Synopses & Reviews
The passion to possess books has never been more widespread than it is today; indeed, obsessive book collecting remains the only hobby to have a disease named after it. A Gentle Madness, finalist for the 1995 National Book Critics Circle award, is an adventure among the afflicted. 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.
"Anecdotes and insights on book collecting and appreciation make for a fine collection of stories on collecting. Authors, book authorities, builders of special collections, and biographical sketches of bibliophiles contribute to an excellent discourse on book passions and literary loves." Midwest Book Review
"A Gentle Madness is an impressive achievement in its compilation of vast information, as well as being instructive and interesting. It is compulsory for anyone seriously interested in books or curious about the manic nature of collecting." Philip Kopper, The New York Times Book Review
"Nicholas A. Basbanes has compiled a wonderful gallery of eccentrics, isolatos, charmers and visionaries...an ingratiating and altogether enjoyable book." Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Book World
"For all those who love books, but especially for those who love to own books, A Gentle Madness is a giant treasure chest, stuffed full of delightful anecdotes and delicious information, narrated with style, affection, and sometimes breathtaking drama." Thomas Cahill
"This is a brilliant and thoroughly enjoyable book. Nick Basbanes makes you love books, and the collectors he writes about, and the volume in your hands." Scott Turow
Richly anecdotal and fully documented, "A Gentle Madness" is a celebration of books and the people who have revered, gathered, and preserved them over the centuries. of photos.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 575-612) and index.
About the Author
Nicholas A. Basbanes
, former literary editor for the Worcester Sunday Telegram
, is now a nationally syndicated book columnist. He lives in North Grafton, Massachusetts, with his wife and two daughters.