Ramona Koval’s By the Book: A Reader’s Guide to Life is a memoir of the author’s reading journal. From her mother’s influences to her first library card all the way though to her career as a literary journalist. Ramona Koval writes this as a love story to the books that have influenced her life and career.
Not only is this book very easy to read, it might even offer some interesting titles for you to read. I know my ‘to read’ list suffered especially with the introduction to Richard Holmes; I’ve now added a heap of his books to my wish list. I almost read this in a sitting and I would’ve if I didn’t have to go to bed. I was drawn to Kaval’s literary journey and the reasoning behind reading some of the books.
It might be just me but I find people’s reading histories really interesting and give me a little confidence in my own journey. Personally I think I have an interesting journey and this book as inspired me to document it in better detail. I’ve started to build a slight obsession with memoirs about people’s reading history’s having recently read Books: A Memoir by Larry McMurtry and moving onto Through the Window by Julian Barnes after finishing this one. I have asked my readers for recommendations similar to these books in a recent blog post so I hope to read many more memoirs of bibliophiles.
By the Book is an entertaining read with some real gems; like borrowing Kafka from a library at a very young age and asking her mother to buy her a copy of the Kama Sutra. By the Book is not only an entertaining reading journey but hopefully it will inspire reader to share their own history with the world; I know I would like to read about them. It might be just my love of books and books about books but I really enjoyed this biography and recommend it to all serious readers.