Who would have thought reading a book about a man's love affair with books would be so addicting? I'm a bookaholic, and even I wasn't so sure when I checked Books: A Memoir out from the library. I was hooked on the cover photograph, though, gaggles and gaggles of books.
McMurtry discuss in great detail his own obsession, "I had to have books," (20) with books which eventually led to his buying and selling books. In fact, he utilizes his love of books to remember prominent points on his personal time line: the beginning of his teaching career, the end of his marriage, the growth of his son, etc.
The wit, intellect, and characterization found in this memoir is mesmerizing to say the least, and I noticed I read with a permanent smirk on my face throughout. When McMurtry tells of some eccentric book sellers he came across during his book hunts, such as the owner who had books piled high in a one-room shop, I had no choice but to laugh out loud. In order to "view" the books, a customer was to make use of provided binoculars for which McMurtry spent hours scanning the titles giving a whole other meaning to "browsing the shelves."
For the purposes of book club, Coca-Cola served in the bottle should be the beverage of choice served for your discussion. Without giving too much away, this would be an ideal conversation starter on the topic of difficult customers McMurtry encountered at his own book shop, Booked Up. An assortment of chocolate " . . . we might offer our children" (20) to accompany the soda in lieu of beef intestines would be my preference.