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In the Track of the Bookworm   By:

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First Page:

IN THE TRACK OF THE BOOK WORM by Irving Browne: thoughts, fancies and gentle gibes on Collecting and Collectors by one of them.


Copyrighted by The Roycroft Printing Shop 1897

Of this edition but five hundred and ninety copies were printed and types then distributed. Each copy is signed and numbered and this book is number 173

Irving Browne


1. Objects of Collection 9

2. Who Have Collected 11

3. Diverse Tastes 18

4. The Size of Books 21

5. Binding 25

6. Paper 32

7. Women as Collectors 36

8. The Illustrator 47

9. Book Plates 66

10. The Book Auctioneer 73

11. The Book Seller 77

12. The Public Librarian 84

13. Does Book Collecting Pay 88

14. The Book Worm's Faults 93

15. Poverty as a Means of Enjoyment 103

16. The Arrangement of Books 105

17. Enemies of Books 108

18. Library Companions 121

19. The Friendship of Books 133


1. How a Bibliomaniac Binds his Books 26

2. The Bibliomaniac's Assignment of Binders 28

3. The Failing Books 33

4. Suiting Paper to Subject 34

5. The Sentimental Chambermaid 37

6. A Woman's Idea of a Library 42

7. The Shy Portraits 54

8. The Snatchers 71

9. The Stolid Auctioneer 75

10. The Prophetic Book 80

11. The Book Seller 82

12. The Public Librarian 85

13. The Book Worm does not care for Nature 97

14. How I go A Fishing 99

15. The Book Thief 111

16. The Smoke Traveler 112

17. The Fire in the Library 116

18. Cleaning the Library 117

19. Ode to Omar 119

20. My Dog 121

21. My Clocks 123

22. A Portrait 125

23. My Schoolmate 126

24. My Shingle 129

25. Solitaire 130

26. My Friends the Books 133

To book worms all, of high or low degree, Whate'er of madness be their stages, And just as well unknown as known to me, I dedicate these trifling pages, In hope that when they turn them o'er They will not find the Track a bore.

The Track of the Book Worm.



Philosophers have made various and ingenious but incomplete attempts to form a succinct definition of the animal, Man. At first thought it might seem that a perfect definition would be, an animal who makes collections. But one must remember that the magpie does this. Yet this definition is as good as any, and comes nearer exactness than most. What has not the animal Man collected? Clocks, watches, snuff boxes, canes, fans, laces, precious stones, china, coins, paper money, spoons, prints, paintings, tulips, orchids, hens, horses, match boxes, postal stamps, miniatures, violins, show bills, play bills, swords, buttons, shoes, china slippers, spools, birds, butterflies, beetles, saddles, skulls, wigs, lanterns, book plates, knockers, crystal balls, shells, penny toys, death masks, tea pots, autographs, rugs, armour, pipes, arrow heads, locks of hair and key locks, and hats (Jules Verne's "Tale of a Hat"), these are some of the most prominent subjects in search of which the animal Man runs up and down the earth, and spends time and money without scruple or stint... Continue reading book >>

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