One for the Books

One for the Books

by Joe Queenan


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An absolute must-read for anyone who loves books

In Closing Time, Joe Queenan shared how he became a voracious reader to escape a joyless childhood. Now, like many bibliophiles, he fears for the books that once saved him. In One for the Books, Queenan examines the entire culture of reading and what books really mean in people’s lives today. What does it suggest if a person has no books displayed in his living room? Can an obsession with reading prove detrimental to one’s well being? How useful are covers in selling books? Queenan’s many fans—as well as anyone who loves books and reading—will want to join him on his unforgettably funny and moving journey.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780670025824
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/25/2012
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.92(w) x 8.32(h) x 0.96(d)

About the Author

Joe Queenan is the author of nine books and writes the “Moving Targets” column for the Wall Street Journal. He lives in Tarrytown, New York.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Great Expectations 1

Chapter 2 Face Without a Name, Bag Without a Number 28

Chapter 3 Opening the Books 58

Chapter 4 Shelf Life 84

Chapter 5 Prepare to Be Astonished 115

Chapter 6 The Stockholm Syndrome 153

Chapter 7 Other Voices, Other Rooms 193

Chapter 8 Life Support 221

Acknowledgments 245

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"[Queenan's] passion for reading is infectious ... It’s so rare to hear such a heartfelt defense of books — it’s one of the most original works we read this year."
~New York Daily News (Best books of 2012)
"A celebration of literature, reading and the call of books from a stylish humorist who has a soft spot for Georges Simenon and a hard time with trendiness and 'astonishing' reviews."
~Kansas City Star (Top 100 books of 2012)
"A passionate, at times hilarious, account of a life spent reading and rereading."
~Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Queenan's goal isn't just to declare his love for books and to list particular books that he loves, but to suss out the customs of book lovers: to analyze what books mean to his friends and acquaintances (not to mention a few enemies), and how books forge or destroy friendships."
~Leah Price, San Francisco Chronicle

Customer Reviews

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One for the Books 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of those book you'll be glad you read, wish you had written, and know that you couldn't have in a million years. If you love books, get this one!
cwhitney More than 1 year ago
Such a great book. Joe Queenan pushes any reader to want to read more and more with each book he discusses in One for the Books. I am in awe of his mind that he can read 40 books at the same time and not have to go back to the beginning! Would love a supplement to this book of "Joe's top 1000 books"...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
silencenomore More than 1 year ago
A BOOK ABOUT BOOKS! I COULDN'T ASK FOR ANYTHING BETTER! One for the books is an instant companion. A companion whom understands, reading is a daily requirement! The author quotes " I sometimes read books that my friends have recommended, but I always buy my own copy. This is because I like to write in my books, and fix the punctuation and make catty remarks like "oh, really". I had to chuckle at this quote, as I was writing "me too" in the margin while reading the quote. He brings up a good point how many childhood owned have since disappeared. I can relate to this, but the memories remain. Joe Queenan is not a fan of book groups, libraries initially, borrowed books or bad writers. He enjoys books immensely, and thinks departing with books is like death! The fact he reads for long term goals has never really crossed my mind. Yet, being faithful to bookstores I understand. My attention span can be sparse. The titles to many books he has done things with seems tedious to me. Until reading further! I retreat! Now I am happy he mentioned Kingston, Canada. Small bookstores and Canadian authors. My travels took me to those places. My curiosity is now aroused by the mention of Canadian authors. amateur book reviews are mentioned with praise. We get to voice our opinions to fellow book lovers. Our obsessions are familiar. He also points out cover jackets make or break a book. This is one to keep for my library. I have already penned in my notes and will do some research. A fun read, and good to know I am not the only bookaholic! I purchased this book. Thank you and happy reading.
embeck7 More than 1 year ago
Never read Joe Queenan before, and now I want to read everything of his !  For the true book lover, this is a joy to read.  For those of us who think, "we're the only ones", it is refreshing to find an author whose love of reading has overtaken his life.  But in, oh, so good a way.  Full of humor and charm.  I think most avid readers can see themselves throughout this book.An unexpected delight. 
FrancescaFB More than 1 year ago
THIS IS GREAT READING FOR ANY BOOK LOVER. And I am going back to some of the classics that I have not read in a very long time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Obviously not that good if im the first to write a review