What a delightful book about books and people who love books! As a second generation bibliophile, a possible bibliomane who had several people move out of my house a year ago because they erroneously believed that my books were taking over the household, and a devout employee of "Earth's Biggest Bookstore," I can vouch that Basbanes accurately describes the glorious role of book collectors as archivists of human knowledge, and -- in continual counterpoint -- sometimes pathologically obsessed book junkies.
From 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.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.