A Passion for Books

Monday, February 13, 2012


A Passion for Books
A Book Lover’s Treasury: Stories, Essays, Humor, Lore, and Lists on Collecting, Reading, Borrowing, Lending, Caring For, and Appreciating Books
Edited by Harold Rabinowitz and Rob Kaplan
★★★★☆

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.”

15 comments:

Nymeth said...

This sounds so fun. I love books about books, but I haven't read one in ages.

Sandy Nawrot said...

MUST HAVE!!!

Brooke said...

This looks fantastic! Another book to add to my ever growing birthday wishlist. The husband is going to be thrilled! But who doesn't love a book about books?

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Nymeth - I love books about books, ridiculous, but true.

Sandy - So fun for those of us who love lists.

Brooke - I know, I can't resist them.

Jenners said...

Another one for the wish list.

nomadreader said...

Oh, this book sounds fun! I love edited collections of essays, but I fear this one would be horrible for my TBR. I'm off to see if the library has a copy!

Brenna said...

I hadn't heard of this one before! It sounds like a fun read!

Allie said...

LOVE books about books, but I haven't heard of this one! I'm going to have to get a copy!

Aarti said...

I love that last quote! My sister once mangled a quote to me that I will now mangle further. It about how the only people who ask "Have you read all the books on your shelf?" are the people who don't really read books at all. Or something like that :-)

Bybee said...

I'm all about books about books. Just this morning, I was wishing I had my copy of "Ex Libris" back again.

Kailana said...

This does sound like something I need to read...

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Jenners - Will it ever stop?

nomadreader - I loved how balanced it felt. It had lists, essays, short stories, a very good mix.

Brenna - I'm a sucker for books about books.

Allie - It's a fun one.

Aarti - That's so true. I love the thought that your library is a working tool. I've always looked at it that way. I keep books I love, but it's mainly books I'm planning to read.

Bybee - I love that book!

Kailana - It's a bibliophiles' dream.

Carrie K. said...

I've had this on my wish list forever - really need to get my hands on it after reading your review!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Carrie K. - I had it on my list for years too!

ConnieGirl said...

I'm sold. Just added to my TBR list.