Friday, March 9, 2007

Ex Libris

Anne Fadiman is part of our club. You know the club. The reader club. If she comes to your house she will NEVER ask "have you read all those books?". Instead she will start checking them out, trying to discretely rearranged the double rowed ones to see what's back there. This book is a collection of essays, mostly about reading, but also about language and words too. My favorite essay is the first, in which she describes how she and her husband married their book collections together, approximately ten years after moving into together. They debate which doubles to get rid of and how to arrange the books (by author, chronologically, by subject?) and learn about themselves and each other. Another great essay concerns phyiscal vs. courtly love of books, whether one turns down corners, turns the book face down, writes in the margins, or would rather DIE than do any of those things. I am a physical book lover my, husband is of the courtly school (ah, the mixed marriage). If you are in the club (and you know who you are) you will love this book.

5 comments:

angstrat said...

Loved this! I am definitely a physical book lover also, mainly because I read the most while I'm eating. My books always collect some crumbs and unidentified stains in the process. By the way, have you guys "married" your libraries, or are they separate?

Shuttsie said...

heh, seperate. but a few books co-habitate.

Krista said...

Sara, have you seen the blog 50 Books? I think you'd really like it, and your favorite essay from Ex Libris about combining the book collections (my favorite too!) is similar to this post, http://50books.blogspot.com/2005/10/books-unbookening.html, where the author, Doppleganger, mercilessly (and humorously) wittles down her enormous book collection.

John said...

I wouldn't say I'm a die-hard courtly book lover or anything. I have been known to turn down the corner of a ratty paperback or two, and I'm certainly capable of reading and rereading a book until it falls apart. That being said, I do try to avoid damaging books unnecessarily. For instance, I *cough* try to avoid sitting on books that are lying open face-down and destroying the spine if I possibly can. *cough* :-P

Didn't Fadiman describe her father tearing books apart to make them more portable and thus easier to read on the go in her essay? I will admit that made me a little queasy. O_o

Shuttsie said...

You know what I can't stand? The idea of throwing a book away! Shudder.