Sunday, July 31, 2011
A Passion for Books
In my continued quest to catch up on book reviews, I missed putting this one in the right slot chronologically. It makes sense because it took me a long time to read it. It wasn't because the book was tedious. I really enjoyed it. It's because the book had to be savored.
A Passion for Books is a collection of essays from noted figures in the book collecting world (which by default contains noted figures in the bookselling, writing and publishing worlds). There were some by favorites of mine like Nicholas Basbanes, Christopher Morley and Robertson Davies. There was one by the legendary A.S.W. Rosenbach. Umberto Eco, John Updike, Gustave Flaubert and many more. A veritable who's who.
As with any collection of work by a multitude of people, particularly one such as this where the entries ranged in length from a couple paragraphs to many pages, it is uneven. There were some really dull pieces interspersed with some really wonderful ones. There's also some lists of books and some cartoons.
I can see myself going back to this book, leafing through it, maybe even referencing it if the need arose. It's not one that I would read from cover to cover but some of the essays I liked a lot I would reread. If you're a book lover, you need to at least leaf through a copy.