Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pass the Fadiman, Please

Ex-Libris is porn for book lovers. If you've ever lost your breath simply holding a fifty year old first edition or fallen in love with a long dead author, you need to read this book. In my infatuated state, I just assumed that everyone who felt that way had already read it. Imagine my surprise when a librarian told me he had never heard of it. As he wrote down the name I tried to cover my surprise. How could a lover of books not be a lover of this book? I find solace in his interest at least. 

I was not checking out Ex Libris, but "Penny Wise and Book Foolish" as referenced in the former.I found this book to be so inspiring that i want to work my way through every single volume, essay and poem that she mentions. 

This one is a lovely little volume on book collecting and collectors. Fadiman references it in her book. The crazy thing is that this book was listed as reference only in the online library database yet still had a card insert. When I brought it to the desk the librarian said that it had apparently forgotten because it was indeed in circulation but was not in the database, it had never been updated since no one had checked it out since the late nineties. How can this little gem have been overlooked for so long? It breaks my heart that it has gone unloved and unwanted for years. A part of me was tempted to shove it in my bag and run as a true book obsessive would do, but I have high hopes that one day someone else might want it and be unable to pay the $50 it goes for these days. 


anobscureobject said...

Im ashamed to say that i have not yet heard of "Ex-Libris" or "Penny Wise and Book Foolish". i almost no longer feel like a im gonna make sure to read it though. i have to since you called it a book lover's porn, which i happen to find as a compelling analogy.

Anonymous said...

You are a BOOK LOVER.
I am a BOCK LOVER. Cheers!

The Amatuer Writer said...

Although I aprreciate reading but not exactly a 'hardcore bookworm/lover'; I too, am ashamed to admit that I'd not heard of "Ex Libris" in my entire life!
Having googled several sites about this book, it's entralling how all the critics raved about Anne Fadiman and her delivery of writing! I specially loved this particular comment:"In another chapter, she separates the courtly lovers of books from the carnal lovers. Apparently the carnal lover loves to write comments in the margin and bend down the corners of relevant pages. The courtly lovers, like too many men, like to keep the books in pristine condition - their books look like they have never been truly held or appreciated!!!The book is also an interesting portrait of a marriage of true minds."

Another great piece to share, DB.

Thank you.

Stay well, strong and cool!

xoxo ;)

imnotarobot said...

i have a confession.

i kind of wanted to be alone tonight but now that i am alone i wish you guys would have come over. :( this is poopy. anyway, love you. why don't you have your phone on you, stupee buttface? don't call me though i am going to try and sleep. love loves xoxo

elisabeth said...

Just a few words to thank you for the trip to the country of Fadiman.
I am a french bookseller but I had never heard of this book. Shame on me.
this book has become one of my favorite.
you know what? You're not only a good writer you're also a good bookseller!