The author of Closing Time: A Memoir, columnist Joe Queenan became a voracious reader as a means of escape from a joyless childhood in a Philadelphia housing project. Over the years he has dedicated himself to an assortment of idiosyncratic challenges: spending a year reading only short books, spending a year reading books he always suspected he would hate, spending a year reading books he picked with his eyes closed. Here Queenan tries to come to terms with his eccentric reading style—how many more books will he have time to read in his lifetime? Why does he refuse to lend out books? Why does he habitually read 30 to 40 books simultaneously?—in an acerbically funny yet oddly affectionate tribute to books.
"[The author's] passion for reading is infectious.... It's so rare to hear such a heartfelt defense of books — it's one of the most original works we read this year."—NYDaily News (Best Books of 2012)
"A celebration of literature, reading and the call of books from a stylish humorist who has a soft spot for Georges Simenon and a hard time with trendiness and 'astonishing' reviews."—Kansas City Star