Category Archives: Jose Jorge Letria

If I Were A Book – Jose Jorge Letria & Andre Letria

I am possibly preaching to the converted however to not tell you a wonderful book all about the power of books (which of course you all know) would really to be cheating you and cheating myself and that could lead to some dark times. What will lead you to wonderful happy times is the delightful ‘picture book for adults’ (though not in an ‘adult’ adult way) If I Were A Book by Jose Jorge Letria, illustrated by Andre Letria.

Chronicle Books, hardback, 2014, non-fiction, 64 pages, kindly sent by the publisher

There is no way, and no need, to jazz If I Were A Book up. Very simply it is a book which in a mere 64 pages puts into words, and indeed images, all the power that books can have – whilst of course doing all those things itself by proxy, very clever! Each page opens using an illustration of a book, or sometimes two or ten, which itself illustrates just what a book can do. You need an example don’t you…

If I Were A Book 2

Or maybe another one…

If I Were A Book 1

Or another…

If I Were A Book 3

I don’t know how the magic happens with this book, it must be the mixture of the words along with the imagery, but it somehow creates a wonderous sense of nostalgia about what the best books you have read have done or where they have taken you be you a youngster or a reluctant grown up. As I was reading along I was thinking of all the books that have done just what the narrator says they would do ‘If I were a book…’ It is such a simple idea and yet one which really makes you think and, if my experience was anything to go by, makes you go and strong your books spines just to say a small thank you.

It has also really made me think about how much I take my books for granted. In reading it for the tenth or twelfth time, to remind myself of its powers before I wrote this review, I had been almost griping how a big massive book I was reading, and completely loving, was stopping me from reading all the other books out there. Then with one simple image it made me rethink and tell myself off…

If I Were A Book 4

Books shouldn’t be rushed, they should be treasured – yes even the ones you don’t really love that much. It takes books like If I Were A Book (which also reminded me of the same lesson Ali Smith’s Artful teaches you) to remind even the most devoted of readers just how lucky they are. I also think a book like If I Were A Book might just be the ideal gift for anyone who… no I will just leave it as the ideal gift for anyone. It is the perfect book about books, joyous!



Filed under Andre Letria, Books About Books, Books of 2014, Chronicle Books, Jose Jorge Letria, Review