Share We Love Libraries! The Best Books about Libraries and Librarians

We Love Libraries! The Best Books about Libraries and Librarians

We are passionate readers who love nothing more than discovering fantastic books and sharing them with friends. We recommend books that move us to laughter and tears—and everything in between. Trust us when we say, "You've got to read this!"

Happy National Library Week, book lovers! We firmly believe that nothing beats the antiquarian romance of spending hours sifting through dusty archives and illuminated manuscripts, never knowing what secrets lie hidden in the next stack. Whether you’re looking for a forgotten document that holds the key to an unsolved mystery, or the latest bestseller, let’s take a moment to celebrate our favorite books about libraries and librarians.


The Historian
by Elizabeth Kostova

Late one night, exploring her father’s library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to “My dear and unfortunate successor,” and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of—a labyrinth where the secrets of her father’s past and her mother’s mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.

The Historian
Elizabeth Kostova

Late one night, exploring her father’s library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to “My dear and unfortunate successor,” and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of—a labyrinth where the secrets of her father’s past and her mother’s mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.

MENTIONED IN:

You’ll Want to Leaf Through the Pages of These 13 Autumnal Books

By Taylor Noel | October 18, 2017

7 Books That Give Us Library Envy

By Elizabeth Breeden | March 16, 2017

11 Big Fat Debut Novels to Keep You Reading All Summer

By Julianna Haubner | August 11, 2015

We Love Libraries! The Best Books about Libraries and Librarians

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 14, 2015

Close

The Shadow of the Wind
by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

As Barcelona slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son, finds solace in what he finds in the “Cemetery of Forgotten Books”: a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, his seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets—an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.

The Shadow of the Wind
Carlos Ruiz Zafón

As Barcelona slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son, finds solace in what he finds in the “Cemetery of Forgotten Books”: a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, his seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets—an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.

MENTIONED IN:

7 Books That Give Us Library Envy

By Elizabeth Breeden | March 16, 2017

13 Books About Books for Big Book Nerds

By Kerry Fiallo | September 13, 2016

A Boy, a Writer, and a Book That Changes Everything

By Kara O'Rourke | May 23, 2016

11 Delightful Tales Set in Our Favorite Place—Bookstores!

By Emma Volk | December 29, 2015

We Love Libraries! The Best Books about Libraries and Librarians

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 14, 2015

Close

The Time Traveler's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger
This untraditional love story is the tale of Henry DeTamble, a dashing adventuresome librarian who inadvertently travels through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Their passionate affair tests the strength of fate and basks in the bonds of love.
The Time Traveler's Wife
Audrey Niffenegger

Is time a parabola? If you asked the couple at the heart of this remarkable story, Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course, they'd probably both say yes. Henry and Clare's passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap, and it is Audrey Niffenegger's cinematic storytelling that makes the novel's unconventional chronology so vibrantly triumphant.

MENTIONED IN:

9 Books We Wish We Could Read Again for the First Time

By Off the Shelf Staff | August 9, 2017

7 Books That Give Us Library Envy

By Elizabeth Breeden | March 16, 2017

Let’s Do the Time Warp Again: 11 Books to Celebrate Daylight Saving Time

By Julianna Haubner | March 9, 2017

The Better Half: 13 Tales of Powerful Wives

By Erica Nelson | July 7, 2016

We Love Libraries! The Best Books about Libraries and Librarians

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 14, 2015

A Perfect Cover Tells You Why You Should Read This Book

By Ashley Gilliam | June 19, 2014

Close

The Name of the Rose
by Umberto Eco

The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by a series of bizarre deaths that mimic the Book of Revelation, Brother William turns detective.

The Name of the Rose
Umberto Eco

The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by a series of bizarre deaths that mimic the Book of Revelation, Brother William turns detective.

MENTIONED IN:

In Memoriam: 12 Authors We Lost Too Soon in 2016

By Sarah Jane Abbott | December 26, 2016

11 Big Fat Debut Novels to Keep You Reading All Summer

By Julianna Haubner | August 11, 2015

We Love Libraries! The Best Books about Libraries and Librarians

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 14, 2015

Finding Libraries In Our Favorite Books

By Allison Tyler | July 10, 2014

Close

Possession
by A. S. Byatt
The winner of the Man Booker Prize and the literary sensation of 1990, this is the tale of a pair of young scholars researching the lives of two Victorian poets. As they uncover their letters, journals, and poems—and trace their movements from spiritual séances in London to the fairy-haunted coast of Brittany—an intellectual mystery and triumphant love story emerges.
Possession
A. S. Byatt

“I cannot let you burn me up, nor can I resist you. No mere human can stand in a fire and not be consumed.”
Winner of England’s Booker Prize and the literary sensation of 1990, Possession is an exhilarating novel of wit and romance, at once an intellectual mystery and triumphant love story. It is the tale of a pair of young scholars researching the lives of two Victorian poets. As they uncover their letters, journals, and poems, and track their movements from London to Yorkshire—from spiritualist séances to the fairy-haunted far west of Brittany—what emerges is an extraordinary counterpoint of passions and ideas.

MENTIONED IN:

Best Beach Reads: 14 (Extra) Long Books for (Extra) Long Days at the Beach

By Kerry Fiallo | July 3, 2017

A Poetic Treasure Hunt That Beguiles and Entrances

By Anmiryam Budner | November 2, 2015

We Love Libraries! The Best Books about Libraries and Librarians

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 14, 2015

Who Doesn’t Love a Love Story?

By Off the Shelf Staff | February 10, 2015

Close

Matilda
by Roald Dahl

Forced to put up with crude and distant parents, Matilda takes refuge in her love of reading. She expects school to be different but there she has to face Miss Trunchbull, a kid-hating terror of a headmistress. When she is attacked by the Trunchbull she suddenly discovers she has a remarkable power with which to fight back.

Matilda
Roald Dahl

Forced to put up with crude and distant parents, Matilda takes refuge in her love of reading. She expects school to be different but there she has to face Miss Trunchbull, a kid-hating terror of a headmistress. When she is attacked by the Trunchbull she suddenly discovers she has a remarkable power with which to fight back.

MENTIONED IN:

We Love Libraries! The Best Books about Libraries and Librarians

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 14, 2015

11 Books That Inspired Great Musicals

By Off the Shelf Staff | October 7, 2014

Close

A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books
by Nicholas A. Basbanes

Written before the emergence of the Internet but newly updated for the modern reader, A Gentle Madness captures that last moment in time when collectors pursued their passions in dusty bookshops and street stalls and high stakes auctions. The passion and expense these collectors are willing to make in pursuit of a book will astonish and delight you.

A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books
Nicholas A. Basbanes

Written before the emergence of the Internet but newly updated for the modern reader, A Gentle Madness captures that last moment in time when collectors pursued their passions in dusty bookshops and street stalls and high stakes auctions. The passion and expense these collectors are willing to make in pursuit of a book will astonish and delight you.

MENTIONED IN:

We Love Libraries! The Best Books about Libraries and Librarians

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 14, 2015

Close

This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All
by Marilyn Johnson

Those who predicted the death of libraries forgot to consider that we need librarians, the only ones who can save us from being buried by the digital age. This romp through the ranks of information professionals celebrates these pragmatic idealists who fuse the tools of the digital age with their love for the written word and the enduring values of free speech and open access.

This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All
Marilyn Johnson

Those who predicted the death of libraries forgot to consider that we need librarians, the only ones who can save us from being buried by the digital age. This romp through the ranks of information professionals celebrates these pragmatic idealists who fuse the tools of the digital age with their love for the written word and the enduring values of free speech and open access.

MENTIONED IN:

We Love Libraries! The Best Books about Libraries and Librarians

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 14, 2015

Close

People of the Book
by Geraldine Brooks

This ambitious, electrifying work traces the harrowing journey of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, a beautifully illuminated Hebrew manuscript, from fifteenth-century Spain to war-torn Bosnia. It falls to a renowned book conservator and a young librarian who risked his live to save it to discover its secrets and piece together the mystery of its miraculous survival.

People of the Book
Geraldine Brooks

This ambitious, electrifying work traces the harrowing journey of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, a beautifully illuminated Hebrew manuscript, from fifteenth-century Spain to war-torn Bosnia. It falls to a renowned book conservator and a young librarian who risked his live to save it to discover its secrets and piece together the mystery of its miraculous survival.

MENTIONED IN:

13 Books About Books for Big Book Nerds

By Kerry Fiallo | September 13, 2016

13 Fantastic Books Sure to Get Your Book Club Talking

By Erica Nelson | June 16, 2016

15 Remarkable Stories to Celebrate Jewish Book Month

By Erin Flaaen | November 12, 2015

13 Reasons to Join Our Mothers’ Book Club

By Off the Shelf Staff | September 22, 2015

We Love Libraries! The Best Books about Libraries and Librarians

By Off the Shelf Staff | April 14, 2015

Close

Thank you for joining our email list!

If you create and Off the Shelf account, you'll be able to save books to your personal bookshelf, and be eligible for free books and other good stuff.

Click here to create your free account.

You must be logged in to add books to your shelf.

Please log in or sign up now.