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To learn more about photo and article reprints for personal use, please visit store. Dog Ears Books is closed for the winter and will re-open in May 2019. We will be shopping indie bookstores wherever we travel in the months ahead and hope you will do the same. Thanks to all my loyal customers for a lovely 25th anniversary season! As years go by, more and more older browsers in my bookshop tell me they love reading biographies.
Is it more true of women than men? Maybe so, and probably more men read straight history than women. In girlhood, I read nonfiction very sparingly. I found most history and biography written for young people too much like school lessons. The magic of a story well told and of a reader entering into that story is that we readers do take on, vicariously, the experiences of a character or narrator while we read.
We leave ourselves behind, in one sense. And so, autobiography and memoir stand out for me against the more objective biographies written by someone other than the person who lived the life that is the subject of the book. The best biographies, of necessity, must be filled with speculation. And here my own bias deepens: I am generally more interested in writers’ accounts of childhood than in their stories of later life. When famous people write autobiographies or memoirs, accounts of their later lives tend to be filled with other famous people, and too often whole pages come across, for me, as tedious name-dropping.
We leave ourselves behind – the importance of the result can hardly be overestimated. Here we might digress to ask the question I already set up above: What is interesting? Such is Aaron’s popularity that even before he arrived on the scene; where else can you do this?