A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books

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9780805036534: A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books

This book is an adventure among the afflicted -- those with the passion to possess books. Richly anecdotal and fully documented, it combines the perspective of historical research with the immediacy of investigative journalism. Above all, it is a celebration of books and the people who have revered, gathered and preserved them over the centuries. From the great library of Alexandria, through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to the 20th century, here is a gallery of revealing profiles of past and present collectors. A comprehensive bibliography on books is included.

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Review:

What a delightful book about books and people who love books! As a second generation bibliophile, a possible bibliomane who had several people move out of my house a year ago because they erroneously believed that my books were taking over the household, and a devout employee of "Earth's Biggest Bookstore," I can vouch that Basbanes accurately describes the glorious role of book collectors as archivists of human knowledge, and -- in continual counterpoint -- sometimes pathologically obsessed book junkies.

From the Inside Flap:

When first published, A Gentle Madness astounded and delighted readers about the passion and expense a collector is willing to make in pursuit of the book. Written before the emergence of the Internet but newly updated for the 21st Century reader, A Gentle Madness captures that last moment in time when collectors pursued their passions in dusty bookshops and street stalls, high stakes auctions, and the subterfuge worthy of a true bibliomaniac. An adventure among the afflicted, A Gentle Madness is vividly anecdotal and thoroughly researched. Nicholas Basbanes brings an investigative reporter's heart to illuminate collectors past and present in their pursuit of bibliomania. Now a timeless classic of collecting, no lover of books can miss A Gentle Madness.

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