Speaking of Books: The Best Things Ever Said about Books and Book Collecting

Speaking of Books: The Best Things Ever Said about Books and Book Collecting

by Robert D. Kaplan, Harold Rabinowitz
     
 
"What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours."
-- J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (1951)
"I would rather be a poor man in a garret with plenty of books than a king who did not love reading." -- Thomas B. Macaulay, Life (1876)
The love

Overview

"What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours."
-- J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (1951)
"I would rather be a poor man in a garret with plenty of books than a king who did not love reading." -- Thomas B. Macaulay, Life (1876)
The love of books, and the desire to speak and write of that love, are as old as books themselves. In fact, they are even older than printed books. "All the glory of the world would be buried in oblivion, unless God had provided mortals with the remedy of books," wrote Richard de Bury in The Philobiblon (The Love of Books), which was completed in 1345, more than a hundred years before Gutenberg printed his first Bible.
And in every generation since de Bury's there have been new voices expressing the pleasures they take in books and reading. Speaking of Books contains hundreds of the best of those expressions -- entertaining and thought-provoking quotations about the reading and enjoyment of -- not to mention obsession with -- books. The collection includes examples of bibliophilia that range across the centuries and around the globe, from ancient Chinese proverbs to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, from the Bible to Woody Allen, from Jane Austen to Mark Twain, and from William Shakespeare to J. D. Salinger.
Filled with insight, wisdom, and humor, Speaking of Books will be read with pleasure by everyone who believes, as Thomas Carlyle did, that "of the things which man can do or make here below, by far the most momentous, wonderful, and worthy are the things called books."
"I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves."
-- Anna Quindlen, "Enough Bookshelves," New York Times, August 7, 1991
"It was books that taught me that the things that torment me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive." -- James Baldwin, in the New York Times, January 1, 1964
"Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore!" -- Henry Ward
Beecher, Star Papers; or, Experiences of Art and Nature (1855)

"What refuge is there for the victim who is oppressed with the feeling that there are a thousand new books he ought to read, while life is only long enough for him to attempt to read a hundred?" -- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., Over the Teacups (1891)
"I took a speed-reading course where you run your finger down the middle of the page and was able to read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It's about Russia." -- Woody Allen, in a letter by Phyllis Mindell to the New York Times, September 3, 1995
"You may perhaps be brought to acknowledge that it is very well worthwhile to be tormented for two or three years of one's life, for the sake of being able to read all the rest of it." -- Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey (1818)
"Book-love, I say again, lasts throughout life, it never flags or fails, but, like beauty itself, is a joy for ever." -- Holbrook Jackson, The Anatomy of Bibliomania (1930)

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Kaplan and Rabinowitz have created a sequel of sorts to their previous tribute to bibliophilia, A Passion for Books (LJ 10/15/99). More a gift book than a reference resource, the current volume offers over 700 observations on books and book collecting some witty, some thought-provoking, and some ponderously long. The quotations are arranged in 20 chapters, but many of the chapter titles, such as "What Books Do and Don't Do for Us," are so vague that they do not act as subject indicators. The quotations are arranged in a loose alphabetical order by author within each chapter, and there are a few See Also references to other quotations within the same chapter. The information given about the source of a quotation varies from title and date of publication, to author and author's vital dates, to author's name only. The same author (and sometimes the same source) is frequently quoted two or three times within the same chapter. Librarians should consider Montaigne's maxim that "there are more books about books than about any other subject" and look instead at other titles, such as Ben Jacobs and Helena Hjarmarson's The Quotable Book Lover (LJ 9/1/99), which offers more pithy and contemporary quotations. Vivian Reed, California State Univ., Long Beach Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
A companion to Kaplan and Rabinowitz's , this collection of a thousand famous and less well-known quotations about books and reading spans centuries (Seneca, Petrarch, Oprah Winfrey) and temperaments (the cranky Samuel Johnson; the chirpy Helen Hayes). Kaplan and Rabinowitz, both publishing industry veterans, have organized the quotes into 20 themed chapters (such as In Praise of Books, Good Books and Bad, the Book Trade, the Enemies of Books), with a brief introductory essay for each. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780609608524
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/17/2001
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.88(w) x 8.44(h) x 0.97(d)

Meet the Author

Rob Kaplan served in senior-level editorial positions with several major New York-based publishing houses before starting his own literary services firm, Rob Kaplan Associates. Among his previous books are A Passion for Books, which he coedited with Harold Rabinowitz, and Science Says. He lives with his family in Cortlandt Manor, New York.
Harold Rabinowitz has been director of the Reference Works, a New York book packaging firm, since 1994. He has also been executive editor of the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and science editor of the Encyclopedia Americana. In addition to serving as coeditor of A Passion for Books, he is the author of many books on subjects as diverse as aviation, the Old West, and Jewish folklore. He and his family live in Riverdale, New York.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >