By Nicholas A. Basbanes
While first released, A mild Madness astounded and extremely joyful readers concerning the ardour and rate a collector is prepared to make in pursuit of the e-book. Written earlier than the emergence of the web yet newly up to date for the twenty first Century reader, A light Madness captures that final second in time whilst creditors pursued their passions in dusty bookshops and road stalls, excessive stakes auctions, and the subterfuge worthwhile of a real bibliomaniac. An experience one of the stricken, A light Madness is vividly anecdotal and carefully researched. Nicholas Basbanes brings an investigative reporter s middle to light up creditors prior and found in their pursuit of bibliomania. Now a undying vintage of gathering, no lover of books can omit A light Madness.
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Additional resources for A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books
Blockson, creator successively of not one—but two—Afro-American collections that bear his name in separate universities. The $8 million agreement Zinman reached with the Library Company of Philadelphia in 2000 for his collection called for a cash payment of $5 million over five years, with the remaining $3 million of the appraised value given to the institution as a gift. In return, the research library founded in 1732 by Benjamin Franklin became, in an instant, the second largest repository of books, pamphlets, broadsides, and other ephemera printed before 1801 in what is now the United States of America.
So there is that monument to his collecting, certainly, as an accomplishment for the ages; but a year after his status at Temple became curator emeritus, Pennsylvania State University opened the Charles L. Blockson Collection of African-Americana and the African Diaspora, an entirely new subset of related items “that had been gathering in my basement,” Blockson said modestly of the fifteen thousand materials he had entrusted to the care of his alma mater. While there is some replication with the Temple holdings, and though it is decidedly smaller, according to Sandra Kay Stelts, curator of rare books and manuscripts at Penn State, “it is really a distinctive collection, with materials on the passage period from Africa to the New World known as the diaspora that give it an individuality all its own.
It has taken me fifty years to gather my collection, now forever happily in residence at Bryn Mawr College, and I would like to add to its shelves from time to time. Hence my concern. If, because of this book, my integrity as a collector is sullied by authorship, who knows what dire consequences will follow. Will any self-respecting rare-book dealer ever let me into his shop again? Will I be permitted to attend auction sales? ” In a 1950 speech to the Bibliographical Society of America, Clifton Waller Barrett, builder of an extraordinary collection of American literature now housed at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, described the temperament of what he called the genus Collector: “First of all, he must be distinguished by his rapacity.
A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books by Nicholas A. Basbanes