By Harold Rabinowitz, Rob Kaplan
While i've got a bit cash, i purchase books. And if any is left, i purchase nutrition and clothing.--Desiderius ErasmusThose who percentage Erasmus's love of these curious bundles of paper sure jointly among difficult or smooth covers recognize precisely how he felt. those are the folks who can spend hours shopping via a book shop, thoroughly oblivious not just to the passage of time yet to every thing else round them, the folk for whom purchasing books is a need, now not a luxurious. a keenness for Books is a party of that love, a suite of sixty vintage and modern essays, tales, lists, poems, quotations, and cartoons at the joys of examining, appreciating, and amassing books.This enriching assortment leads off with science-fiction nice Ray Bradbury's Foreword, within which he recollects his penniless days pecking out Fahrenheit 451 on a rented typewriter, conjuring up a society so petrified of paintings that it burns its books. This struggle--financial and creative--led to his lifelong love of all books, which he hopes will cosset him in his grave, "Shakespeare as a pillow, Pope at one elbow, Yeats on the different, and Shaw to hot my ft. stable corporation for far-travelling."Booklovers also will locate right here a variety of writings by way of a myriad of fellow victims from bibliomania. between those are such modern authors as Philip Roth, John Updike, Umberto Eco, Robertson Davies, Nicholas Basbanes, and Anna Quindlen; previous twentieth-century authors Chris-topher Morley, A. Edward Newton, Holbrook Jackson, A.S.W. Rosenbach, William Dana Orcutt, Robert Benchley, and William Targ; and vintage authors equivalent to Michel de Montaigne, Gustave Flaubert, Petrarch, and Anatole France. the following are also enjoyable and funny lists akin to the "Ten Best-Selling Books Rejected by means of Publishers Twenty instances or More," the good books integrated in Clifton Fadiman and John Major's New Lifetime examining Plan, Jonathan Yardley's "Ten Books That formed the yank Character," "Ten Memorable Books That by no means Existed," "Norman Mailer's Ten favourite American Novels," and Anna Quindlen's "Ten giant Thick extraordinary Books which can Take You a complete summer time to learn (but are usually not seashore Books)." Rounding out the anthology are decisions on bookstores, ebook golf equipment, and publication care, plus booklet cartoons, and a specifically ready "Bibliobibliography" of books approximately books. even if you think about your self a bibliomaniac or simply somebody who loves to learn, a fondness for Books gives you a lifetime's worthy of pleasing, informative, and satisfying studying in your favourite subject--the love of books.A Sampling of the Literary Treasures in a keenness for Books Umberto Eco's "How to Justify a personal Library," facing the query every body with a large library is necessarily requested: "Have you learn these kind of books?" Anatole Broyard's "Lending Books," during which he notes, "I consider approximately lending a publication the way in which such a lot fathers believe approximately their daughters residing with a guy out of wedlock." Gustave Flaubert's Bibliomania, the vintage story of a ebook collector so keen about possessing a ebook that he's keen to kill to own it. a variety from Nicholas Basbanes's a steady insanity, at the leading edge preparations Samuel Pepys made to assure that his library may live on "intact" after his demise. Robert Benchley's "Why Does not anyone acquire Me"--in which he wonders why first variants of books by way of his pal Ernest Hemingway are beneficial whereas his aren't, deadpanning "I am older than Hemingway and feature written extra books than he has." George Hamlin Fitch's terribly touching "Comfort present in solid previous Books," at the solace he present in books after the demise of his son. A choice from Anna Quindlen's How interpreting replaced My lifestyles, within which she stocks her positive view at the function of interpreting and the way forward for books within the computing device age. Robertson Davies's "Book Collecting," at the distinction among those that acquire infrequent books simply because they're necessary and people who acquire them simply because they love books, eventually making it transparent that is "the collector who particularly matters."
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Additional resources for A Passion for Books: A Book Lover's Treasury of Stories, Essays, Humor, Lore, and Lists on Collecting, Reading, Borrowing, Lending, Caring for, and Appreciating Books
Property and possession belong to the tactical sphere. Collectors are people with a tactical instinct; their experience teaches them that when they capture a strange city, the smallest antique shop can be a fB} WALTER BENJAMIN fortress, the most remote stationery store a key position. How many cities have revealed themselves to me in the marches I undertook in the pursuit of books! By no means all of the most important purchases are made on the premises of a dealer. Catalogues play a far greater part.
Such a book seems to confer an immense advantage, to make the reader more desirable, witty, or profound than those who have not read it. To lend such a book, to give up such a precious edge in this furiously competitive world, would be foolish. The secrets in a book like this ought to be saved for a rainy day, for an exquisite emergency. The moment a book is lent, I begin to miss it. According to T. S. Eliot, each new book that is written alters every previous one. In the same way, each absent book alters those that remain on my shelves.
Summer vacation is a time for reading, and my friends come to me to borrow books because I have more than most people. In their innocence, they have no idea what I go through in lending a book. They don't understand that I think of myself as offering them love, truth, beauty, wisdom, and consolation against death. Nor do they suspect that I feel about lending a book the way most fathers feel about their daughters living with a man out of wedlock. This is not to say that there is no pleasure in lending.