a complete recluse, a plot twist occurs that will gives Fikry a second chance at life. A heartwarming tale perfect for any book club.
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
Twenty-nine-year-old Nina Hill has the perfect little life. She loves her job at the local California bookstore, her friends on her trivia team, and her bookshelves full of books to read. When her absentee father dies, Nina discovers she has a whole slew of relatives she never knew she had and is not sure she wants. Add in a cute guy interested in her, and Nina’s quiet bookish life will never be the same. A super light read with a love story that’s not a romance novel, The Bookish Life of Nina Hill will speak to all those introverted bookworms who love to read books about bookstores.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
After losing his job in the Great Recession, Clay Jannon takes a position at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. However, something is odd about this particular bookstore. The customers are sparse and never buy any books. Instead, the “check out” obscure large volumes lost in the hidden corners of the store. If you are searching for mysteries set in bookstores, Sloan’s tale is a good place to start.
The Shadow of the Wind
Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Want a book that involves a bookstore or library. This modern classic has both! Set in post-World War II Spain, Daniel receives a copy of the only surviving copy of the book, The Shadow of the Wind by Julián Carax. Then Daniel embarks on a quest to discover more of Carax’s history, which many would rather be left concealed. Books like this one remind me why I never want to write fiction; I could never come close to his exquisite use of the written word.
A small independent bookstore in Minneapolis is haunted by its most loyal customer after she dies on All Saints Day but refuses to leave. Recently out of prison, Tookie desperately needs to keep her job at the bookstore, so she must solve the mystery of the haunting while dealing with the turbulent events that shape Minneapolis from 2019 to 2020.
In Mexico, bookstore owner Lydia is charmed to meet Javier, a man who shares her taste in books, only to find he is the local drug lord. When her husband exposes Javier’s secrets, the wrath of the cartel falls upon her family. Lydia and her son Luca must flee from his wrath – all the way to American soil. This book about a bookstore owner sparked a firestorm about cultural appropriation and who gets to tell what stories.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
V. E. Schwab
To escape a forced marriage, Addie LaRue makes a bargain with the devil in 1714. She gets to live forever, but the catch is she will be forgotten by everyone she meets. After 300 years, Addie has become resigned to her fate until she meets a young man who remembers her name.
More Books About Bookstores:
- The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan
- Words in a Deep Blue by Cathy Cowley
- The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
- 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
- The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson
Books About Libraries and Librarians
The Library Book
In 1986, a massive fire raced through the Los Angeles Public Library Central Branch, raging for over seven hours and destroying hundreds of thousands of books. Susan Orlean weaves together the tale of the library fire, the history of the Los Angeles Public Library, and the behind the scenes look at the current library to show the importance of libraries to humanity.
Cloud Cuckoo Land
From the author of All the Light We Cannot See comes an ambitious work of literary fiction. Doerr’s novel toggles between three timelines – the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, present-day Idaho, and interstellar ship far in the future. Each piece explores the power of stories as a fictional ancient Greek comedy weaves throughout the entire book. The awe-inspiring power of the written word that Doerr evokes in every sentence will be appreciated by literary fiction lovers.
The Starless Sea
Graduate student Zachary Rawlins stumbles upon a mysterious book full of fantastical tales, only to find himself in the narrative. He follows hints to a secret library, preserved by guardians intent on protecting it. From there he finds himself swept into a magical mystical world. With a story this complex, you might not be able to settle for just one reading.
The Giver of Stars
During the Great Depression, Englishwoman Alice Wright marries a handsome American and finds herself transplanted to rural Kentucky. To escape her unhappy home life with her withdrawn husband and overbearing father-in-law, Alice agrees to become a traveling librarian, riding around the countryside bringing books to local residents. In her new job, she meets other fierce women and gains lasting friendships. Add in plenty of drama, love stories, corrupt businessmen, and even murder, and you have the perfect light historical fiction for any book club.
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
Kim Michele Richardson
Published just before The Giver of Stars, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is another novel about the Pack Horse Library Project in Kentucky. Richardson’s heroine is 19-year-old Cussy Carter, the last remaining member of the rare blue-skinned Appalachian people. Carter must overcome the suspicions of the locals and win their friendship as she becomes a traveling librarian.
The Lions of Fifth Avenue
In 1913, Laura Lyons should be loving life. Her husband is the superintendent of the New York Public Library, allowing the family to live inside the famed building. Yet she struggles with her traditional role as a housewife and finds herself drawn into a mystery of stolen books. In 1993, history begins to repeat itself when Laura’s granddaughter, now the curator of the Library, realizes books are disappearing again.
The Midnight Library
In the Midnight Library, there are two books – one book for the life you’ve lived and one for the one you could have lived. After attempting suicide, Nora Seed finds herself there. Now she must decide which book to choose from. What if she had made different choices? Would her life have been any better? All of us have regrets, and by allowing Nora the possibility to redo her life, Haig does a brilliant job showing how we can never predict the outcomes of our choices. A thoroughly enjoyable read that intimately talks about the pain depression and second-guessing has on our life.
After a childhood of being ignored by his family, William Waters finds refuge playing basketball in college. When William meets Julia Padavano, a lively girl extremely close to her parents and three sisters, he quickly becomes a part of the close-knit Padavano family. Although cracks start to appear in the family, William never imagined he’d be the wedge to drive them apart in this astounding homage to Little Women.
More Books About Librarians:
- The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
- Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
- Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein
- The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
- Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakley
- The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles
Books About Booklovers
The Book Thief
A book narrated by Death might be off-putting at first, but quickly you’ll fall in love with this Young Adult WWII historical fiction. In 1939, Liesel Meminger is sent to live with foster parents in Munich. There she befriends the charming neighborhood boy Rudy and settles into a life of book thievery. Coming of age during the rise of the Nazis, Liesel and Rudy must face the complications of growing up in a dictatorship they hate.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
On the German-occupied island of Guernsey, the residents form a book club as an excuse for breaking curfew. Written as a series of letters after the war between the book club and writer Juliet Ashton, the story gives you a look at what life was like on the occupied island. This fun novel is sure to leave you smiling at the colorful cast of characters and makes the perfect book for your reading list.
The Jane Austen Society
Just after the Second World War, the residents of the sleepy village of Chawton seem to be languishing. When Adam suggests forming a society to preserve the final home of Jane Austen, he doesn’t realize how a mutual love of Jane Austen will change the lives of the townspeople.
The Book of Lost Friends
After the Civil War, freed slaves posted “Lost Friends” advertisements, seeking loved ones who had been sold off. During this time, freed slave Hannie goes on an adventure with two step-sisters, daughters of Hannie’s former master. While Lavinia and Juneau Jane are looking for their father’s will, Hannie is hoping to find her long-lost family. In 1987, searching for a way to connect to her students, teacher Benny Silva hopes that diving into the town’s history will spark some interest.
More Books About Bookworms
- Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
- Misery by Stephen King
- Matilda by Roald Dahl
- The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler
- Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler
- The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
Books About Books
The Forgotten Garden
If you love books within books, you’ll love Kate Morton’s bestseller. After the death of her grandmother Nell, Cassandra learns she has inherited a cottage in England. Now she sets off on a journey to discover Nell’s past and hopefully find a path forward for herself. Kate Morton expertly peels away layers of revelations to finally get the overarching mystery – how did a little girl end up found in Australia carrying only a book of fairytales.
The Ten Thousand Doors of January
Alix E. Harrow
Growing up in the early 1900s, January Scaller lives in an expansive mansion in Vermont, the home of her guardian Mr. Locke, who collects peculiar treasures from all over the world. January herself is one of those treasures, not quite white but also not quite black. Her father travels the world finding treasures for Mr. Locke, while January sits at home trying to be a good girl. When January discovers a book about doors – magical passageways between worlds – she begins a journey toward a fantastical future and an understanding of her past.
Book of a Thousand Days
Based on a lesser-known Grimm fairytale, Book of Thousand Days is a great choice if you like young adult fiction. After Lady Saren refuses to marry her chosen suitor, she is shut in a tower for seven years along with her maid Dashti. With food running low, when two suitors arrive trying to win Saren’s hand, Dashti must use all her wits to help them through this trial
The Library of Legends
When Japanese bombs start falling in Nanking in 1937, Hu Lian and her university classmates must walk 1,000 miles to safety in China’s interior. The group is given a secret task, to guard The Library of Legends, an ancient collection of myths. Along the way, Lian realizes that one of the tales from the Library of Legends seems to be awakening the spirits of the story.
In a world where printed books are outlawed, firemen Guy Montag begins to wonder what’s so dangerous about books. While there are other books about burning books, Fahrenheit 451 is the classic and serves as a warning against the dangers of censorship and the consequences of an addiction to television. In our world of technology, Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel feels rather prophetic.
More Fiction Books About Books
- Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling
- The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
- The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
- 1984 by George Orwell
- The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley
Books About Authors
Hell of a Book
Jason Mott’s contemporary novel showcases two parallel storylines. In the first, an unnamed Black author sets out on a publicity tour of his latest book. During the tour, he keeps encountering the Kid, a possibly imaginary child. Along with this story, Mott interweaves the tale of Soot, a young Black boy facing injustices in the rural South. As the plot converges, Hell of a Book looks at the costs of racism in America and surprises with one final twist.
Cutthroat literary agent Nora Stephens lives her whole life in books. On a sisters’ trip to North Carolina, Nora dreams of becoming a heroine worthy of the books she reads. Instead, she keeps running into a brooding editor from back in the city. As their accidental meetings keep coming, Nora and Charlie begin to see each other differently in this enemies-to-lovers summer read.
The Dead Romantics
Florence Day is a ghostwriter for one of the most popular romance writers of the day. But after a bad breakup, a disillusioned Florence struggles to write about love. With a new book due and her editor refusing an extension, Florence’s career is all but over. When her father dies, Florence returns to her sleepy Southern hometown only to be shocked to find the ghost of her editor, whose unfinished business has her second-guessing everything she knows about love stories.
After a car accident, bestselling author Paul Sheldon finds himself lovingly nursed back to health by Annie Wilkins. She is Paul’s biggest fan and has no intention of ever letting him leave. Instead, she insists that he write a new book bringing her favorite character in his Victorian romance series back from the dead.
Struggling writer Lowen Ashleigh receives the chance of a lifetime when Jeremy Crawford hires her to complete the bestselling book series of his injured wife, Verity. However, in Verity’s study, Lowen stumbles upon an unpublished autobiography full of dark confessions. As Lowen falls in love with Jeremy, she debates whether to show Jeremy Verity’s writing. Although originally published in 2018, Verity has become a fan favorite on TikTok and was just reprinted with a brand new chapter.
More Books About Writers
- Beach Read by Emily Henry
- The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz
- Writers & Lovers by Lily King
- Once Upon a Wardrobe by Patti Callahan
- Shriver by Chris Belden
Nonfiction Books About Books
I’d Rather Be Reading
In I’d Rather be Reading, book blogger Anne Bogel contemplates the delights and dilemmas of the reading life. You’ll be reminded of the first time you fell in love with a book and of all the joy reading has brought into your life since. Her perfect descriptions of bookish dilemmas makes this a must-read on any list of books about books and reading.
In her love letter to all things bookish, Jane Mount writes directly to bookworms. Full of literary facts and book recommendations, Mount beautifully illustrates her book about books. With book lists, famous bookstores around the world and the working spaces of well-known authors, Mount has something for any book lover.
Well-Read Black Girl
Glory Edim has compiled this motivating collection of essays from contemporary black female authors. With such big names as Jesmyn Ward, N. K. Jemisin, Tayari Jones among others, you won’t find any better nonfiction books with strong female leads anywhere. Telling of how they found themselves in literature, these fierce females will inspire you to remember the value of a story.
More Nonfiction Books for Booklovers
- The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett
- Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
- The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester
- Word by Word by Kory Stamper
- Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman
What books about bookstores have you loved?
Thanks for posting this list. There’s a few books that have caught my interest for sure!
I’ve read a few of these listed. Made me think of a book I’d read within the past few months called Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore. It was good and would recommend it
Sheree @ Keeping Up With The Penguins says
Oh, I love love LOVE The Library Book. It’s a brilliant read, I annoyed friends and family with fun facts about libraries and fire for a month! If you’re after any more non-fic suggestions, I can heartily recommend The Novel Cure and I Don’t Remember The Title But The Cover Was Blue
CJ | A Well-Read Tart says
This is such a great list!!! I need to read the Nina Hill one. I keep hearing great things about it. I also just wanted the movie of THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB and loved it, so I think I need to read that book. Same goes for the similarly titled THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY, haha.
Two more “books about bookstores” should be THE LOST FOR WORDS BOOKSHOP and THE PRINTED LETTER BOOKSHOP (my review for this one is posting next month!). I adored both of these books taking place in a bookstore. 🙂
Elsie @ Tea and Ink Society says
I’d add The Thirteenth Tale!
Thank you for the great list! But I would highly recommend the Ink Heart Trilogy as well 🙂
Can’t believe Shion Miura’s The Great Passage wasn’t included, when it’s a book about writing a book–specifically a dictionary, and the power of words. Only by reading the book does the reader realize the title becomes apt, in multiple ways.
Oh–and don’t bother with Giver of Stars. Moyes rushed her work, for reasons that are obvious given its similarity in theme and release date to Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek.
Compared to BoTC, GoS is pretentious, trite, predictable and tiresome. Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek is none of those things. Go with the better-written work.