Meta-bibliophilia

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Meta-bibliophilia

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1armillarygal
Feb 7, 2009, 10:35am

What is your favorite book about loving books?

2benjclark
Feb 7, 2009, 12:44pm

The Library at Night is one to be savored. Books Are Basic : The Essential Lawrence Clark Powell was also a good read. I've not yet read any of Lawrence Goldstone's, but I've always heard good things. Of course, it's hard to go wrong with Nick Basbanes's books. I am always looking for more!

3Makifat
Feb 8, 2009, 11:32am

The Manguel book is excellent. I've always enjoyed dipping into Holbrook Jackson's immortal Anatomy of Bibliomania, and as a feast for the eyes, At Home With Books is also a browser's delight.

From a historical angle, Testaments of Time is, as the subtitle suggests, a fascinating book about the recovery of lost manuscripts - a kind of intellectual's Indiana Jones.

Finally, you can find the full range of human emotion - including healthy doses of boorishness and book lust - in Two Renaissance Book Hunters. By the time you reach the end of these letters, you have really gotten to know these heroic guys.

4elliepotten
Feb 8, 2009, 12:10pm

Personally I loved The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee, A Book Addict's Treasury by Lynda Murphy and The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby. Oh, and Fadiman's Ex Libris. I've also got A Passion for Books by Harold Rabinowitz on my TBR pile. I didn't like So Many Books, So Little Time that much because I didn't recognise a lot of the books (it's not a British book)...

5moibibliomaniac
Edited: Feb 8, 2009, 1:20pm

I have too many favorite books about loving books. But my favorite essay about loving books is My Books by Leigh Hunt.

6Sandydog1
Feb 8, 2009, 1:33pm

My favorites are anything by Nicholas Basbanes.

7Steven_VI
Feb 8, 2009, 4:24pm

8mansfieldreading
Feb 8, 2009, 4:53pm

Used and Rare by Lawrence Goldstone is a favourite, as well as 84, charing cross road by Helene Hanff. I love to look at At Home with Books but at that price I'll keep it on my wishlist and hope someone loves me come my birthday.

9elliepotten
Feb 8, 2009, 5:42pm

>7 Steven_VI: Ooooh, me too, I love that book! I wanted the calendar but they didn't make one this year, as far as I can find out. Have you tried Candida Hofer: Libraries (with Umberto Eco) - though it does have a few rather drab libraries in that one. Box files, that sort of thing. :-/

>8 mansfieldreading: Used and Rare is on my wishlist - I might have to boost it up a few places now...

10benjclark
Feb 8, 2009, 9:47pm

I keep At Home with Books out so visitors will stumble upon it in my living room. Gorgeous. I wanted it forever, and found it a couple years ago on the last day of a library sale for under $10! I nearly lept onto the table to grab it.

11WholeHouseLibrary
Feb 8, 2009, 11:17pm

I got a copy of A Passion for Books just yesterday, and had time to read Clifton Fadiman's essay Pillow Books. It alone was worth the price of the book. The titles of the essays alone are enough to make you salivate.

12ladywithabook
Mar 17, 2009, 11:43pm

...Books and Reading by Roscoe Crosby Gaige

It is a compilation of essays and excerpts mostly from the 19th Century about books and reading. It might be hard to find (written in 1908) but it is great.

13cocoafiend
Sep 20, 2009, 7:07pm

Agreed with many above - especially Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman and The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel - both delightful to read! For the love of newspapers and the glory-days of newspaper illustration, Nicholson Baker's Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper and The World on Sunday are both terrific.

And for books about language, a recent gem is Arika Okrent's In the Land of Invented Languages about Klingon, esperanto, philosophical languages... I reviewed it, but not sure how to paste the link to make it clickable here: http://www.librarything.com/work/8077823/reviews

14lilithcat
Sep 20, 2009, 7:18pm

Oh, it's got to be Portrait of an Obsession: the Life of Sir Thomas Phillipps, the World's Greatest Book Collector, by A.N. Munby. Phillipps decided he needed to have a copy of every book there was! Even aside from that, he was an odd duck.

Flaubert's short story, Bibliomania, a tale is a dire warning, and then there's Bibliomania in the Middle Ages, by F. Somner Merryweather.

And when one gets too serious about it, Biblioholism, the Literary Addiction, by Tom Raabe is an excellent antidote.

15librisalexandria
Apr 10, 2010, 11:06pm

That would be AT HOME WITH BOOKS

16librisalexandria
Apr 10, 2010, 11:11pm

Another great title is Built Of Books: How reading defined the life of Oscar Wilde by Thomas Wright

17PandorasRequiem
Jun 6, 2010, 6:27am

The lovely little gem I am savouring now is titled: Bookworms: Great Writers and Readers Celebrate Reading by Laura Furman. It really is wonderful! It contains excerpts from Austen, James, Kafka, Woolf, Emerson and lots lots more authors... not only just about reading in itself but also the joy of learning to first read in childhood recollections, there is sections also about reading aloud, different types of readers (and writers) and about book-collecting and sharing.

18bookwoman247
Aug 29, 2010, 8:39am

I have so many favorite books about books!

One little gem I don't think I've seen mentioned in this group is How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen.

Others favorites of mine include Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morely, 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff, Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman, Nothing Remains the Same by Wendy Leser, and just oh-so-many others!

19nathaliefoy
Oct 25, 2010, 12:09pm

I have an entire blog devoted to books about books: http://nathaliefoy.wordpress.com
My favourites are Anne Fadiman's Ex Libris and Helene Hanff's 84, Charing Cross Road

20trav
Nov 16, 2010, 5:22pm

Makifat - that's the first I have heard of Two Renaissance Book Hunters. I'm placing an order for a copy. Thanks for mentioning it!

21dyarington
Nov 17, 2010, 12:26pm

Several years ago I decided to collect books about books. Since then I have discovered that the quest is endless. I can't even imagine how many there are. I have quit. I only buy what I wish to read now.

22benjclark
Nov 17, 2010, 12:32pm

dyarington,
Perhaps you just need to tighten your focus. If you tried to take on all books about books, that would be daunting indeed! But, maybe American books about books published before 1900 would be challenging, do-able, and enjoyable. Or some other such thing-- like the books of one of the bibliophilic societies, or just publisher memoirs, etc..

23dyarington
Nov 17, 2010, 1:18pm

Thanks. I suppose I should put in categories what I have and take it from there.

24Makifat
Nov 17, 2010, 1:24pm

20
I hope you enjoy it.

25earthwind
Edited: Feb 12, 2019, 1:57pm

Thank you all so much. Have enjoyed many of your suggested over the years. Librarything gets a big hug too !!!
At present, my favorite book about books is Bibliomania by a very young Gustave Flaubert