Sunday, October 11, 2015

Ex Libris - Anne Fadiman

Sub-title: Confessions of a Common Reader

What a delightful little read!  This is a collection of essays on reading, owning books, loving books, sharing books.  The author has thousand of books along with her husband's.  Her parents had thousands of books and both of them were writers.  It was a pleasure to share her love of reading, book ownership and her experiences of growing up and growing old with books.

She has an essay on merging her and her husband's libraries after they were married that's funny.  There's also a tongue in cheek piece on plagiarism that's quite clever.  A little gem that all readers should seek out and enjoy.

I particularly liked the essay where a used bookseller told the story of getting the entire collection of a big reader who had died.  When they brought the collection to the store, they divided it up by topic and the bookseller says:

"...and somehow, all of a sudden they weren't John Clive anymore.  Dispersing his library was like cremating a body and scattering it to the winds.  ...I realized that books get their value from the way they coexist with the other books a person owns, and that when they lose their context, they lose their meaning."
Published:  1998  Read:  October 2015  Genre: Essay

ISBN: 0-374-52722-9

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