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Memoirs of a Book Snake: Forty Years of Seeking and Saving Old Books Hardcover – May 1, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Meyer, mistakenly called a "book snake" by a friend who meant "bookworm," describes countless hours spent sorting through dusty bins, forgotten shelves and packing boxes "hunting" for books. In a highly readable, conversational style, Meyer recounts each find as a first-class adventure. At an auction, he buys a box of books containing a veritable John Steinbeck bonanza: a first edition of The Grapes of Wrath and a specially bound, signed limited edition of East of Eden. In the same box, purchased for a "buck a book," Meyer found first editions of volumes by Pearl Buck, Somerset Maugham and Aldous Huxley. Meyer tells of travels around the country and to places as distant as Vietnam in search of rare books. Along the way, he meets many characters and has unbelievable luck picking up mint copies of classics. He becomes a collector of the works of Willa Cather and finds his way to her graveside to pay his respects. Among his other treasured finds are first editions of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility and an inscribed copy of Carl Sandburg's first book, Chicago Poems. Raised among bibliophiles, Meyer tells of childhood book quests with his father. He traces the changing face of the rare book business and the disappearance of rare bookstores and antiquarian book departments in mainstream stores like Marshall Fields. Meyer's insistence that this isn't a catalog of prices or a book about the love of reading rings true as the story of his passion for the book and for collecting the bound words of great writers emerges and infuses this charming volume. Illus.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
"In a highly readable, conversational style, Meyer recounts each find as a first-class adventure." -- Publishers Weekly, October 22, 2001
"Memoirs of a Book Snake is a charming, persuasive, and accurate account of what a book scout does. Anyone who has ever practiced this recondite but exciting pastime -- or who might like to --should find this book a joy." -- -- Larry McMurtry
Top customer reviews
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but for the asking price, it's too brief. However, for those who love to "book search" it's delightful to read of the author's finds. Highly recommended, elegiac and wry.
Despite its length and pictures, I look forward to reading his second book.
This book was an interesting read. The author's wondefully breezy writing style was enchanting and fun to read. His anecdotes on various book finds made you feel as though you were right next to him.
So why the 3 stars?
This book took me exactly 2 hours to read! It is compact and has so few pages, that I felt a little discouraged from the start.
This author truly is entertaining with his stories and if his career spans over 40 years, surely he could have added a couple more (like maybe a 100 or so more) pages to the book. Just as I was starting to really get into it, the book ends.
I was also put off by the cost of the book. $20.00 for 2 hours of reading is expensive!
However, if you like books on books that are a fun read, this is the book for you.
Overall, not too bad, but not the best either.