Two Bookish Books I Think We Should All Be Reading…

I try not to bark ‘read this now’ as an order too often on Savidge Reads. If I really love a book then I hope the enthusiasm comes of the screen and you might want to go and have a look at it in a book shop or read about it more online. It’s very unusual then that I am pretty much going to bark the orders ‘read these now’ about two books that I actually haven’t read myself the whole way through…


‘Stop What You’re Doing And Read This!’ and ‘The Library Book’ are two books from separate British publishers which are all about books, reading and libraries. Really that should be enough to have you rushing to your nearest bookshop or book selling website shouldn’t it, in fact it might already have done just that, however I thought I would tell you a little more about both – just to really push you over the edge.

‘Stop What You Are Doing And Read This!’ is an anthology which asks the question ‘why should you stop what you are doing and read a book?’ The ten essay responses collected here are from the likes of authors such as Jeanette Winterson, Blake Morrison, Mark Haddon and Zadie Smith, along with Jane Davis founder of ‘The Reader Organisation’ and Carmen Callil who founded Virago and rather famously quit the International Man Booker judging panel. These ten essays simply tell you, in varying ways, the power of the book and the joys of reading. I have only dipped in and out of a few so far but from what I have seen it’s only going to make my love of reading and desire to read all the stronger. I know that Simon T of Stuck in a Book loves this book.

There is a different twist on the joys of reading with ‘The Library Book’ as this book is of course celebrating the library itself. Some of my favourite authors like Susan Hill, Val McDermid and Alan Bennett (there are lots more Kate Mosse, Julian Barnes, China Mieville, Stephen Fry – I could go on, there are 23 pieces in this collection) have all contributed works to this book, not all of them are essays though as of course we go to libraries for fiction, and so some of the authors have made fictional shorts along with the other essays throughout – all about the library, of course. Again, I have only had a glimpse at this book (as it only arrived this morning) but I am very, very excited about what’s inside. In fact what am I doing here writing this? I should be reading them already!

What I think is another thing that’s special about these books, if I haven’t sold these two you by now you may be a lost cause, is that they are working with the charity The Reading Agency (all the proceeds of ‘The Library Book’ are definitely going to this charity, it doesn’t say with ‘Stop What You’re Doing And Read This!’) which encourages people to read in all sorts of ways and is developing exciting library programmes. What could be better?

I am hoping some of you have stopped reading the blog by now and run off to find out more, or even gone and got the book. I am off to sit with my copies for a while. I will report back, I hope you will too!


Filed under Book Thoughts, Books About Books

34 responses to “Two Bookish Books I Think We Should All Be Reading…

  1. Wonderful! Of course I know and adore Stop What You’re Doing.. but hadn’t heard of The Library Book yet. And of course I am going to obey, and get my hands on it smartish! Thanks for bringing it to my attention, Simon.

  2. These sound great! I would rush out and buy them however I have promised myself not to buy any more books for ages due to the silly amount of books I have waiting still to be read. However were I to fall over them in some sort of terrible book shop related accident then….

  3. Kim

    The Library Book was already on my wish-list (I mean, with that cover you can’t go wrong..), Stop What You’re Doing And Read This! sounds wonderful as well and I will keep it in mind. thank you for sharing!

  4. Based on Simon T’s enthusiasm, I had already placed an order on Stop What You’re Doing and Read This! but sounds like I’ll have to add The Library Book to my order as well. I’m excited by the contents of both books but I also love their colourful covers – so cheerful! Have fun reading these!

    • The colours are great on the covers aren’t they? It is interesting that they have similarities and yet are from different publishers. I think the contents will definitely be as wonderful as the covers.

  5. They do sound great, I’m pretty sure I would greatly like them both but I’m sorry to tell you I’ll not be obeying your exhortations to stop what I’m doing and rush after these. Don’t take that statement as any reflection on your enthusiasm which I am absolutely not trying to dampen. Old(er) age tends to instill in oneself a reduced desire to jump up and do things no matter who enthuses about them!

    The Magic Mountain awaits me still.

    • Hahahaha I am not offended in any way DP. The do sound great though don’t they?

    • Old(er) age has the opposite effect on me DarkPuss:-)
      I love Stop What You Are Doing Simon, books like that about books & reading have eternal life on my shelves. Someone reminded me about Howard’s End is on the Landing yesterday and I had a very happy hour dipping into it again.

    • Oh well you know I have a small Susan Hill obsession I am sure DGR and I loved that book, its somewhere in all my moving boxes, but Susan’s piece in The Library Book is one I might turn to shortly.

  6. I need both of these books – and I need them now (shame about the work thing). It sounds as though they would sit very nicely on my shelves with Alberto Manguel’s wonderful History of Reading… thanks for bringing them to my attention!

  7. I bought Stop What You’re Doing… last week but hadn’t heard of The Library Book. Thanks to my online book pusher it will soon join its friends on my shelves…

  8. Out of interest and this may sound a little flippant (it’s not meant to, I’m still buying both AND I support libraries every week) But… are these actually being sold IN libraries at all?

    • I have no idea Dan. I havent been to a library, or even picked up a book to read, this week so I can’t help. I would imagine not though its a good idea indeed.

      • It would seem rather foolish to not sell them in libraries, to be honest. Also, as an aside, I don’t really get why they are being sold on Amazon… surely that defeats the purpose?

      • Well in a way I don’t mind the Amazon thing, people are buying books in bulk that way and if it sells copies of this it might send those buyers to the library, well that is my thought anyway.

        Email the publishers about the library idea, though the amount of paperwork with councils it would entail I imagine is off putting.

  9. The titles alone really should be enough to convince anyone! These are definitely going on my want list 🙂

  10. These both sound excellent. I do like a good essay!

  11. Pingback: Stop What You’re Doing and Read This! | Savidge Reads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s