A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books

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Henry Holt and Company, Aug 15, 1995 - Antiques & Collectibles - 638 pages
The passion to possess books has never been more widespread than it is today; indeed, obsessive book collecting remains the only hobby to have a disease named after it. A Gentle Madness is an adventure among the afflicted. Author Nicholas Basbanes, a dedicated bibliophile himself, begins his book 2,200 years ago in Alexandria, when a commitment was made to gather all the world's knowledge beneath one roof. In a series of lively chapters, the continuum then passes through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to the twentieth century with a special emphasis on book lore and book culture in Great Britain and North America. In the second half of A Gentle Madness, Basbanes offers a gallery of revealing profiles of living collectors and presents exclusive examinations of the great contemporary stories. The book also includes the most comprehensive bibliography on book collecting compiled in more than a quarter century.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - varielle - LibraryThing

This is a lengthy, comprehensive, well-researched litany of just about every book auction, collection, and book fiend that ever existed. Personnally, I ate it up, but unless you are equally obsessed ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - cookierooks - LibraryThing

First read in 1996, I have re read this book about once a year since. I heart Basbanes and all his crazy book lovers. Reading this book made me realize there were other crazy book lovers out there, and we had a name! Read full review



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About the author (1995)

Nicholas A. Basbanes has worked as an award-winning investigative reporter, a literary editor, and a nationally syndicated columnist. The author of five books, he also writes a regular column for Fine Books & Collections magazine and lectures widely on book-related issues. He and his wife, Constance, live in Massachusetts.

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