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

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

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by Nicholas A. Basbanes
     
 

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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, finalist for the 1995 National Book Critics Circle award, is an adventure among the afflicted. Richly anecdotal and fully documented, it combines the perspective of historical

Overview

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, finalist for the 1995 National Book Critics Circle award, is an adventure among the afflicted. Richly anecdotal and fully documented, it combines the perspective of historical research with the immediacy of investigative journalism. Above all, it is a celebration of books and the people who have revered, gathered, and preserved them over the centuries.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In Part 1 of this informative and well-written work, syndicated book columnist Basbanes explores the history of book collecting from antiquity to the 1940s. This ground has been covered before, but Basbanes retells his story well; and, as the extensive notes and bibliography show, he has done his homework. Part 2 portrays the state of collecting in the 1980s, using a series of sketches of notable figures in the field. The material here derives from extensive interviews and therefore provides information available nowhere else. For instance, Basbanes tells the moving story of Aaron Lansky, who has dedicated himself to rescuing books in Yiddish, and offers the fullest published account of Stephen Blumberg's theft of 23,600 books from 268 libraries in 45 states. Anyone interested in books will want a copy of this.-Joseph Rosenblum, Guilford Technical Community Coll., Jamestown, N.C.
Philip Kopper
...[A]n impressive achievement in its compilation of vast information, as well as instructive and interesting.
The New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780979949159
Publisher:
Fine Books Press
Publication date:
05/30/2012
Pages:
661
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Nicholas A. Basbanes, former literary editor for the Worcester Sunday Telegram, is now a nationally syndicated book columnist. He lives in North Grafton, Massachusetts, with his wife and two daughters.

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Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes and the Eternal Passion for Books 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Paul_S85 More than 1 year ago
Nicholas Basbanes has done the book collecting world 2 favors - one is doing the book in the first place, and the second is keeping it in print with updated editions, and available for all types of readers. You will learn about so many bibliophiles - their habits, their collections. Some you will envy, others will make you scratch your head. The experience is well worth it so I encourage readers to take this journey.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago