Friday, May 7, 2010

Ex Libris

What a fantastic book this was. Ex Libris is a collection of essays by Anne Fadiman on the reading and writing of books. I realized as I was reading them that, despite my efforts and intentions, I am definitely more of a reader than a writer. Her essays on reading I understood even if I didn't exactly agree with them. The writing ones would have led me to look at her askance had she been telling them to me in person.

There are eighteen essays in all covering topics such as merging libraries upon marriage, the care and storage of books, big words, books and family and much more. Many of them are very funny inciting some definite laugh out loud moments. At times, there is a certain amount of arrogance on Fadiman's part, as if her and her writer husband and writer parents have experienced pleasure from books that the majority have not. My pleasures have certainly been different from hers - I have no idea what it is like to be married to a writer or to grow up in a house chock full of books let alone books written by my parents - but it certainly doesn't make my enjoyment less than hers.

It's the occasional lapse into holier-than-thou that prevents me from giving this a two star rating. A must, though, for lovers of books.

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