Monday, August 29, 2016

Book Review: Literary Listography

I would consider myself a fairly organized person, and as such, I tend to gravitate towards lists. While I have several list apps, I also like and use pen and paper lists. Given this and my love of books, Literary Listography seemed like a natural fit for me.

For those aren't familiar with the Listography books, they are an offshoot of the website and app that encourages users to create and share public lists about anything (you can read about it on the Listography website). Since the first Listography book was published in 2007, there have been 12 books in the series that focus on different themes, including friendship, food, and film.

Picture from
Unlike other books, the Listography books is very much driven and created by the reader, and Literary Listography is no exception. Billed as a "selection of lists chosen just for the book lover," the book includes 70+ lists that are designed to delight and intrigue any bibliophile. Rather than providing you with lists of books to explore, this book relies on you to interact with it and create lists based on the prompts. With prompts ranging from the expected ("My Favorite Authors") to the atypical ("Fictional Crimes I've Witnessed"), this book is fun and thought provoking. Some of my favorite prompts included "Fictional Characters I'd Go on a Date With" (let's be honest - if you love books, you've probably considered this. For the record, my list includes Gilbert Blythe from the Anne of Green Gables books), "Cultures I've Immersed Myself in Through Literature," and "Words I Love and Hate the Sound Of."

Besides the great list ideas, Literary Listography had a number of features that I appreciated and that added to the experience. Each prompt is accompanied by a full-color picture depicting a book related to the prompt it faces. For instance, a picture of a backpack and hiking books symbolizing Cheryl Strayed's Wild goes with the prompt "My Favorite Memoirs and Autobiographies." Besides this, the physical features of the book make it a pleasure to use. The pages have a nice weight and texture that hold up to even fountain pen ink and resist smudges, and the book pages lie flat, which makes it easy to write inside.

If  you are looking for a book to help you record your reading life and thoughts, Literary Listography could be the perfect book for you. It would also make a great gift for the book lover in your life (just be prepared for him or her to become preoccupied by it).