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"When I have a little money, I buy books. And if any is left, I buy food and clothing."--Desiderius Erasmus

Those who share Erasmus's love of those curious bundles of paper bound together between hard or soft covers know exactly how he felt. These are the people who can spend hours browsing through a bookstore, completely oblivious not only to the passage of time but to everything else around them, the people for whom buying books is a necessity, not a luxury. A Passion for Books is a celebration of that love, a collection of sixty classic and contemporary essays, stories, lists, poems, quotations, and cartoons on the joys of reading, appreciating, and collecting books.

This enriching collection leads off with science-fiction great Ray Bradbury's Foreword, in which he remembers his penniless days pecking out Fahrenheit 451 on a rented typewriter, conjuring up a society so frightened of art that it burns its books. This struggle--financial and creative--led to his lifelong love of all books, which he hopes will cosset him in his grave, "Shakespeare as a pillow, Pope at one elbow, Yeats at the other, and Shaw to warm my toes. Good company for far-travelling."

Booklovers will also find here a selection of writings by a myriad of fellow sufferers from bibliomania. Among these are such contemporary authors as Philip Roth, John Updike, Umberto Eco, Robertson Davies, Nicholas Basbanes, and Anna Quindlen; earlier twentieth-century authors Chris-topher Morley, A. Edward Newton, Holbrook Jackson, A.S.W. Rosenbach, William Dana Orcutt, Robert Benchley, and William Targ; and classic authors such as Michel de Montaigne, Gustave Flaubert, Petrarch, and Anatole France.

Here also are entertaining and humorous lists such as the "Ten Best-Selling Books Rejected by Publishers Twenty Times or More," the great books included in Clifton Fadiman and John Major's New Lifetime Reading Plan, Jonathan Yardley's "Ten Books That Shaped the American Character," "Ten Memorable Books That Never Existed," "Norman Mailer's Ten Favorite American Novels," and Anna Quindlen's "Ten Big Thick Wonderful Books That Could Take You a Whole Summer to Read (but Aren't Beach Books)."

Rounding out the anthology are selections on bookstores, book clubs, and book care, plus book cartoons, and a specially prepared "Bibliobibliography" of books about books.

Whether you consider yourself a bibliomaniac or just someone who likes to read, A Passion for Books will provide you with a lifetime's worth of entertaining, informative, and pleasurable reading on your favorite subject--the love of books.

Published: Crown Publishing Group an imprint of Random House Publishing Group on
ISBN: 9780307419668
List price: $14.99
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An anthology of essays, quotes, and cartoons about reading, books, and book collecting. Like all anthologies, some selections were better than others. I particularly liked Anna Quindlan's "How Reading Changed My Life" and A. Edward Newton's "100 Greatest Novels in the English Language," in which he not only gives his list but talks a bit about it. The essays on book collecting grew a little tiresome in the end (I would have preferred one or two fewer of those and a few more personal essays about reading itself), but a good collection with a few treasures.more
Every single book lover needs to read this. No, I’m serious, all of you! If you love collecting books, reading books, wandering through bookstores, making lists of books you still have to read, etc. this collection will be a delight. I can’t think of a bibliophile who wouldn’t enjoy this.It opens with an introduction from Ray Bradbury and just gets better from there. There are bits from Gustave Flaubert, Umberto Eco, Anna Quindlen, John Updike and dozens of others. Obviously every single essay or list isn’t perfect, but the majority of them are wonderful. The editors blended essays, lists of books, book themed cartoons and even a short story or two in the perfect order. There are a few slow pieces (I’m looking at you “Bible through the Ages”), but most are well-paced and quick to read. There are so many clever book lovers out there and this collection highlights some of their best pieces. It’s a great book to set on your nightstand or somewhere where it’s easy to grab. If you only have a few minutes to read, you’ll find pieces to fill those moments, but then you can set it down easily. “Dull books soothe only dull brains – a moderately healthy mind will be irritated rather than rested by a dull book.”“But the vital thing is that you have your own favorites – books that are read and genuine, each one brimful of the inspiration of a great soul. Keep these books on a shelf convenient for use, and read them again and again until you have saturated your mind with their wisdom and their beauty.”“It could be said that they are still people who consider a bookshelf as a mere storage place for already read books and do not think of the library as a working tool.” more
A fun book for book lovers. Has a lot of good reference material for referring back to later. Includes lists of books that I may want to return to in the future. Brings a lot of reference material together into one place. Bibliography is good.more
I don't remember how this book ended up on my to-read list, but I found it a few weeks ago and decided to put in on my hold list at the DCPL. Harold Rabinowitz and Rob Kaplan edited this collection of stories, essays, poetry, cartoons and lists regarding books, reading, and collecting.Even though there are many well-known authors and other book related folks represented in this book, I only ended up really reading thoroughly the essays written by the two editors and Anna Quindlen - "How Reading Changed My Life". It was amusing to see the inclusion of lists of books and the many variations of biblio words used as titles. Also my favorite cartoon was from The New Yorker depicting a real estate agent showing a wealthy couple an apartment where one room had floor to ceiling bookcases. The caption reads "What kind of crazy people used to live here anyway?"At the end of the book in case you haven't had enough text about books and reading, the editors include a bibliography of books on books. This section reminds me of one section of the Library of Congress gift shop which is a collection of books on books.more
Just a great book of essays for readers and book lovers... Viva Bibliophilia!more
This collection of essays, cartoons, lists, and stories about books, reading, and bibliophiles is the kind of collection that makes one proud to be a fanatical reader. There were essays that made me laugh out loud (mostly at myself), and one in particular that made me cry. I realized that my obsessive need to own, read, and share books is far from unusual; in fact I am merely one individual in a massive club of the most interesting people in history. Bibliophiles unite, and celebrate your fantastic insanity with the writers, readers, and collectors represented in this book.more
this is one of my favorite booksmore
I felt so nerdy, reading a book ABOUT books. But when I read that other people smell books, too, I became much happier. Glad I'm not the only "weirdo" out there! A couple of the longer articles were a bit dry, simply because I don't collect only first editions, or really even look for them, or care remotely about the numerical value of my books. I collect them for me and my future children--which the editors say is the right way to go. I really enjoyed reading this book.more
Read all 9 reviews

Reviews

An anthology of essays, quotes, and cartoons about reading, books, and book collecting. Like all anthologies, some selections were better than others. I particularly liked Anna Quindlan's "How Reading Changed My Life" and A. Edward Newton's "100 Greatest Novels in the English Language," in which he not only gives his list but talks a bit about it. The essays on book collecting grew a little tiresome in the end (I would have preferred one or two fewer of those and a few more personal essays about reading itself), but a good collection with a few treasures.more
Every single book lover needs to read this. No, I’m serious, all of you! If you love collecting books, reading books, wandering through bookstores, making lists of books you still have to read, etc. this collection will be a delight. I can’t think of a bibliophile who wouldn’t enjoy this.It opens with an introduction from Ray Bradbury and just gets better from there. There are bits from Gustave Flaubert, Umberto Eco, Anna Quindlen, John Updike and dozens of others. Obviously every single essay or list isn’t perfect, but the majority of them are wonderful. The editors blended essays, lists of books, book themed cartoons and even a short story or two in the perfect order. There are a few slow pieces (I’m looking at you “Bible through the Ages”), but most are well-paced and quick to read. There are so many clever book lovers out there and this collection highlights some of their best pieces. It’s a great book to set on your nightstand or somewhere where it’s easy to grab. If you only have a few minutes to read, you’ll find pieces to fill those moments, but then you can set it down easily. “Dull books soothe only dull brains – a moderately healthy mind will be irritated rather than rested by a dull book.”“But the vital thing is that you have your own favorites – books that are read and genuine, each one brimful of the inspiration of a great soul. Keep these books on a shelf convenient for use, and read them again and again until you have saturated your mind with their wisdom and their beauty.”“It could be said that they are still people who consider a bookshelf as a mere storage place for already read books and do not think of the library as a working tool.” more
A fun book for book lovers. Has a lot of good reference material for referring back to later. Includes lists of books that I may want to return to in the future. Brings a lot of reference material together into one place. Bibliography is good.more
I don't remember how this book ended up on my to-read list, but I found it a few weeks ago and decided to put in on my hold list at the DCPL. Harold Rabinowitz and Rob Kaplan edited this collection of stories, essays, poetry, cartoons and lists regarding books, reading, and collecting.Even though there are many well-known authors and other book related folks represented in this book, I only ended up really reading thoroughly the essays written by the two editors and Anna Quindlen - "How Reading Changed My Life". It was amusing to see the inclusion of lists of books and the many variations of biblio words used as titles. Also my favorite cartoon was from The New Yorker depicting a real estate agent showing a wealthy couple an apartment where one room had floor to ceiling bookcases. The caption reads "What kind of crazy people used to live here anyway?"At the end of the book in case you haven't had enough text about books and reading, the editors include a bibliography of books on books. This section reminds me of one section of the Library of Congress gift shop which is a collection of books on books.more
Just a great book of essays for readers and book lovers... Viva Bibliophilia!more
This collection of essays, cartoons, lists, and stories about books, reading, and bibliophiles is the kind of collection that makes one proud to be a fanatical reader. There were essays that made me laugh out loud (mostly at myself), and one in particular that made me cry. I realized that my obsessive need to own, read, and share books is far from unusual; in fact I am merely one individual in a massive club of the most interesting people in history. Bibliophiles unite, and celebrate your fantastic insanity with the writers, readers, and collectors represented in this book.more
this is one of my favorite booksmore
I felt so nerdy, reading a book ABOUT books. But when I read that other people smell books, too, I became much happier. Glad I'm not the only "weirdo" out there! A couple of the longer articles were a bit dry, simply because I don't collect only first editions, or really even look for them, or care remotely about the numerical value of my books. I collect them for me and my future children--which the editors say is the right way to go. I really enjoyed reading this book.more
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