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"Baxter chronicles his growing obsession with books in a way that's utterly infectious, with sharp wit and self-deprecating humor . . . . Baxter's memoir will be of great interest to serious book collectors because so much of the book conveys the insiders' perspective, but his narrative is truly amusing and rollicking enough to entice book lovers of all kinds."
- Publishers Weekly
"[An] entertaining account of his admittedly nerdy life. . . . Tasty junk food for book lovers."
- Kirkus Reviews
"Baxter has written an informative book, and a delightful one, that guides the reader through a specialized and eccentric world with a wink and a smile."
- Chicago Tribune
"A Pound of Paper leads us on a merry chase in pursuit of books, an undertaking as chancy as betting on the lottery. Baxter . . . prov[es] a most erudite and entertaining guide. . . . Essential to any current or prospective collector who wishes to engage in the hunt for a gem that might be worth a fortune or who simply wants to enjoy the pleasures of the game."
- Roanoke Times
"Lively and colorful . . . . Baxter tells his stories with humor, suspense and plenty of style."
"Erudite and mirthful . . . told with ornery, self-deprecating wit."
- Time Out New York
"A Pound of Paper—the weight, more or less of a book-is the peg on which Baxter hangs episodes of autobiography . . . the book collectors who buy this particular pound of paper will profit from it in every sense."
- The London Times
"Of the making of many books there is no end. But who's complaining, especially when something as entertaining as John Baxter's A Pound of Paper comes along? At the outset he quotes Groucho Marx: " 'Outside a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside a dog, it's too dark to read.' "
- Glasgow Sunday Herald
"An addictive romp through the unconventional life of an obsessive . . . . John Baxter may claim books lack sex appeal, but he proves the opposite."
- Metro [England]
|3||The Rules of the Game||41|
|6||The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reader||83|
|Postscript to Part One||133|
|8||The Old Country||141|
|9||A Regional Collection||163|
|10||With the Rich and Mighty ...||191|
|11||The End of the Affair||219|
|13||Without Whom ...||269|
|14||There and Back Again||293|
|15||Guaranteed Anatomically Correct||315|
|16||Shakespeare and Company, and Company||343|
|App. I||Lists: Cyril Connolly's The Modern Movement||369|
|App. II||'If Your House was on Fire ...': An Informal Poll||389|
|App. III||eBay Gems||412|
Posted April 25, 2005
I couldn't even get past 20 pages. Unless you are obsessed with Graham Greene, some author I am assuming, skip over this book. The author's writing style is dry and boring.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 23, 2004
By Bill Marsano. The very first thing you should know is that this is a book about collecting, not just book collecting. Collecting--the determined search for specific objects on a given theme--is pretty much the same kind of mania for all collectors, whether they're after vintage cars, rare stamps and coins or--as in this case--books, and whether the treasure they seeks are top dollar or bottom. Every kind of collecting develops its own little cultures and subcultures, its side streets and back alleys, its characters loved or hated or legendary. And, of course, its litany of heart-lifting successes and heart-breaking failures. So if you collect (as distinct from accumulate) or if you know a collector, this book is a definite buy. John Baxter's collecting, which began with science fiction, made him into a short-story writer then a scriptwriter then a novelist and a teacher. He begins his trek in a desolate tank town in Australia, where things start slowly, but he soon moves on--and ups the pace and tension--to London, the U.S. (East Coast and West) and finally Paris. The whole journey runs along like a thrill ride as you join Baxter in a series of adventures and misadventures with his assortment of bookstruck ne-er-do-wells and genial lowlifes. He and his characters are not, be the way, the least bit stuffy about book collecting. The title of this book comes from Baxter's definition of what, in the end, a book is: a pound of paper. There are only pluses to this book. Plenty of amusing incidents and anecdotes, lots of inside information about book collecting (appplicable to collecting in general) and to top it all off, superb writing. Baxter writes vivid, imaginative, entertaining prose. He is a delight to read.--Bill Marsano is an award-winning travel writer, an editor and a desultory book collector.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.