Bookishness: Loving Books in a Digital Age

Jessica Pressman

2 stars

To be honest, I was really excited about this, considering how much I love books about books, and the many “bookish” items that I see around me, especially because I have been reading more nonfiction recently after how much I loved The Library Book. However, this book was written with a very academic and technical tone (somewhat to be expected for a book written by a professor), which would be fine for someone who knew the subject matter very well, but as a casual reader, I had to force myself to finish it. This says a lot considering the actual content of the book is slightly under 200 pages. (This page count includes the references and index, which themselves take up almost 50 pages). 
The book went into extreme detail analyzing various multimedia/experimental works which, the majority of the time, I had honestly never heard of and therefore could not fully appreciate the analysis of. Frankly, most of these works did not seem like they were at all known in the mainstream, one of them being cited as such a “failure” that it was not even listed in the author’s previous works in future books. The only- and I repeat- the only work I had heard of in this book was Chris Colfer’s The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell, incorrectly cited as The Wishing Well, which is not analyzed in the same way as the other works but rather used as a touchpoint to connect her ideas about bookishness to her daughter. 
As much as I had trouble connecting to this book, I did learn a bit about bookish culture, although not as much as I was expecting. It is clear that the author spent years researching the subject, and although I may not have been the intended audience, I can appreciate the effort that went into this work. Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this to the average reader, but if someone was very interested in experimental multimedia and its effects, this may be something they would enjoy.

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