Buy Used
$8.25
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Like New | Details
Sold by harvestbooks
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: Condition: Excellent condition., Binding: Paperback. / Publisher: H. Holt / Pub. Date: 1999 Attributes: xxix, 638 p., [32] p. of plates ill. 23 cm. / Illustrations: B&W Photographs Stock#: 2066235 (FBA) * * *This item qualifies for FREE SHIPPING and Amazon Prime programs! * * *
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books Paperback – March 15, 1999


See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$12.14 $0.50

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 638 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks (March 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805061762
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805061765
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 5.7 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #285,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Highly recommended for the book-lover, if you have time to read it!
Iona Main Stewart
You will read about a man who "collected" over 23,000 books from various libraries and other book outlets just to possess them.
taking a rest
If you love to read or to collect books and would like to know more about others who do so...grab this one and don't let go!
Benjamin Thomas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

141 of 145 people found the following review helpful By taking a rest HALL OF FAME on June 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Literally anyone who enjoys reading will prize this book. I had mentioned and quoted briefly from the book on my personal page, and received questions about the work, as well as many people who said they too had the disease.
There is truly a Psychological condition that describes people obsessed with books, the condition is known as Bibliomania, derivatives include Bibliomaniac, and Bibliomane. The Author describes a condition of buying books you have no intention of reading. For most of us (I am afflicted) this means we buy and read books as much as we can. I have crossed over to collecting old books, and since they are in Latin, Greek, and other languages unknown to me, my defense that I will read them is weak.
You will read about a man who "collected" over 23,000 books from various libraries and other book outlets just to possess them. His library grew as he traveled around the Country adding to his collection. His taste was excellent and his library contained priceless volumes by the hundreds. His story illustrates how easy access is to rare books and further how they can be purloined. It is not a how to steal books section, just one amazing tale.
The book also documents the building/collection of some of the finest libraries in existence. The libraries are as varied as there are books. One women set out to build the definitive library of children's books, what she has collected will amaze you.
The attitudes of the caretakers of these works view themselves as just that, keepers for a time, their feelings about where books should be, and should never be will surprise you. What is done with many collections after the original assembler dies will also surprise you.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Ian Mccullough on August 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
First, to enjoy this book, you really have to love books. Now, I'm not saying love *reading*, I mean the actual book. That graceful innovation that allows us to transmit our thoughts and feelings to others and through time. Basbanes has the love and speaks to others who share the affliction of bibliophilia.

In his chapter "The Blumberg Collection", Basbanes writes about the extreme of book mania, and I wrote this review to at least point the reader to this chapter. Get it from the library if you don't want to purchase the book, it's only 50 pages. It is best to discover this chapter on your own, but the outer fringe of book loving is pretty ugly, but great reading.

I really, really love books. I am a book dealer and gain deep pleasure from just knowing that I have a Great Books set (which I will probably never read) just in case I *need* to read Kant at some point. If you have more books than you could possibly ever read and love the feel, the look and the presence of your library, then take it from a kindred spirit that one of our kind has written a book for us.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
54 of 57 people found the following review helpful By David Robson on December 17, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Basbanes' book is a must for any serious bibliophile. It takes you, almost chronologically, through the history of creative collecting, from the ancient Greeks to the modern book maniac. Among others, you'll meet Samuel Pepys (he of the famous diary) and Princeton's William H. Scheide, a rich old coot who owns one of the few surviving Gutenberg Bibles. My favorites are the eccentrics, and there are plenty of them here. You know, the wackos whose houses are literally filled to the ceilings with books and nothing else. If I had the money and the chutzpah, that'd be me.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Edgar Rose on March 31, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is an erudite account of various aspects of book collecting, its practitioners, and their collections. Basbanes covers in detail the histories of some of the greatest collections, and those of the individuals behind them. His thoroughly researched work also explores two collectors whose activities might be more accurately described by changing to "real" the "gentle" of the book's title. A piquant note is added by the fact that true to form one of these two wrote a pseudoanonymous review for Amazon.com but could not resist to reveal his identity by listing his address as "heaven", a take-off on his name "Haven". The author's many years of successful non-fiction writing for the media have resulted in gripping accounts; a must for anybody who shares his - and my - love for books.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Debra Richardson on February 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
For anyone who has felt the joy of holding a beautiful volume or the compulsive tug to have it for one's own, this book is a must read. From Alexandria to the present, it chronicles the human passion for books and collecting through stories that are lively enough for the novice and scholarly enough for the serious collector.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
It always seemed to me that my passion for books and the lenghts to which I would often go to satisfy it was not very distant from a mild form of madness. This wonderful book has showed me that, madness though it may be, it has been shared by many illustrious persons and is no reason for shame. My only quibble is a certain degree of envy thar rises up after reading about rich individuals who were able to indulge their preference much more munificently than I!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 16, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Having my own small collection of 800 books, a few first editions, several autographed editions I can relate. I loved this book. It was given to me last year by my best friend, another book lover, and I have enjoyed it so much. I am not a great, gifted collector, but still a collector and I can tell you where each book was purchased, the date, and sometimes even my mood. Some of the books I will not let anyone borrow they are too precious to me. Yes, I too suffer from this divine madness as my two children also. It is a great hobby, madness whatever..."So many books so little time."
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews