Criticism & Features

NBCC Reads

What’s Your Favorite Book about Books?

By Natalia Holtzman

What are your favorite books about books? Why are these books such a ferocious pleasure? Maybe it's their range: books on books can combine memoir and criticism (see Rebecca Mead's My Life in Middlemarch or Janet Malcolm's Reading Chekhov), history and sociology (Alberto Manguel's A History of Reading), humor, travelogue, astute observation, and who knows what else (Elif Batuman's The Possessed). Tell us about your favorite for the latest installment of the NBCC Reads series, which draws upon the bookish passions of NBCC members and honorees (the series dates back to 2007; you can explore the archive here.) Submissions can be 500 words or fewer and should go to

Natalia Holtzman is a 2018 NBCC Emerging Critics Fellow. Her work has appeared in Electric Literature, the Ploughshares blog, and elsewhere. She lives in Ann Arbor, MI.