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Shelf Life: Writers on Books and Reading

por Alex Johnson

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332734,751 (3.5)2
"Without answering in detail, I shall assume that the book-buyer is a book-lover, that his love is a tenacious, not a transitory love, and that for him the question is how best to keep his books."--W.E. GladstoneBooks; reading, collecting and the physical housing of them has brought the book-lover joy - and stress - for centuries. Fascinated writers have tried to capture the particular relationships we form with our library, and the desperate troubles we will undergo to preserve it. With Alex Johnson as your guide, immerse yourself in this eclectic anthology and hear from an iconic Prime Minister musing over the best way to store your books and an illustrious US President explaining the best works to read outdoors. Enjoy serious speculations on the psychological implications of reading from a 19th century philosopher, and less serious ones concerning the predicament of dispensing with unwanted volumes or the danger of letting children (the 'enemies of books') near your collection.… (mais)
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A disappointingly dry volume of bookish essays. How rare to be uninspired by such a volume, which normally I would gorge on with relish. Each writer has something to recommend him, but most have made a dirge out of their interest. The most lively aspect of this volume is its cover.

Walter Benjamin, Roosevelt and Bacon will be returned to. But where are the women? Not one included and perhaps three offered a mention. ( )
  Caroline_McElwee | Dec 13, 2019 |
Some very thought provoking essays in this anthology, e.g, The uses of reading by Rudyard Kipling, On books and reading by Arthur Schopenhauer, especially, page 110, 'Nine-tenths of the whole of our present literature has no other aim than to get a few shillings out of the pockets of the public; and to this end author, publisher and reviewer are in league', and an interesting way to get rId of books by throwing them in the Thames in 'On destroying books' by J.C.Squire. ( )
  jon1lambert | Sep 13, 2019 |
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"Without answering in detail, I shall assume that the book-buyer is a book-lover, that his love is a tenacious, not a transitory love, and that for him the question is how best to keep his books."--W.E. GladstoneBooks; reading, collecting and the physical housing of them has brought the book-lover joy - and stress - for centuries. Fascinated writers have tried to capture the particular relationships we form with our library, and the desperate troubles we will undergo to preserve it. With Alex Johnson as your guide, immerse yourself in this eclectic anthology and hear from an iconic Prime Minister musing over the best way to store your books and an illustrious US President explaining the best works to read outdoors. Enjoy serious speculations on the psychological implications of reading from a 19th century philosopher, and less serious ones concerning the predicament of dispensing with unwanted volumes or the danger of letting children (the 'enemies of books') near your collection.

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