A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal by Nicholas A. Basbanes

By Nicholas A. Basbanes

Whilst first released, A mild Madness astounded and extremely joyful readers concerning the ardour and rate a collector is keen to make in pursuit of the booklet. Written prior to the emergence of the web yet newly up-to-date for the twenty first Century reader, A light Madness captures that final second in time while creditors pursued their passions in dusty bookshops and highway stalls, excessive stakes auctions, and the subterfuge priceless of a real bibliomaniac. An experience one of the troubled, A light Madness is vividly anecdotal and carefully researched. Nicholas Basbanes brings an investigative reporter s center to light up creditors earlier and found in their pursuit of bibliomania. Now a undying vintage of amassing, no lover of books can leave out A light Madness.

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Griffin, journalist, Douglas, Massachusetts; Priscilla Juvelis, bookseller, Cambridge, Massachusetts; and the late William A. Moffett, librarian of the Huntington Library, 1990 to 1995. For showing me the treasures: Nicolas Barker and Mirjam M. Foot, the British Library; William R. Cagle and Joel Silver, the Lilly Library, Indiana University; John Dann, the Clements Library, University of Michigan; Raymond W. Daum, Kathleen G. Hjerter, and Dave Oliphant, the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas; Florence de Lussy, the Bibliothèque Nationale; Catherine Denning, the John Hay Library, Brown University; Kimball Higgs and Martin Antonetti, the Grolier Club; Norman Fiering and Susan L.

A year later, a bookseller unable to attend a major sale in New York asked if I would handle her bids. Priscilla Juvelis authorized me to spend a quarter of a million dollars at Sotheby’s; I was successful in eight of the contests. About halfway into my research on this book came the first press reports of a sensational arrest in Iowa involving thousands of stolen books. While my intention had never been to write a diagnostic textbook about what Nicolas Barker of the British Library would teasingly call my interest in “bibliomedicine,” I nevertheless decided that an extraordinary illustration of excess could be instructive.

Stoddard, curator of rare books at the Houghton Library, Harvard University, listened, offered wise counsel, and read substantial portions of the manuscript. For courtesies too numerous to enumerate: Bart Auerbach, bookseller, New York City; Sidney E. Berger, director of special collections, the University of California, Riverside; George B. Griffin, journalist, Douglas, Massachusetts; Priscilla Juvelis, bookseller, Cambridge, Massachusetts; and the late William A. Moffett, librarian of the Huntington Library, 1990 to 1995.

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