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Bound to Last: 30 Writers on Their Most Cherished Book Paperback – October 26, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Elle, November 2010
“Presents a tantalizing array of essays on beloved books.” 

Instinct, November 2010
“These stories serve as love letters to the printed page. With Kindles and iPads threatening the future of old-fashioned books, the timing for Bound couldn’t be better.”
New York Journal of Books, 10/26/10
Bound to Last is the perfect book for a lover of books. It’s a work that will be cherished by those who enjoy not only the words of writers, but also the books from which they come. Each essay is well crafted and written with feeling as the writers share their personal connections to a special book in their life. Bound to Last will also be treasured not just as a collection of essays, but as a recommendation source itself, as each essay will leave readers wanting to read the book discussed. At a time where so many are neglecting the art that is the book, it’s wonderful to have 30 books that remind us that there is nothing like the real thing.”
Corduroy Books, 10/26/10
“This book’s made for all of us who [love books].”
USA Today’s “Pop Candy” blog, 10/29/10
“I can also recommend Bound to Last…in which famous authors talk lovingly about Ulysses, Invisible Man, Naked Lunch, The Crying of Lot 49 and so many more terrific titles. It just makes me want to crawl in bed and read right now.”

PopMatters.com, 11/1/10
“One of the real strengths of the volume is its eclecticism: contributors range from well-established authors (Ray Bradbury contributed the introduction) to relative novices…The variety of perspectives, and books selected to write about, is impressive…All in all, Bound to Last is a timely reminder of the permanent importance of printed books.”

Bookviews.com, November 2010
“[A] testimony to the pleasures of having a favorite book at hand to re-read and re-visit…For bibliophiles it will provide some delightful reading.”

NBCNewYork.com, 11/3/10
“Now that devices like the Kindle are making the printed word seem even more like an inevitably doomed dinosaur, there’s never been a better time for a loving valentine to the book.”
New City, 11/4/10
“Not only do many of these essays go to the soul of how their writers found their calling, but the diversity of their experiences is totally unexpected…Refreshingly, this collection poignantly delivers even more than it promises.”

Shepherd Express, 11/5/10
“Most of the essayists gathered in this slender volume are of younger generations and speak of particular books as memory chests—not just the words themselves but the tactile nature of books, their dog-eared covers, creased pages and underlined sentences.”

San Francisco Book Review
, 11/1/10
“A book lover’s book. If one ever suspected that books change people’s lives, the essays in this collection confirm that…Whether one’s taste is traditional or postmodern, a book lover will most likely love this collection.”

Bookforum.com’s “Paper Trail” Blog, 11/11/10
“There are some excellent and in some cases deeply inspired entries.”
St. Petersburg Times, 11/14/10
“Intriguing essays from a wide range of writers about beloved books and the personal reasons they are valued.”

InfoDad.com, 11/18/10
“A wonderful gift for a more literary friend…What joy this little book includes for those who love today’s authors!... not only provides insight into 30 of today’s writers but also can make the recipient of this gift look at the books the writers choose as their favorites in a new light.”
Time Out Chicago, 11/18/10
“The perfect gift for a writer, a reader, or someone looking for that next great book.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune, 11/20/10
“This book is steeped in the sentiment of true book lovers.”
Bookgasm.com, 11/29/10
“It’s an admirable venture. The foreword by Ray Bradbury plants you in the perfect mood for the contributors to follow.”
TheBookWeb.com, 11/21/10
“A paean to the printed book at a moment when sales of e-books are climbing and everyone seems to be reading digital editions on their Kindles and Nooks and Ipads…Bound to Last is a welcome and timely reminder that a printed book…can command an importance and an intense affection that transcends its contents.”
Shelf Unbound, December 2010
“[A] deftly diverse and surprising anthology…serving both as a compelling reminder of how books have changed our own lives and as an impetus to pick up a dusty volume that transformed someone else’s.”
Maclean’s (Canada), 11/24/10
“A surprising gem…We aren’t simply given an appreciation of the selected titles. We also get a sense of the magic dust that floats around a given book: its smell; the painful or happy personal memories attached to it; where it was purchased, found or given; the palpable comfort gained from the mere presence of a worn, tattered copy sitting on a desk.”
Tucson Citizen, 12/15/10
“Each piece reaffirms that every book tells a story in addition to the one found between its covers…This is a wonderful little book. The foreword by Ray Bradbury sets just the right tone.”
Parade, 12/19/10
“Harold Robbins’ once-racy The Carpetbaggers is one of several unexpected picks in this collection, which also touts classic fare like James Joyce’s Ulysses. And since each sparkling essay (by writers including Julia Glass and Francine Prose) is really a mini-memoir, it can be savored on at least two levels.”
Montreal Gazette (Canada), 1/15/11
“As nostalgic as it is hopeful.”
Wall Street Journal, 2/13/11
“The pairings of book and writer are sometimes unexpected.”

, February 2011
“Readers hear from writers across the literary spectrum on titles that range from a Dungeons and Dragons manual to The Bible…Every page leads the reader into another intimate moment, into funny reminiscences, heartfelt recollections and more touching tributes…Whether you embrace the notion of hard copy over e-book or not, this is a book for the reader. It is a collection of extremely well-written personal essays by very smart people who love books. It celebrates the act of reading, the impact books can have on our lives and the long reach that words carry.”

The Writer
, March 2011
“Reading these essays, you can’t help but think of your favorite books, who gave them to you, and what was happening in your life when you read them…The essays here can move you to tears and laughter while giving you ideas for books to add to your collection.”

WTVF TV (CBS, Nashville), 1/11/11
“Is reading more part of your resolutions for 2011? This is the perfect book to help you with your selections. A great source to keep always.”
Internet Review of Books, 12/22/11
“The essays in Bound to Last…open a door into the writer’s life and encourage one to get to know him or her better…The essays also encourage readers to consider the book they cherish most and the role it played in their lives—and that’s a good exercise for anyone.”
Publishers Weekly, web-exclusive, 4/11/11
“These essays remind us that books can be living, breathing organisms, as well as powerful artifacts from our personal pasts.”
Washington Post, 5/11/11
“A lovely ode to the dog-eared, water-stained, mouse-nibbled pleasures of a real book.”


Ridgecrest News Review, 9/21/12
“Revitalizes the concept of ‘booklover’ and booklovers will absolutely love it.”



About the Author

Sean Manning is the author of The Things That Need Doing: A Memoir and editor of the nonfiction anthologies Top of the Order, The Show I’ll Never Forget, and Rock and Roll Cage Match. He lives in New York.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; First Trade Paper Edition edition (October 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030681921X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306819216
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,503,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
At the risk of offending some, let me begin by saying that a multitude of readers question whether an e-book can really be called a book at all. In the minds of avid readers, those who simply have to read a certain number of pages every day in order to feel whole, e-books are little more than electronic files stashed somewhere on the drives of those little e-reading gadgets they carry when traveling. And they only use those gadgets because they cannot figure out how to carry comfortably a dozen books while on the road. They know e-books are a poor substitute for the real thing, but e-books, after all, do beat back pain.

If you recognize yourself in any of what I have said so far, you really need to get your hands on Bound to Last: 30 Writers on Their Most Cherished Book. This little volume, edited by Sean Manning, explains precisely why e-books can never compare to the real thing. All of us, I suspect, have one or two favorite books on our shelves, books that we are as much emotionally attached to as anything else we own. But, think about that for a second. One's favorite books, the ones carried around during a lifetime of relocations, are not necessarily favorites because of what is between their covers. They are just as likely to be favorites because of all the memories attached to their acquisition, or where they were first read, or what family member owned them first, or because they were a gift from a favorite teacher, relative, or long lost friend. As the back cover of Bound to Last puts it, we love this kind of book "because of its significance as a one-of-a-kind, irreplaceable object."

Following Ray Bradbury's foreword and Sean Manning's introduction, thirty diverse writers share their feelings about the one book in their lives they most cherish.
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I Love this book. I bought it on kindle, but halfway through I realized I wanted to make notes in the margins, plus have easy access to read selections to my students(kindles are kind of clunky when you try to find notes and bookmarks. There IS still room for the printed book!!!), so I also ordered it in book form. I raved about it at my book club last night, so it will be our next discussion book. Read it.
Laura Moe
Under The Veil
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I read "Bound to Last" one or two entries at a time. I absolutely love the diversity of authors, books, and reasons for choosing one book over another as a "favorite." Reading the entries tells as much about each of the book chosen, the writer of the piece, how that writer views books and life, and the sheer joy of knowing that books exist in this world. I think the title is particularly appropriate for those of us who enjoy the marvels of the Internet, but ALWAYS want the pleasure of holding a bound book in our hands. Mike Rummel, San Diego.
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Format: Paperback
A serviceable read if the premise of 30 writers espousing on their most 'cherished' book appeals to you. Writing is good overall, but the collected authors run the gamut from established to obscure which may or may not be a good thing depending on your preferences. This is a good looking book though - nice stiff cover with blatant design homage to 'Catcher in the Rye.'
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This is the collections that one will come back to time and time again if you love reading and love books, a never ending source of pleasure
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