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10 Essential Books for Book Nerds

What makes a book nerd? Reading a lot of books — and liking to talk about said books — is a major requirement, of course, but there’s often something a little more nebulous involved: book nerds are the kinds of people who get a little thrill when walking into a bookstore, who press volumes into their friends’ hands with serious promises of life changing moments, who are fascinated by following the many tangled threads through authors and literature, happily wandering wherever they might lead. Robin Sloan’s recently published Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is a book for such people — if you can’t already tell from the title. If you count yourself among them (or are looking for a gift for the same), we’ve put together a list of books you might want to consider taking a look at. Click through to read through our list of essential books for book nerds — and since you’re probably not a true book nerd if you’re satisfying with ten, add your own picks to our list in the comments!

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, Robin Sloan

Man, is this book fun — especially for any book nerd who isn’t in denial about living in the modern age. If you love physical books (the smell! the feel!) but wouldn’t give up your iPhone for any reason, if you like puzzles and geeky allusions and bookish cults and quests, then this book is for you. It also glows in the dark.

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