This is a book about books, about the pleasures, passions, and rewards of reading, about authors who are dedicated to the act of writing, and readers who are devoted to the joys of words in the right order. Funny, moving, and beautiful, it features an eclectic selection from some of the world’s finest writers, as well as sixteen full-color paintings by artist and editor Bascove. Both its contents and its production are guaranteed to satisfy the most demanding and discriminating tastes.
From Italo Calvino’s meditation on the difficulties of selecting a title in a bookstore, to Virginia Woolf’s essay on the joys of the “common reader,” from Cervantes’s depiction of the burning of Don Quixote’s books to Anne Fadiman’s musings on the courtly (and carnal) ways to mark one’s passage through the terrain of a text, Where Books Falls Open testifies, in words and image, to the strength and endurance of the written word. With selections from the pens of Donald Hall, Joyce Carol Oates, Calvin Trillin, Robert Pinsky, Jane Austen, Robertson Davies, Dorothy Parker, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Mary Gordon, to name just a few, and adorned with Bascove’s gorgeous and inimitable paintings, this elegant book has something for anyone interested in the nature of writing and the pleasures of reading.
Some of the authors and selections in Where Books Fall Open:
Rita Dove · Maple Valley Branch Library, 1967
Italo Calvino · If on a Winter’s Night…
Donald Hall · This Poem
Mary Gordon · My Curtains: Snowbound
Pablo Neruda · Word
Steve Martin · A Word from the Words
Naomi Shihab Nye · Because of Libraries…
Derek Walcott · Love in the Valley
Jane Austen · Northanger Abbey
Calvin Trillin · Sign Writing