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6 Books About Books that Nail This Whole Book-ception Thing

Hey Swoon Readers!

I’m gonna let you all in on a little secret: I really like books. Shocking, I know, but what I love even more are books about books, books that celebrate the magic of reading either by creating a world in which characters can step into their favorite stories or just by being centered around what it means to love reading with your whole heart. Book-ception, if you will.

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Of course, things aren’t always sunshine and daisies even in our favorite books, so the whole being able to be in them thing looks a lot better from the comfort of my couch. Even the books on this list that are just about the joys of reading tend to give me all of the feels, because they remind me of how much impact even one book can have on someone’s life. Here are six books about books that should go on your TBR pile for when you’re feeling a little emotional about the power of stories (and only your fictional friends will understand).

1. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

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Thursday Next has the ultimate dream job: she’s a literary detective, in charge of tracking down tourists who get lost while visiting Sense and Sensibility or arresting people for forging Byronic verse in a world where traveling through books is as routine as getting on an airplane. Things really start to go south when someone kidnaps Jane from an original edition of Jane Eyre, and Next has to find her before a happy ending is lost forever. The Eyre Affair is a zany, hilarious trip, and a British literature lover’s dream.

2. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

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Meggie lives a totally normal life: her father is a traveling bookbinder who can read people into and out of stories with his sonorous, magical voice. So, maybe not so normal. When Meggie finds out that her father kind of accidentally read Capricorn, the big bad of a book called Inkheart, out into the world, she’s determined to put him back—and maybe find her long-lost mother in the process. This book has fire eaters, animal sidekicks, and crotchety old aunts in magnificent houses, but most of all Inkheart is a tribute to the books that we dare to read out loud.

3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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Liesel Meminger, a young girl living in Germany in 1939, cannot stop herself from stealing books. The only problem is? She can’t read. With her adoptive father’s help and set against the backdrop of World War II, Liesel not only learns how to read, but discovers the special magic of creating and sharing your own stories. This book will crush your heart into itty bitty pieces, but it also serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of literature at a time when everything seems to be falling apart.

4. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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Better with books and internet friends than actual humans, seventeen-year-old Cath is worried about starting college, leaving her dad alone, and what will happen to her favorite characters when the last book in the mega-popular Simon Snow series comes out. Toss in a couple of cute boys, a suddenly-distant twin sister, and a fanfiction-hating professor, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster... or maybe for a better future. Reading Fangirl will bring you right back to those hours (maybe days, who’s counting?) spent in line anxiously waiting for the next Harry Potter book to be released.

5. Matilda by Roald Dahl

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Essentially ignored by her parents and left to fend for herself, child genius Matilda finds solace exactly where generations of smart, lonely children have found it: in the library. When she is finally old enough to attend school, Matilda discovers that it isn’t exactly the celebration of knowledge she’d been led to expect. Undaunted, she finds a mysterious power within herself that will allow her to get what she’s always wanted: a happy ending. Excuse me while I go cry.

6. The Book Jumper by Mechthild Gläser

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After a traumatic event leads Amy Lennox and her mother to move back to her mother’s childhood home in Scotland, Amy discovers that she is descended from a line of secret librarians with the ability to “jump” into any work of fiction. Tasked with figuring out why crucial story elements keep disappearing, Amy realizes that her gift is more dangerous than it seems. Run-ins with classic characters like Shere Khan and Sherlock Holmes will make any avid reader jealous of Amy’s power, and the gothic setting makes The Book Jumper the perfect rainy day read.

What do you say, Swoon Readers—is jumping into books a dream come true, or would you rather keep your favorite characters on the page? And is there any story about the power of reading that won’t make me sob into my pillow?

Author spotlight

Rachel D.

Growing up in rural Oregon, books were my way out. Now, books are my way of reconnecting with my home. …

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