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The Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac

The Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac by Eugene Field
By: (1850-1895)

Do you love books? No, I mean REALLY love books? These series of sketches on the delights, adventures, and misadventures connected with bibliomania (bibliomania is characterized by the collecting of books which have no use to the collector nor any great intrinsic value to a genuine book collector. The purchase of multiple copies of the same book and edition and the accumulation of books beyond possible capacity of use or enjoyment are frequent symptoms of bibliomania.). The author wholeheartedly enjoyed this pursuit all his life and his descriptions are delightful to read. Anyone who has lovingly held a book, smelled it, and enjoyed it for being just what it is, will understand what the author puts so well. According to the author, collectors may be grouped in three classes: Those who collect from vanity, those who collect for the benefits of learning and those who collect out of veneration and love for books. Mr. Field fell squarly in the latter category.

First Page:

THE LOVE AFFAIRS OF A BIBLIOMANIAC

BY

EUGENE FIELD

Introduction

The determination to found a story or a series of sketches on the delights, adventures, and misadventures connected with bibliomania did not come impulsively to my brother. For many years, in short during the greater part of nearly a quarter of a century of journalistic work, he had celebrated in prose and verse, and always in his happiest and most delightful vein, the pleasures of book hunting. Himself an indefatigable collector of books, the possessor of a library as valuable as it was interesting, a library containing volumes obtained only at the cost of great personal sacrifice, he was in the most active sympathy with the disease called bibliomania, and knew, as few comparatively poor men have known, the half pathetic, half humorous side of that incurable mental infirmity.

The newspaper column, to which he contributed almost daily for twelve years, comprehended many sly digs and gentle scoffings at those of his unhappy fellow citizens who became notorious, through his instrumentality, in their devotion to old book shelves and auction sales... Continue reading book >>


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