The City of Dreaming Books

Cover of The City of Dreaming Books.

The year I got this book, I must have read it five times in a row. It’s one of those books that appeal deliberately to any reader’s affinity to books – but where stories about magical librarians or book-hopping narrators are cautious about it, Moers goes all in. This is not an appeal, it’s unrepentant, happy, blatant pandering. God, I loved reading this book.

The protagonist comes from a dinosaur/lizard race of authors, and goes away from home after finishing his training to find his own way. Careful readers of Moers will, of course, know already that he will go on to become one of the most famous (and pompous) authors of Zamonia. He goes to the city of books, where everything is about literature, and eventually descends into the catacombs under the city, where only the dangerous book hunters dare tread (and those often not for long). There he finds wonders beyond his wildest dreams and nightmares.

It’s the little things: The book-shaped pastries, how all author names are anagrams of real author names (mad respect to the translator btw), how Moers shows off that he has a thesaurus without being obnoxious …