The Quirks of Book Collectors

Phantoms on the BookshelvesPhantoms on the Bookshelves by Jacques Bonnet
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a short and enjoyable discussion about the mental affliction known alternately as bibliomania or bibliophilia. Bonnet covers a lot of ground, including collecting books, reading books, and building personal libraries, as well as dealing with the mental afflictions associated with each of these behaviors. I enjoyed seeing that I am not alone in some of these afflictions. Take, for example, the compulsion to collect every book in a series after having collected one or two volumes. This compulsion is what led me to complete the Westvaco American Classics series. I’ve also been known to sell or give away a book, only to — sometimes deliberately, sometimes accidentally — re-collect the book at a future point. This book is clearly slanted toward European books (the author is French), but it doesn’t take away from the ability to see oneself in the experiences of other booklovers.

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Posted February 22, 2014 by markelacy in book review

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