Here I’m going to admit that when I’m not reading books, I am often… reading ABOUT books.
Setting aside my more-than-full-time job, artistic practices, Internet research rabbit holes, language study, long walks, and correspondence, there are still sometimes hours left in the day (especially if I don’t sleep) to read about books! 😀 You just have to look, and the time is THERE. (Give up television: it doesn’t lead to enough good books!)
I wind up reading about books even if I don’t plan to.
Even people I follow on Twitter are either already published authors, or they become published authors after I start following them. (Can I take credit for this somehow?) (I’ll be reviewing more of their books on this site, so I don’t have to list those now.)
Periodicals: The newspapers I subscribe to review books frequently and enthusiastically, and I often make note of their recommendations.
Local Publishers: We have some!
City Lights: City Lights is a landmark local bookshop AND a publisher, especially known for poetry.
Chronicle Books: Chronicle Books is a local publisher, and their emphasis keeps shifting, so I’m unsure what their specialty is now. They published a favorite technical alternative photographic process book, and a great how-to on fabric design patterns. They currently seem big into cookbooks and lifestyle/decor.
McSweeney’s Books: I subscribe to Timothy McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern (an outrageously well designed periodical packed with illustrations and short fiction), and it happens that McSweeney’s ALSO publishes books.
Specialty Publishers: as an artist and art book collector, I have many favorite publishers, including museums (though publishing is a sideline for them). Dedicated photo/art book publishers often have great websites and blogs (and some have their own bookshops!), which I visit just to see what they are up to, and invariably find something that fits my interests. This short list is organized based on the number of books by each I possess:
Phaidon: Based in the UK and NYC, has a bookshop in New York City, and the only time I don’t leave that shop with a bag full of books is when I’d pre-ordered their most tempting new publications. (I’m ridiculous.). I like them for fine art and art theory. There’s a special series of artist monographs that they do in a great style, and I have dreams of being featured by them someday…
Aperture: Based in New York City. Aperture is a non-profit, which publishes a great magazine and produces beautiful photography books.
Taschen: Based in Köln (Cologne), Germany. I like Taschen for their architecture compilations.
Gingko Press is based in Berkeley, California. Gingko produces books on art and design – their graphic design books in particular are especially attractive.
Be cautious: you’ll feel money trying to fly out of your bank account just by glancing at any of these sites!