Bibliophile: Diverse Spines

If you find yourself always looking for a new read you can’t go wrong with Bibliophile: Diverse Spines. Jamise Harper and Jane Mount are the co-authors of this gorgeous book which is essentially a book of book recommendations. I can’t recommend it enough.

Bibliophile is special. First, it’s an absolute pleasure to hold in your hands, perfectly small and heavy with thick pages and a ribbon bookmark. Almost every page is richly illustrated with book spines, lovingly recreated by hand in full color. Mount is the illustrator and you can just feel the joy in her work.

I have to admit I felt a certain sense of validation when I looked at the cover. Of the 22 novels pictured I’ve read two (Good Talk and The House of the Spirits) and two more are on my list for this year. (The Bluest Eye and The Vanishing Half.) Good Talk is probably one of my favorite books of the last few years and just seeing the bright red spine on the cover of Bibliophile made me happy for the author, Mira Jacob. I hope more people come to her book via this one.

The authors want us to ‘diversify our reading lists’ and for good reason. Diverse perspectives and opinions help us grow, strengthen our empathy and understanding of others, and expand our world view. The collection of books in Bibliophile is ultra diverse: BIPOC authors, marginalized authors, graphic novels, poetry, books for children, middle-schoolers, etc., etc. I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll find at least one book to try.

They also have a beloved bookstores feature. It would be fun to plot the locations on a map and then head out on an epic bookstore road trip. If they asked me I would add Gainesville’s Book Gallery West, a jam-packed bookstore and gift shop. They’ve been here since before I started college many, many years ago and I’ve bought many, many books from them.

The authors’ goal is for the reader to find 10 books to read in the coming year. Easy to do with so many good choices. Read Bibliophile for the sheer pleasure of turning the pages and the joy of discovering something new.

I found this vintage Book Gallery West bookmark in a used book I bought recently (not purchased at BGW, though!) This was back when they had two locations, and when Irving, Michener and Kosinski were the big names in publishing.

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