The essays in The Art of Libromancy explore the politics, philosophies, technologies, emotional experience, and craft of selling books in the twenty-first century.
In a society filled with misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy theories, and propaganda, true storytelling and story-reading are more important than ever. But with Amazon continuing to increase its power in bookselling and publishing and the publishing industry consolidating into even fewer houses, telling important stories and getting those stories to readers is increasingly difficult. From the relationship between bookselling and white supremacy, to the economics of bookselling in contemporary hyper-capitalism, to a new philosophy of “good taste,” to the craft and art of handselling, veteran bookseller and writer Josh Cook turns a generous yet critical eye to an industry at the heart of American culture, sharing tips and techniques for becoming a better reader and, of course, recommending great books along the way.
Praise for Josh Cook
“One of [my] favorite booksellers.”
—Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere
“The writing throughout is so crystalline, the dialogue so acerbically funny and the characters so engaging as to make the pages seem as though they’re turning themselves.”
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“One of the most high-minded detective stories in years … Meticulously planned and content-rich, this sophisticated, variegated study … ranks with the best upmarket mysteries by Iain Pears and Umberto Eco.”
“Bookseller and debut novelist Cook’s humorous take on various whodunit and noir tropes is … spot-on.”