I teach the novel, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British culture, gender, and book history. At Rutgers University, I founded the Initiative for the Book.
My books include What We Talk About When We Talk About Books (Basic Books, 2019, Ukrainian translation 2020; Christian Gauss Prize); How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain (Princeton UP, 2012; Patten Prize, Channing Prize, honorable mention for James Russell Lowell Prize) and The Anthology and the Rise of the Novel (Cambridge UP, 2000). I also edited Further Reading (with Matthew Rubery, Oxford UP 2020), Unpacking my Library: Writers and their Books (Yale UP, 2011); Literary Secretaries/Secretarial Culture (with Pamela Thurschwell); and (with Seth Lerer) a cluster of essays of PMLA on The History of the Book and the Idea of Literature.
I write for the New York Times Book Review, London Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, New York Review of Books, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe and Public Books (where I am also a section editor: pitch me). My research on the history of reading has been profiled in The New Yorker, The Economist, New York Times Book Review and the New York Times, and I contributed the nineteenth-century module to Harvard University’s online course on the history of the book.