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The E-Sylum (4/4/2010)

Book Content

Dan Friedus submitted this report on a bibliophile's delight - a lecture from the author of "A Gentle Madness". -Editor

Basbanes A Gentle Madness I was lucky to hear a lecture at the Clements Library in Ann Arbor, MI by Nick Basbanes (author of "A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books"). It was also nice to see another NBS member in the audience (David Davis).

I already knew that Basbanes is a good writer. It turns out he's also a wonderful speaker. He told stories of books, collectors, libraries, and more. The stories about Steven Blumberg were amazing. He also told about interesting encounters while doing research for a book he's writing about paper itself. One quotation he mentioned was one I had read in his book years ago but bringing it to the surface struck a chord (as someone who just moved and is dealing with my collections en masse):

"The bibliophile is the master of his books, the bibliomaniac their slave"
Hanns Bohatta

I'm delighted to have a first edition of Basbanes' book in my library - it's one of my few non-numismatic titles. It's a delightful read for anyone with an interest in (or passion for) books of all sorts. -Editor

Dan adds:

The Clements Library has a half dozen Indian peace medals (all copper or bronze) and a couple of contemporary illustrations of Peace Medals being worn in their current exhibit:

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