review

BOOK LOVE – DEBBIE TUNG

Book LoveBook Love by Debbie Tung
My rating: 3/5 cats
One StarOne StarOne Star

photos are of the digital netgalley ARC: an aging camera photographing an aging monitor in the hands of an aging lady. all apologies for the quality of the images.

i fear that i am going to have my booklover card revoked for not loving this book enough.

i’m not saying i didn’t like it – it’s a sweet little book that is being marketed as a collection of “charming comics,” and that is exactly what it is: page after page of booknerd bait; a (presumably) autobiographical celebration of all the feels that come from buying books, talking about books, reading books, rereading books, etc etc.

the situations it references are familiar:

it’s the perfect gift book for a bookfriend you know superficially; a well-intentioned “more than a greeting card” level gift, and actually – any of these panels would sell well on a greeting card, or shirt. book lovers be shopping.

i’m coming across sniffier than i mean to. this book is fine, it just feels a little too expected to me; all of the obvious low-hanging fruit of the booknerd tree.

and there’s a lot that feels as though it is geared towards a younger, sweeter audience than me.

unless this is just reading rainbow-nostalgia, i don’t feel particularly targeted by this:

there’s just a lot of… whimsy. it’s book-whimsy, which trumps most other whimsies, but it often reads like a children’s picture book, which was not what i’d been expecting. i’m just too old and crusty to take delight in some of these panels.

not

for

me

my attitude towards this book is like these cutesy little pins:

as a booknerd, they are instantly appealing and make my heart smile with recognition, but what am i supposed to do with them, really?

Seeing a room full of books/sends chills down my spine/ makes my head giddy with excitement/ just thinking about all the possibilities

agreed, but the impact of that observation is fleeting, superficial.

a lot of it feels like i’ve seen it before – and i have, via Sarah Andersen’s work. the two cover the exact same ground:

I SPEND TOO MUCH MONEY ON BOOKS:

I AM GOOD AT WALKING WHILE READING, I SMELL BOOKS, I BUILD BOOKFORTS:

I STAY UP TOO LATE READING:

and i love Sarah Andersen, so i should love this book even when it covers the same ground*. maybe i’m just more responsive to andersen’s wonky messy yelly art style, or the fact that bookfeels are just one of her themes, so there’s more variety to her books. i meant to like this book more than i did, and i hope i can recover my lost booknerd cred.

* oh, and obviously i’m not saying tung is in any way derivative of andersen – she’s a booknerd and these are booknerd universals/realities. although i don’t personally have the same book-huffing response as these two ladies. some books smell good, sure, but i have never felt this need. particularly the ‘gotta hide it’ attitude. sniff without shame, booknerds, if that’s your thing!

read my reviews on goodreads

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