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

User Review  - Goodreads

I liked this book, but it felt like a 500 page introduction. Vignette after vignette with no connections or flow, it felt more like reading a genealogy than a non-fiction subject book. Couldn't make myself get through it, and I'm one of the bibliophiles he's talking about. Read full review

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

User Review  - John Harder - Goodreads

A Gentle Madness is a book about bibliophiles. This is the approximate equivalent of sluts talking about nymphomaniacs. For anyone who loves books A Gentle Madness is horrible torture. Much of the ... Read full review

Contents

Prologue
1
Part
9
Part
225
Copyright

8 other sections not shown

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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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