Friday, October 15, 2010

Five best books on bibliomania

Allison Hoover Bartlett is the author of The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession.

For the Wall Street Journal, she named a five best list of books on bibliomania. One title on the list:
Tolkien's Gown
by Rick Gekoski (2004)

'I first saw them at a friend's, and it was love at first sight." So begins this history of 20 collectible modern first editions by rare-book dealer Rick Gekoski. He was just 24 when he laid eyes on the object of his affection: a set of Charles Dickens works, bound in brown cloth. It was his gateway drug, and before long he had turned to dealing. In this engrossing mix of history, literary criticism and gossip, he describes how James Joyce expressed surprise when reviewers didn't find "Ulysses" funny, and how Graham Greene, while drinking vodka in a hotel room with Gekoski, proclaimed that Henry James was funny. Gekoski is blessed with considerable wit and charm, which no doubt helped him capture plenty of fine books.
Read about another book on the list.

Also see: Rick Gekoski's five favorite books on sports.

--Marshal Zeringue