Did you know that Libraries are chic?

During a visit to Birch Books in New York, Joel Woodard found a black book bag that said just that. He told the bookshop's owner what a great bag it was, and Birch Cooper told him they are part of a new conservation effort he is leading called Birch Books Conservation, the purpose of which is to research, record and protect books at historic sites in the United States, Woodard writes at Rustic Chic.

They'll probably find me one day under a stack of my beloved tomes, he says. Books on the arts, poetry, gardening, biographies flung hither and yon. But what a way to go - surrounded by old friends. (Now, picture checking out with a clutched iPad and a downloaded trashy summer read.  Doesn't have the same charm, does it?)

Speaking of books and lives, Alec Nevala-Lee posts today about the books he has read the most, starting with Foucault's Pendulum, by Umberto Eco:

This is one of those novels that I probably would have loved anyway, but which left an indelible mark on my life simply because of when I first encountered it - when I was 13 years old and hungering deeply for books that, like the conspiracy theory at the heart of Eco's novel, had 'something to do with everything.' Looking back, I can see its limitations more clearly, and as I've said before, I'm afraid it's been something of a dead end for me as a writer. Yet for better or worse, it's influenced just about everything I've done since, most notably The Icon Thief, and it remains a work of exquisite wit and ingenuity.

The reference at the end is to Nevala-Lee's debut novel, coming out next March.

Over at a country house in Mogliano, Italy, Kim Talks Books is doing lots of vacation reading, including Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart (which I recommend).

Since I arrived in Italy last Friday I have read a total of five books. Am I bored? Hell no! Kim writes. I have just been enjoying the luxury of relaxing in a fragrant garden in the summer sun and doing something I love -- reading.

We close with the best title of a post in the books blogosphere today: Books Are the Bomb.

So writes Barbara Winter at Buon Viaggio. She says Supergirls: The Autobiography of an Outrageous Business by Claudia Jessup and Genie Chipps lit the way for her during a time when she was unsure if I'd ever figure out what to do with my life.

Although I ultimately started a very different business from the one they'd created, I gleaned so many lessons from their story, Winter says. They started on a shoestring. So did I. They got lots of free publicity. Me too. They evolved into a very different business over time. That's what happened to me.

The alliterative phrase at the top of her post is a riff on what Tim Sanders wrote in his book, Love is the Killer App: Simply put, hardcover books are the bomb.

Winters concludes, What I know for sure is that books have made a continuous contribution to my growth and development as a person and as an entrepreneur.

Edward B. Colby is the Books editor of the International Business Times. He can be reached at e.colby@ibtimes.com.