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

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Harold Rabinowitz, Rob Kaplan
Crown/Archetype, Dec 18, 2007 - Literary Criticism - 384 pages
12 Reviews

"When I have a little money, I buy books. And if any is left, I buy food and clothing."--Desiderius Erasmus

Those who share Erasmus's love of those curious bundles of paper bound together between hard or soft covers know exactly how he felt. These are the people who can spend hours browsing through a bookstore, completely oblivious not only to the passage of time but to everything else around them, the people for whom buying books is a necessity, not a luxury. A Passion for Books is a celebration of that love, a collection of sixty classic and contemporary essays, stories, lists, poems, quotations, and cartoons on the joys of reading, appreciating, and collecting books.

This enriching collection leads off with science-fiction great Ray Bradbury's Foreword, in which he remembers his penniless days pecking out Fahrenheit 451 on a rented typewriter, conjuring up a society so frightened of art 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 at the other, and Shaw to warm my toes. Good company for far-travelling."

Booklovers will also find here a selection of writings by a myriad of fellow sufferers from bibliomania. Among these are such contemporary authors as Philip Roth, John Updike, Umberto Eco, Robertson Davies, Nicholas Basbanes, and Anna Quindlen; earlier twentieth-century authors Chris-topher Morley, A. Edward Newton, Holbrook Jackson, A.S.W. Rosenbach, William Dana Orcutt, Robert Benchley, and William Targ; and classic authors such as Michel de Montaigne, Gustave Flaubert, Petrarch, and Anatole France.

Here also are entertaining and humorous lists such as the "Ten Best-Selling Books Rejected by Publishers Twenty Times or More," the great books included in Clifton Fadiman and John Major's New Lifetime Reading Plan, Jonathan Yardley's "Ten Books That Shaped the American Character," "Ten Memorable Books That Never Existed," "Norman Mailer's Ten Favorite American Novels," and Anna Quindlen's "Ten Big Thick Wonderful Books That Could Take You a Whole Summer to Read (but Aren't Beach Books)."

Rounding out the anthology are selections on bookstores, book clubs, and book care, plus book cartoons, and a specially prepared "Bibliobibliography" of books about books.

Whether you consider yourself a bibliomaniac or just someone who likes to read, A Passion for Books will provide you with a lifetime's worth of entertaining, informative, and pleasurable reading on your favorite subject--the love of books.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Marse - LibraryThing

I like books about books because it's nice to read about one's obsession, and partly out of curiosity and satisfaction that there are people out there who have this obsession worse than I do. People ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Cheryl_in_CC_NV - LibraryThing

One of the first 'essays' is by the 2nd-listed editor, Kaplan. It was extremely boring, because just about all he said about how he incorporates a new book into his personal library would be ... Read full review

Contents

MY FRIENns ftl1rl
7
UNPACKING MY LIBRARY Wilter Benjamin
19
THE NEWARK Pusuc LIBRARY Philip Roth
21
ON THE RETURN or A B001 LENT To A FRIEND
32
THE IIE LIFETIME READING PLAN Clifian Fadiman
49
COMFORT FQIIND IN Goon OLD Books George Hamlin Fitch
55
THE CoLLEcToR Susan Sontag
62
BIBLIOMANIA Gustrm F11110
77
Books THAT CHANGED AMERICA Robert B Danns
122
BIBLIOLEXICON
135
NoNBooks
148
THE PERFECT Book Wilinn1Kvdaiv
163
THREE BY QIIINDLEN
175
POTCH Leo Rosten
196
DAMN IT WAIT YDUR TLIRN
205
INVASION or THE Book ENvELoPEs john Lpdikv
217

FROM IREOIHGITIC4 0Jn lilron
88
CHAMBERS STREET Edw11raR0b1 Elli
91
A SEI EcTI0N
351
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About the author (2007)

Harold Rabinowitz is director of the book packaging firm The Reference Works and has served as executive editor of the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology and science editor of the Encyclopedia Americana. He is the author of books on the history of aviation, on the Old West, and in Judaica. He lives with his family and library in Riverdale, New York.

Rob Kaplan has held senior-level editorial positions with several major New York-based publishing houses and currently heads his own literary services firm, Rob Kaplan Associates. He lives with his family and more than four thousand books in Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.


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