A book I recently read and very much recommend is A History of Reading by Alberto Manguel. Manguel integrates personal experience with scholarship to create 22 essays that are at once intimate, historically enlightening, and compulsively readable. It would be difficult to come away without a deeper appreciation for the written word and a re-evaluation of one’s own relationship to books and reading.
From the publisher’s description: “At one magical instant in your early childhood, the page of a book—that string of confused, alien ciphers—shivered into meaning. Words spoke to you, gave up their secrets; at that moment, whole universes opened. You became, irrevocably, a reader. Noted essayist Alberto Manguel moves from this essential moment to explore the 6000-year-old conversation between words and that magician without whom the book would be a lifeless object: the reader. Manguel lingers over reading as seduction, as rebellion, as obsession, and goes on to trace the never-before-told story of the reader’s progress from clay tablet to scroll, codex to CD-ROM.”