The House of Paper
The House of Paper is the story of a man crossing the line between bibliophilism and bibliomania. Author Carlos Maria Dominguez created a tale that is at once realistic and fantastic, charming and haunting, rich in imagery and plain in message. Complemented with the distinctive, whimsical illustrations of Peter Sis, “The House of Paper” is a beautiful little book that is easily read, but feels big and significant with its swirl of theme and elements.
The story, both mystery and social comedy, has a small cast of characters, book lovers who live at various points along the spectrum of that relationship. The narrator is one of them, and through introspection and interaction with the others, he asks big questions about books: What is their value to us, or their hold on us? Why do some of us collect them? Why do they affect us, and how? Although this is a 2004 title, the questions asked are relevant and timely. The questions lead him in his search for the bibliomaniac whose own search for sense in a life literally full of books gives the story its title.