As words and stories are increasingly disseminated through digital means, the significance of the book as object - whether pristine collectible or battered relic - is growing as well. Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books spotlights the personal libraries of thirteen favourite velists who share their collections with readers. Stunning photographs provide full views of the libraries and close-ups of individual volumes: first editions, worn textbooks, pristine hardcovers, and childhood companions. In her introduction, Leah Price muses on the history and future of the bookshelf, asking what books can tell us about their owners and what readers can tell us about their collections. Supplementing the photographs are Price's interviews with each author, which probe the relation of writing to reading, collecting, and arranging books. Each writer provides a list of top ten favourite titles, offering unique personal histories along with suggestions for every bibliophile. Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books features the personal libraries of Alison Bechdel, Stephen Carter, Jut Diaz, Rebecca Goldstein and Stephen Pinker, Lev Grossman and Sophie Gee, Jonathan Lethem, Claire Messud and James Wood, Philip Pullman, Gary Shteyngart, and Edmund White.
Leah Price is professor of English at Harvard University. She is the author of The Anthology and the Rise of the Novel, Literary Secretaries/Secretarial Culture, and Reader's Block: The Uses of Books in Nineteenth-Century Britain. She writes on old and new media for the New York Times Book Review, the London Review of Books, and the Boston Globe.