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A Splendor of Letters: The Permanence of Books in an Impermanent World

by

A Splendor of Letters: The Permanence of Books in an Impermanent World Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In A Splendor of Letters, Nicholas A. Basbanes continues the lively, richly anecdotal exploration of book people, places, and culture he began in 1995 with A Gentle Madness (a finalist that year for the National Book Critics Circle Award) and expanded in 2001 with Patience & Fortitude, a companion work that prompted the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and biographer David McCullough to proclaim him "the leading authority of books about books." In this beautifully packaged edition, Basbanes brings to a close his wonderful trilogy on the remarkable world of books and bibliophiles.

Review:

"[E]rudite, often lively....Basbanes's profound passion never falls into pedantry: readers will emerge with new knowledge, new worries, and enormous respect." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Basbanes's longtime fans will rejoice...while new readers will no doubt be swiftly caught up in the book-loving spirit." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"[An] eclectic ramble through the perpetual problem of preservation....[T]hroughout, focus is maintained on the preservation issue through Basbanes' unabashed bibliophilism. Preservationists will be the best audience for this work." Booklist

Review:

"Throughout he enlivens his story with pen portraits of scholars, writers, conservators, librarians and myriad other book people....A Splendor of Letters is itself splendid and will appeal to any serious reader or book collector." Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Book World

Review:

"[E]ntertaining and enlightening....Mr. Basbanes' argument in favor of traditional books' evolutionary efficiency is convincing, even though books are somewhat inefficient repositories of knowledge and are indulgences, costly to produce and environmentally wasteful." Dallas Morning News

Review:

"Whether chronicling the findings of archaeologists or lamenting the loss of some of the oldest writings on Earth during the recent looting of Iraq, Basbanes always presents literature in terms of its universal human relevance." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"In A Splendor of Letters, the last volume in his trilogy on books and reading, Nicholas Basbanes reaches the happy conclusion that books matter and will endure — at least for another generation or two." Seattle Times

Review:

"[A] wide-ranging, anecdotal survey....The preservation of the past is a problem with no easy solutions, but in reading this balanced and inclusive survey, we are made aware of the pressing need for seriously thoughtful ones." Los Angeles Times

About the Author

Nicholas A. Basbanes was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1943, graduated from Bates College in 1965, and received a master of arts degree from Pennsylvania State University in 1969. He served as a naval officer aboard the aircraft carrier Oriskany during the Vietnam War and made two combat cruises to the Tonkin Gulf. An award-winning investigative reporter during the early 1970s, Basbanes was literary editor of the Worcester Sunday Telegram from 1978 to 1991, and for eight years after that wrote a nationally syndicated column on books and authors. He is a former president of the Friends of the Robert H. Goddard Library of Clark University, which has established a student book-collecting competition in his honor. He is also the author of Among the Gently Mad, a book on collecting.

Table of Contents

Preface
1 Marbles and Names 1
2 Editio Princeps 27
3 The Ozymandias Factor 59
4 Ex Libris Punicis 93
5 From the Ashes 133
6 Shelf Life 179
7 Ingenious Cipher 229
8 Into Thin Air 255
9 Make Haste Slowly 283
10 Music of the Spheres 311
Proper Passage: A Coda 363
Notes 369
Bibliography 407
Author's Interviews 423
Index 425

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060580803
Author:
Basbanes, Nicholas A.
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Author:
by Nicholas A Basbanes
Author:
holas A.
Author:
Basbanes, Nic
Subject:
General
Subject:
Books
Subject:
Books & Reading
Subject:
Literacy
Subject:
Literary Criticism : General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Publication Date:
November 2004
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
464
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 0.7424 in 17.06 oz

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Related Subjects

Education » Teaching » Reading and Writing
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Antiques » Books
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Rare Books » General
Reference » Books on Books

A Splendor of Letters: The Permanence of Books in an Impermanent World Used Trade Paper
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$9.95 In Stock
Product details 464 pages Perennial - English 9780060580803 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[E]rudite, often lively....Basbanes's profound passion never falls into pedantry: readers will emerge with new knowledge, new worries, and enormous respect."
"Review" by , "Basbanes's longtime fans will rejoice...while new readers will no doubt be swiftly caught up in the book-loving spirit."
"Review" by , "[An] eclectic ramble through the perpetual problem of preservation....[T]hroughout, focus is maintained on the preservation issue through Basbanes' unabashed bibliophilism. Preservationists will be the best audience for this work."
"Review" by , "Throughout he enlivens his story with pen portraits of scholars, writers, conservators, librarians and myriad other book people....A Splendor of Letters is itself splendid and will appeal to any serious reader or book collector."
"Review" by , "[E]ntertaining and enlightening....Mr. Basbanes' argument in favor of traditional books' evolutionary efficiency is convincing, even though books are somewhat inefficient repositories of knowledge and are indulgences, costly to produce and environmentally wasteful."
"Review" by , "Whether chronicling the findings of archaeologists or lamenting the loss of some of the oldest writings on Earth during the recent looting of Iraq, Basbanes always presents literature in terms of its universal human relevance."
"Review" by , "In A Splendor of Letters, the last volume in his trilogy on books and reading, Nicholas Basbanes reaches the happy conclusion that books matter and will endure — at least for another generation or two."
"Review" by , "[A] wide-ranging, anecdotal survey....The preservation of the past is a problem with no easy solutions, but in reading this balanced and inclusive survey, we are made aware of the pressing need for seriously thoughtful ones."
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