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Patience & Fortitude: A Roving Chronicle of…

Patience & Fortitude: A Roving Chronicle of Book People, Book Places, and… (2001)

by Nicholas A. Basbanes

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1,15377,062 (4.12)43



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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
This is a great book.

Here are a few of my favourite snippets:

"Don Fabrizio Massimo in the archive storage room of Rome's Palazzo Massimo, which contains records documenting more than five centuries of family history; the bookcase in the background [of the photo] was designed for the Massimo family by Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini(1598 - 1680), a leading exponent of the Baroque style in Italy"

This is the text against a photo, the page is not numbered but is located on one of the photograph collections between page 44 & 45.

"What a place to be in is an old library! It seems as though all the souls of all the writers, that have bequeathed their labours to these Bodleians, were reposing here, as in some dormitory, or middle state. I do not want to handle, to profane the leaves, their winding sheets. I could as soon dislodge a shade. I seem to inhale learning, walking amid their foliage; and the odor of their moth-scented coverings is fragrant as the first bloom of those sciential apples which grew amid the happy orchard." ~ Charles Lamb, Oxford in the Vacation ~ Page 71. ( )
1 vote AnglersRest | Jul 11, 2012 |
Let us start with the cover: a magnificent work of art. The exquisite "wood-cut" and the wonderful organic illumination around it give this book an air of importance and prestige. And then, the text itself. Superbly researched with a wonderful quality of readability. Basbanes is a truly insightful character who enjoys books and the history surrounding them. This a great book for all book lovers. ( )
  nickphilosophos | May 20, 2010 |
Books > History/Books and reading > History/Book collecting > History/Libraries > History
  Budzul | Jun 1, 2008 |
love it love it love it - I can't get enough of the stories about books and the people who live in the book world ( )
  fionaturnbull | Feb 18, 2008 |
Has vignettes of the first librarians bringing order out of chaos in collections of scrolls, illuminated texts, incunabula and books.

Inspired by this book, I am cataloguing my own manuscripts, articles, illuminations and books. ( )
  rosaliegrafe | Aug 25, 2007 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
“An Exemplary Piece of Work … a rich feast … sheer pleasure … One dips into it, absorbs the many interwoven details, and comes away edified, enlightened, delighted and enriched … The tone, the pace, and the `weave' of Basbanes's prose have a cumulative effect. His journalistic background has taught him how to craft a good sentence, good paragraphs, and a captivating narrative line. His conversational style makes the reader acutely sympathetic to his intent; it makes us want to repay him with unflagging attention. His appreciation, even reverence, for all things bibliographic tells book lovers they are in the company of a kindred spirit. I'm looking forward to the completion of the trilogy.”
added by thebookpile | editLOGOS: Professional Journal of the Book World, Stephen Horvath
“Mr. Basbanes is a good writer with a loyal and growing readership. But he is also a writer enamored of books for their artifactual as well as intellectual value, for their beauty and uniqueness, and for the culture of the mind they embody and promote. This kind of love is not given to all writers. It doesn't just come with the talent. How fortunate a man to have such a passion. How fortunate his readers that he is willing to share.”
added by thebookpile | editClark University Libraries News, Diane Dolbashian
“Not only is Basbanes seriously obsessed with books, he's fascinated by libraries, spots where libraries once stood, bookstores, other bibliophiles, and, basically, anything else to do with books.”
added by thebookpile | editPages, Laurie Mason
“From almost the first page, one gets the sense that Nicholas Basbanes has done for books in Patience & Fortitude what Kenneth Clark did for Western Civilization in 1969, with the publication of his monumental work, Civilisation."

“By any measure, his interviews, his travels to sites around the world, his comprehensive scholarship, or his inspired writing, Basbanes has given us a full history of the book, its importance, its collection, and its future.”
added by thebookpile | editThe Caxtonian, Robert Cotner
“Book lovers relish meeting people who share their passion, just as all aficionados gravitate toward their own kind. So when Nicholas Basbanes, the king of bibliophiles, speaks here on Tuesday, there's sure to be a like-minded crowd on hand to absorb his every word. He is a most exciting and entertaining speaker.”
added by thebookpile | editChattanooga Times Free Press, Karin Glendenning
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Like all the men of the Library, in my younger days I traveled; I have journeyed in quest of a book, perhaps the catalog of catalogs. Now that my eyes can hardly make out what I myself have written, I am preparing to die, a few leagues from the hexagon where I was born. When I am dead, compassionate hands will throw me over the railing; my tomb will be the unfathomable air, my body will sink for ages, and will decay and dissolve in the wind engendered by my fall, which shall be infinite. I declare that the Library is endless. —Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986), "The Library of Babel"
For CVB and the next quarter-century
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While probing the murky bottom of Alexandria's Eastern Harbor for fragments of Queen Cleopatra's sunken palace, French divers came across an ancient stele that had been shielded from the sunlight for sixteen centuries.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060514469, Paperback)

In his national bestseller, A Gentle Madness, Nicholas Basbanes explored the sweet obsession people feel to possess books. Now, Basbanes continues his adventures among the "gently mad" on an irresistible journey to the great libraries of the past -- from Alexandria to Glastonbury -- and to contemporary collections at the Vatican, Wolfenbüttel, and erudite universities. Along the way, he drops in on eccentric book dealers and regales us with stories about unforgettable collectors, such as the gentleman who bought a rare book in 1939 "by selling bottles of his own blood."

Taking the book's grand title from the marble lions guarding the New York Public Library at 42nd Street, Basbanes both entertains and delights. And once again, as Scott Turow aptly noted, "Basbanes makes you love books, the collections he writes about, and the volume in your hand."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:51 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"In 1995 Nicholas Basbanes introduced a resonant phrase to describe the obsessive passion people have had over the past twenty-five hundred years to possess books, a condition more commonly known as bibliomania, one he christened in his book A Gentle Madness. Reviewing the work in the Washington Post, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Michael Dirda judged it to be a gallery of wonderful characters, "each more appealing than the last."" "Now, in Patience & Fortitude, Basbanes continues his discursive adventures among the gently mad, expanding his focus to probe the more comprehensive concept of book culture. Visiting many key "book places" around the world, he talks with a striking variety of kindred spirits, each one a living testament to the unending relevance of these essential artifacts in our lives." "Drawing its title from the unofficial names of the marble lions that guard the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, Patience & Fortitude explores the changing form of the book over the centuries and describes the nature of the institutions that have evolved to contain them, including academic, public, private, and national repositories."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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