Review: A Passion for Books by Harold Rabinowitz and Rob Kaplan
I love to read books about books. I don't personally know that many bibliophiles, so I like the sense of community I get. I'm also interested in the history of books and bookmaking and book-people and everything else. Unfortunately, I find that a lot of these books-about-books start to ramble in the third or fourth chapter, and it can be difficult to actually obtain information from them.
This book's full title is "A Passion for Books: A book lover's treasury of stories, essays, humor, lore, and lists on collecting, reading, borrowing, lending, caring for, and appreciating books." Rather than being one person rambling, it is instead a collection of said stories, essays, humor, lore and lists, gathered from a wide variety of times, places, and people. Each essay explores a new topic, with plenty of useful information and interesting tidbits to sink my teeth into, without having so much that I'm overwhelmed or worse, bored.
There are cartoons, humorous essays, lists of must-reads, informative articles, and character sketches of the most famous (and infamous) bibliomaniacs. There's something to suit anyone's interests, or in my case, to suit all of my interests! Some of my favorites were the essays concerning book collecting, something I didn't know much about before. Other highlights were Umberto Eco's essays on how to run a public library and how to justify a private one... he's funnier than I gave him credit for!
This is definitely my favorite book in its field, but my other book-about-books review from November can be found here, and a list of a gazillion recommendations for more books can be found here. My favorite in the list is The Book on the Bookshelf by Henry Petroski.
I post weekly reviews of books in all genres, though I have a special affinity for fantasy and YA. Reviews are posted on Fridays or shortly thereafter, are spoiler-free or clearly marked, and feature recommendations for similar books near the end of the review. I make an effort to give exposure to books that are not already highly publicized and/or are not brand new. If you're passing out review copies and think I might like your book, email me!
My name is Fatalis Fortuna, Fate for short. I am currently a student and a part-time librarian. When I'm not working, I occupy myself with all things fictional, be they in print, on television, or on the silver screen; my two cats, Amontillado (after "The Cask of Amontillado," of course), and Alice (after Alice in Wonderland,); and my novel-in-progress, which is of course the next Great American Novel. To my knowledge it will be the first Great American Novel that is YA urban fantasy, and for this I will become both famous and rich. I've been published in both regional magazines and national magazines (Teen Ink, anyone?), but have not yet cracked the professional market.
Feel free to ask for a list of books in my BookMooch inventory. They're there because I want to give them away, don't be shy.