Sunday, January 17, 2010

Nicholas A. Basbanes - Master of Books About Books

Alfie Cat, a.k.a. the Book Snob, requested a blog about Nicholas A. Basbanes.  I was working on my M.S.  in Library and Information Science, when Nicholas A. Basbanes published A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books, 1995.  I realized then that my love of books was actually common enough to warrant a name, have a book written about it, and I was not the only bibliophile.  He has since written a number of books about books, book culture, and book lovers.   He serves as an inspiration, that one can make a living not only writing books, but can make a living writing books about books.  What a novel concept!

Alfie Cat has just collapsed on the keyboard to remind me this is a blog about Basbanes and bibliophiles, not about careers, so I will save the career chatter for another day.  Basbanes writes about the history of the book, book hunting, and the antiquarian book trade.  He has published at least five other books Patience & Fortitude: A Roving Chronicle of Book People, Book Places, and Book Culture (2001); Among the Gently Mad: Perspectives and Strategies for the Book-Hunter of the 21st Century (2002); Every Book Its Reader: The Power of the Printed Word to Stir the World (2005); Editions & Impressions: My Twenty Years on the Book Beat (2008); and A World of Letters: Yale University Press, 1908-2008 (2008). He has a new book coming out in May, About the Author: Inside the Creative Process.

If you are a bibliophile or want to know more about the history of the book and book collecting, then Nicholas A. Basbanes is the author for you.   I will sit back with my copy of A Gentle Madness, and reminisce about book hunting prior to the Internet.  Cruising through an independent bookstore hunting for a rare copy, and looking for a bargain.  Unfortunately due to the Internet and monster Book Stores, the likelihood of finding a rare book, underpriced in an independent bookstore is a thing of the past.

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