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The Private Library What We Do Know, What We Don't Know, What We Ought to Know About Our Books   By: (1865-1946)

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THE PRIVATE LIBRARY

WHAT WE DO KNOW WHAT WE DON'T KNOW WHAT WE OUGHT TO KNOW ABOUT OUR BOOKS

BY

ARTHUR L. HUMPHREYS

Fourth Edition.

LONDON: STRANGEWAYS & SONS

SOLD BY HATCHARDS, 187 PICCADILLY, W. MDCCCC

PREFACE

WITH all the literature published on behalf of Free Libraries institutions which, after all, are of doubtful good no one so far has written a book to assist in making THE PRIVATE LIBRARY combine practical useful qualities with decorative effect.

For many years I have had opportunities of inspecting and reporting upon Collections of Books in numerous Country Houses, and I must say that the condition of books in the greater number of them is chaotic. A man will talk about all his possessions his pictures, his objets d'art, his horses, his garden, and his bicycle, but rarely will he talk about his books; and if he does so, all his geese are swans, or just as often, all his swans are geese. There are servants in every house qualified to do everything except handle a book. There is no reason why the Library should not be just as much a place of amusement as the billiard room, where the men are usually to be found. Books are much more amusing than billiards, and you may learn to play in jest or work in earnest with books just as you take to any other amusement. The whole truth is that at present books do not get a proper share of attention, and it is with the desire to remedy such a condition of things that I have printed this little volume, containing things that we do know, that we don't know, and that we ought to know about our books.

A. L. H.

187 PICCADILLY, W.

CONTENTS

PAGE

WHAT IS A GOOD EDITION? 1

WHAT IS A FINE COPY? 5

BOOK VALUES 9

ON THE CARE OF BOOKS 15

THE ART OF READING 25

COMMON PLACE BOOKS 38

REFERENCE BOOKS 42

BOUDOIR LIBRARIES 46

BOOKBINDING 52

BOOK HOBBIES 65

OLD COUNTRY LIBRARIES 68

WEEDING OUT 80

THE CATALOGUE 81

CLASSIFICATION OF BOOKS 87

BOOKCASES 94

MISCELLANEOUS APPLIANCES 103

THE LIBRARY ANNEXE 106

A LIBRARIAN 115

THE LIBRARY ARCHITECTURALLY 119

MUNIFICENT BOOK BUYING 133

THE MEDICI AND THEIR FRIENDS 137

THE DUKES OF URBINO 144

PIERESC 149

MR. RUSKIN'S ADVICE 150

INDEX 153

THE PRIVATE LIBRARY.

What is a Good Edition?

A good edition should be a complete edition, ungarbled and unabridged. If the author is a classic, the format of the copy chosen should in some way represent the style of the author. Gibbon , for instance, should be in large octavo or quarto, with print of a size to correspond. This is not always possible, for English editions of books often aim at mere cheapness, and of many great authors there exist no good editions. Thus there is no suitable edition of the classics printed in England, as there is and for long has been in France. A good edition is not necessarily an expensive edition, nor is it necessarily noble and generous in print and margin. The editions known as the 'Globe' editions of Pope and others are good editions because (1) They are complete; (2) Each one has been taken in hand and superintended by the most competent scholar and has notes sufficient but not pedantic; (3) Because they are well printed on paper of fair quality by printers who give wages liberally to careful press readers; (4) Because each work being a work of the first or classic order, it is bound in a simple and unaffected style, without meretricious gold or tawdry ornament... Continue reading book >>




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