Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

8 of the Best Books About Books

Abigail Clarkin

Staff Writer

Abigail can often be found holding a book in one hand and an ice cream cone in the other. When she is not devouring stories (or dessert), Abigail trains for marathons and writes poetry about growing up with eight brothers and sisters. She enjoys working in marketing for a real estate developer and creating Instagram content for fun (@marathonandmunch) about all the tasty eats found in Providence, RI.

This list of books about books is sponsored by Doubleday.

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Circus, a timeless love story set in a secret underground world–a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea.

Like anyone who adores literature, there are few things more thrilling to me than reading books about books. From books that are heavily lined with classic literature references to books that hold actual magic within their pages, many authors know all too well how powerful reading can be for their characters.

Read on to learn about eight of the best books about books.

Adult Contemporary Fiction

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

Katherine Reay is an incredibly well-read writer. Each of her books is filled to the brim with quotations and stories from the greatest books. Her newest release, The Printed Letter Bookshop, is no different. When the owner of a beloved bookshop passes away, she leaves the store to her estranged niece. Madeline, a busy lawyer from Chicago, is overwhelmed and confused with her aunt’s desire to leave all her earthly possessions to her. Janet and Claire, the bookshop’s two employees, are confused as well. As the three women battle to keep the shop from going under, their way is lit by unexpected friendships, forgiveness, and personalized reading lists from Madeline’s aunt.

Austenland by Shannon Hale

What is one to do when they are utterly obsessed with one of Jane Austen’s leading men? Pop off to a quick vacation at a regency themed estate, of course. Jane is a successful professional living in New York, working and socializing by day, and dreaming of Mr. Darcy by night. When a family member pays for Jane to stay at Austenland, she finds that the rules—and men—of the time are more challenging than she anticipated.

Adult Historical Fiction

The Guernsey by Barrows CoverThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Juliet Ashton is a writer and reader following World War II. During hard times, she was saddened to have to part with some of her books. After the war is over, she is pleasantly surprised to find a letter from someone who has read her old copy of Charles Lamb and who requests further reading recommendations. Thus sparks a friendship between Juliet and the spirited members of a book club on the small island of Guernsey.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz ZafonThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Daniel is an 11-year-old living in Barcelona after World War II. One day, as Daniel mourns his mother, his father—a book dealer—tries to cheer him up by introducing him to the secretive Cemetery of Forgotten Books. The Cemetery is home to rare books that are no longer remembered by readers, and it is there that Daniel chooses a forgotten book called The Shadow of the Wind. Seeking out other books by the same author, Daniel is shocked to find that the copies are mysteriously being destroyed, one by one. Even worse, books are not the only things in danger.

Young Adult Fiction

Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen

Lady Victoria Aston, also known as Vicky, is a 19th century young woman who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. Seriously: she spends her days caring for the lands around her home. An avid reader, Vicky has little desire at the moment to pursue marriage outside of the Jane Austen novels she is always reading. Her oldest sister has already secured a decent marriage, along with wealth, leaving Vicky to live as she pleases. But when her sister leaves her abusive husband, it is up to Vicky to marry in order to save her family. (Although this book does not come out until December 2019, it is one to start preordering and adding to your TBR list right this moment.)

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

There are three things that Lara Jean apparently loves: boys, baking, and books. Her story begins when the love letters she wrote to all her previous crushes are sent without her knowledge.

Suddenly, she is faced with all the boys in her life who never knew how she felt (which is how she wanted it to stay). When she is not engaging in a secret romance, surviving high school, or trying to keep the peace with her sisters, Lara Jean reads. Throughout the story, she is teased for reading romance novels, references Harry Potter (complete with spells), and declares that reading is one of the main ways in which she enjoys herself.

Young Adult Fantasy Fiction

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

A life of impermanence is hard as an adult; it’s even harder when in high school. Alice knows this all too well as she has moved around with her mother for as long as she can remember. When her mother goes missing, Alice knows it has something dark to do with her grandmother and that spooky, rare book she authored about fairy tales. Alice’s story to find her mother, as well as her own strength, is punctuated with eerie examples from her grandmother’s book, fantastic happenings, and an unlikely friendship with one of her classmates.

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida CordovaLabyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

Alex would love to be anything other than the member of a family who wields magic. Too bad for her, she is the most powerful bruja in her family. When Alex finds an incantation to rid her of her powers, she is shocked to find her plans go awry and she instead banishes her family to Los Lagos. In Labyrinth Lost, her family’s copy of The Book of Cantos lends wisdom and guidance to Alex as she journeys to save her family.

Looking for some nonfiction options for books centered around books? Check out 12 Books About Books Every Bibliophile Will Love. Interested in finding more books like the ones you already adore? Here are 3 Ways to Find Recommended Books Based on Other Books You Love.