Growing up, books were my best friends. They were my only companions for a long time because I couldn’t speak to other kids my age. Books let me escape a rainy day or bullies who picked on me for reading too much. Cartoonist Debbie Tung clearly shares this same obsession passion with a collection of passionate book-loving comics in her latest graphic novel, Book Love. Bibliophiles, take note.
I’m no stranger to Debbie’s work, having previous reviewed her debut graphic novel Quiet Girl in a Noisy World back in 2017. Unlike her previous comic, which was about observing the outside world from the perspective of an introvert, Book Love is a lot more light-hearted. In short, it’s a bookworm sharing her love of, well, books!
From the start, it’s easy to relate to the challenges of being a book lover that most might know about, but few ever REALLY talk about. Like trying to eat and read at the same time? Yep, I got in trouble at the dinner table all the time as a kid for bringing a book to the table. Hello, what else am I supposed to be doing while I’m eating – talk to people? Or innocently stepping into a bookstore, only to discover a sale is going on and leaving with a bigger pile then intended. Heck, even the local library turns into a shopping spree since all the books there are free to read. And don’t get me started on library sales…my poor bank account!
Fellow bibliophiles can relate to the challenges and delights that come with reading books. From getting lost in a good adventure story to struggling to say goodbye to characters you’ve bonded with. Personally, I find it hard to ever choose just “one” book and parting with a particularly good one feels like saying goodbye to a good friend. Debbie shares this same predicament, and it’s easy to relate to her struggling to not bring it along everywhere – even after she finished reading it – because she enjoyed it so much.
Book Love isn’t meant to be complicated, and sometimes that’s all you really need to enjoy a passion. Debbie even provides her own book recommendations for readers looking to add something different to their collections, and even some well-earned advice how to get out of a reading slump. And just like the books that helped inspire her light-hearted recollections, I can definitely relate to most of what’s on display throughout these illustrated pages. It’s delightful in just the right ways to earn a few smiles and sympathetic head nods before passing it on to the next book lover. That is, if you can let it go!