Just My Type takes readers on a delightful and whimsical (if non-chronological) journey through the history of type, digressing frequently to highlight particular typefaces or provide anecdotes regarding a particular font. ("Comic Sans walks into a bar and the bartender says, 'We don't serve your type.'" Where can I find such a bar, I wonder?) Non-typophiles will find Garfield's borderline-neurotic obsession with the forms and histories of letters amusing and entertaining. Designers like myself will find themselves falling (back) in love with typography, an emotion unavoidably aroused by Garfield's witty, humorous expression of his apparent love affair with type.
It was difficult to detect the reasoning behind the particular arrangement of topics in the book. As I mentioned, the book is not written chronologically; but neither is it organized by topic, font types, type designer's last initial, etc. It reads more as though the author simply had so much to say about type and couldn't wait for readers to hear (read) it, while somehow magically avoiding the impression of stream-of-consciousness writing.
If you're a designer and feel a need to rekindle the spark between yourself and type, Garfield's book is just what the doctor ordered. If you're not a designer but think that any book suits you that dedicates half a chapter to the story behind Microsoft Word's default font... well, Just My Type might be just your type. Even for those completely disinterested in type, this gem of a book just might change your mind. It's a story about letters; it's typography about typography. (It even talks about the font used for its pages. How meta!) Given how much type one takes in on a daily basis, learning the stories and reasons behind all this type enriches one's daily interactions with it.
Get this book! If nothing else, perhaps you'll discover new font manipulation tricks for making that nine-page academic paper of yours stretch into the required ten.