For a book lover, what could be more fun than perusing a book about books? Why, perusing a beautifully illustrated book about books of course! While book lovers can’t deny their love for words on the page, love for books extends beyond written language to encompass an appreciation for the beauty of books as everyday objects that impart a touch of art and beauty to our day. Books add color to walls and nightstands, brighten our coffee tables, and create magical places we call libraries and bookstores. So, because none of us can get enough of the visual charm of all things bookish, we’ve rounded up some of the best illustrated books about books below for you to check out now!
Book Nerd by Holly Maguire
With gorgeous illustrations by Holly Maguire on every page, Book Nerd is a celebration of bookishness that you’ll find yourself flipping through time and time again. From reflections on ways to carry books to remarks on what your bookshelf might say about you, Book Nerd is filled with relatable moments from our every day encounters with books. Also includes mottoes for book lovers, a lesson on the world’s oldest library, and more reasons to love books (as if we needed more!).
I Will Judge You by Your Bookshelf by Grant Snider
In this insightful comic book by artist-writer Grant Snider, the author dives into the fanaticism of book lovers, illuminating bookishness in all its forms and exploring book culture generally. This light-hearted collection is also packed with humor, wit, and creativity. It includes a tale of a party guest who judges the host’s bookshelf when no one is looking, a rendering of the reader’s relationship with a book in a parody of the life cycle, and a comic reflection on what poetic justice might look like when personified.
Bibliophile: Diverse Spines coauthored by Jamise Harper and Jane Mount; illustrated by Jane Mount
Literary lovers looking to diversify their bookshelves and discover overlooked authors should look no further that Diverse Spines by Jamise Harper and Jane Mount. Through marvelous illustrations, Diverse Spines tours readers through a collection of book titles, authors, and bookstores from communities that are often marginalized. Spanning all genres from classics to mysteries to cookbooks, this book truly is for everyone!
Bookish Broads: Women Who Wrote Themselves into History by Lauren Marino, Illustrated by Alexandra Kilburn
Alexandra Kilburn illustrates 50 literary heroes in Bookish Broads. These are women who challenged convention and dared to write about the diverse experiences of women in eras that often wanted to silence or overlook women’s voices. In addition to a portrait that highlights each woman’s unique place in history, this book delves into each author’s life and celebrates one of their works, offering readers a closer work at these literary giants.
Well-Read Women: Portraits of Fiction’s Most Beloved Heroines by Samantha Hahn
Loving the bookish and the beautiful so often goes hand in hand because books create magical places and beloved characters in our imaginations that stay with us for a lifetime. In Well-Read Women, Samantha Hahn honors fiction’s most beloved heroines through powerful portraits and hand-lettered quotations that capture exactly what we love about each character. From Anna Karenina to Daisy Buchanan, this is the book that brings these characters to life in a brand new form.
Book Love by Debbie Tung
Finally, a book that gets it. All our fanaticism and infatuation with all things bookish is vindicated in this wonderfully illustrated comic book by Debbie Tung. In Book Love, practices such as sniffing books and hoarding them are celebrated. Creative excuses to stay home and read are encouraged! And living life in the magical space between books and our imaginations is what it’s all about.
The Illustrated Dust Jacket, 1920-1970 by Martin Salisbury
We love to look at our books. Positioned perfectly on the side table or organized on our shelves by color, no one can deny the artistry of a book that adds value beyond what’s inside. In The Illustrated Dust Jacket, author-illustrator Martin Salisbury takes readers through the history of the dust jacket, from when it was just a practical way to protect a book from dust, to when it became more: an artistic marketing tool meant to attract buyers. Salisbury’s book offers a look at the book jackets of the past, showing readers how they’ve changed over time and offering a visual history tour of book design.