25 Books for Book Lovers

I was asked a few weeks ago on Tumblr for 20 books that every book lover should read. Now, I wouldn’t dare suggest such a list as I’m sure there’s many wonderful and worthy books that I’d miss out, so instead I created a list of books that are perfect for book lovers – often books about books. As over 700 people liked/reblogged the list, I thought I’d make a proper blogpost about it, including a few more books (some yet to be published!). Enjoy, bookish people!

25 Books for Book Lovers FICTION

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan about a young man, Google HQ, and a bookstore even more curious than its name suggests. (Review)

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde about Miss Thursday Next, LiteraTec, as she attempts to solve the mystery of Martin Chuzzlewit, the missing Dickens manuscript, set in an alternate reality home to literary detectives. (Review)

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield about a Gothic mystery narrated by a book lover, with an engrossing first few chapters that perfectly describe staying up reading until the early morning. (Review)

The Shadow of the Wind* by Carlos Ruiz Zafón about an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother and finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind by Julián Carax, only to discover that someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury about what a post-literate future can do to society. (Review)

25 Books for Book Lovers
The Collected Works of A.J. Fikry* (also known as The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry) by Gabrielle Zevin about what happens in a bookshop that changes the lives of seemingly normal but extraordinary characters.


Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys about life in the gritty 1950s New Orleans’ French Quarter, the world of a young girl living in poverty above a bookshop, and her attempts to solve a curious murder mystery. (Review)

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak about Hitler’s Germany told through the eyes of a young German girl, the Jewish man hiding in her basement, and Death – and why no story should be suppressed.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell for people who spend a disproportionate amount of time on the internet, who do not distinguish between ‘online’ and ‘offline’ friends, and for whom ‘the fandom’ does not need explaining. (Review)

The Forbidden Library* by Django Wexler about a young girl who finds herself inside a book, in a world where all of magic is controlled by Readers.

25 Books for Book Lovers
Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan about a red notebook, an erudite boy and a bookish girl, and a trip to NYC’s most famous indie bookstore, The Strand. (Review)

Matilda by Roald Dahl for a magical tale about a genius girl, a horrid headmistress and a loving teacher, and the hopeful and comforting message contained in books: You are not alone. (Review)


The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop* by Lewis Buzbee about a former bookseller who celebrates the unique experience of the bookstore – the smell and touch of books, getting lost in the deep canyons of shelves, and the silent community of readers.

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops & More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell for two miscellanies of hilarious and peculiar bookshop moments.

25 Books for Book Lovers
One Hundred Great Books in Haiku by David Bader for a super quick read and a fun introduction to great works of literature, from Homer’s Odyssey to Orwell’s 1984.

The Etymologicon, The Horologicon and The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth for three books on the wonders of the English language.

Love, Sex, Death & Words* by John Sutherland & Stephen Fender for surprising tales from a year in literature.

25 Books for Book Lovers
Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid by Lemony Snicket about Snicket’s uproariously unhappy observations, such as ‘Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them’.

The Novel Cure* by Ella Berthoud & Susan Elderkin for a medical handbook with a difference. Whether you have a stubbed toe or a severe case of the blues, within these pages you’ll find a cure in the form of a novel – or a combination of novels – to help ease your pain.

My Salinger Year* by Joanna Rakoff about a young woman’s first job as an assistant to the storied literary agent of J. D. Salinger.

84, Charing Cross Rd* by Helen Hanff about a lifelong friendship that began with a letter inquiring about second-hand books.

Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader* by Anne Fadiman for witty collection of essays recounting a lifelong love affair with books and language.

I’ve put an asterisk (*) next to the books I’ve not yet read. I’m sure there’s many more I’ve missed out, so let me know: which books would you suggest to book lovers?

Also check out Books for Book Lovers: In Pictures.

38 thoughts on “25 Books for Book Lovers

  1. The thirteenth tale is amazing. I would suggest it to any reader. I am going to read The Forbidden library soon. Looking forward to it 🙂

  2. I’m in love with this list. Books about books have been my favorite since elementary school. The Shadow of the Wind is really wonderful; I hope you get a chance to read it. One of my favorites I would add is Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (Middle Grade/ YA). It’s a beautiful adventure about a girl whose father can read characters out of books. The main characters are all delightfully well-read, and there’s an ornery aunt with an extensive library who is the most hilarious bibliophile I’ve come across in children’s fiction.

    • I hope I get a chance to read it soon too! Oh yes, I’ve seen a lot of bookish quotes from Inkheart. I don’t know much about it, but I’ll have to check it out.

  3. The Eyre Affair is an awesome book, and so are its sequels! I also really loved Fangirl – such a fun book. Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops made me lose my faith in humanity a little bit though.

    Thank you for this list; added a few books to my to-read shelf! 🙂

  4. I love books about books, also I kind of love lists so this post makes me happy. I recognize a few of these titles, and have them on my tbr, but I’ve also found new ones to add (like The Collected works of J.K. Fikry and The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop, which both sounds great). For me, the Harry Potter books, as well as Kafka on the Shore, come to mind because of the libraries. Great list at any case!

  5. Oh man. Now I have to add all these to my massive to-read list. And read The Book Thief again. I loved this post 🙂

  6. What a lovely list, some I’ve read and loved, some on my TBR and some new books I haven’t heard of. I would like to suggest ‘The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society’ – such a charming book.

    • I forgot The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society, even though I own it, because I haven’t read it yet – I featured it in my photograph version of this blogpost though, which hopefully I’ll post this weekend.

  7. I’m glad you’ve included The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop on this list. I read it recently and it was wonderful!

  8. I look forward to reading my way through some of these books – The Shadow of the Wind is one of my favourite books and although I haven’t read many others, this looks like a great list 🙂

  9. Great list!!!It has many books I love and one of them is 84, Charing Cross Rd, you should read it…I also enjoyed the movie with Anthony Hopkins.Well, I have a recommendation “The library of unrequited love” by Sophie Divry.

  10. What a great list! A children’s/YA novel/trilogy I would suggest is the Inkheart trilogy by Cornelia Funke!

  11. *quickly adds all the unread books onto my TBR*

  12. I actually read some of the essays from Ex Libris for a writing course last year and ended up really enjoying them. It’s definitely a good pick for this list 🙂

  13. This is excellent – you have some of my favourites (Matilda, The Eyre Affair, The Book Thief, The Shadow of the Wind), and I’m reading Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore (which is really exciting and blends books and tech – I’ve never read a book so relevant to my current interests…) at the moment. I’ve added everything else to my TBR list! Thank you – I’ve always wanted someone to do a list like this 🙂

  14. My wishlist just got a lot longer! This was a great post, well formatted too. Thank you!

  15. This is a brilliant idea! I’m adding all of these to my wishlist to review at a further date. 🙂

  16. […] Stacey created a list of 25 books that are perfect for book lovers. […]

  17. […] posted 25 Books for Book Lovers earlier this month, but I wanted an excuse to take some pretty pictures of books that I already […]

  18. […] The Collected Works of A.J. Fikry was loaned to me by a colleague who thought I’d enjoy it because it had been compared to The Book Thief. As soon as I saw what it was about – a disgruntled, unhappy man; an independent bookshop; a stolen rare copy of Edgar Allen Poe’s Tamerlane; and a baby among the book stacks – I straight away added it to my list of 25 Books for Book Lovers. […]

  19. Among Others by Jo Walton! It’s kinda amazing how many books the protagonist reads.

  20. […] Books for Book Lovers (and In Pictures) […]

  21. I want to read all the books in this list! I have been eyeing Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, but I have several books to complete first.

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