Posts tagged ‘collecting’
As I’m sure loyal LT readers know, I am an absolute books-about-books nut. I’ll read almost anything if it claims to be about books in general or bookstores or the history of books or even typography.
But as much as I love the genre, it is not a love of total abandon. For every amazing bookish book, there are ten others that have somehow missed the “books are magic” memo and checked their love of the medium at the door.
So, after a few books-about-books disappointments, I’ve started judging the genre by what I call the Fadiman Gold Standard, set by the wonderful Anne Fadiman in Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader. In short, the Fadiman Gold Standard starts with the obvious (affection for books and appreciation for them in terms of both form and content), but then also incorporates felicity of expression, erudition, perfectly-formed essays, general well-readness, and whimsy. Yes, the Fadiman Gold Standard is super-subjective, but so is reading itself.
This week I randomly discovered Jacques Bonnet’s lovely Phantoms on the Bookshelves and, I am pleased to say, it comes pretty close to the Fadiman Gold Standard. (more…)
I admit that I largely picked up Noel Ivor Hume’s All the Best Rubbish because of its amazing cover. And the Dumasian subtitle helped, too (“Being an Antiquary’s Account of the Pleasures and Perils of Studying & Collecting Everyday Objects from the Past”). But beyond the amazing cover art and old-timey subtitle is actually a fascinating tale about the history of collecting. (more…)