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Bibliomania

I've been reading A Book Addict's Treasury, a collection of quotations about, er, books and reading. It's great. Every second quote makes me squeak in recognition, but this one made me laugh a lot. And worry.

The will-power necessary to get rid of books must be maintained at all costs. Even if one buys on a modest scale — say, one book a day on average — they fill room after room with the inevitability of the rising tide. I once visited a house in Blackheath after its owner had died. It was solid books. Shelves had been abandoned years before; in every room narrow lanes ran between books stacked from floor to ceiling, ninety per cent of them utterly inaccessible. In one of the bedrooms there was a narrow space two feet wide round the bed, and there the owner had died, almost entombed in print. This macabre glimpse of the ultimate excesses of bibliomania has always been a warning.


(I particularly liked the "if one buys on a modest scale - say, one book a day", because, um...yes. *waits for latest Amazon parcel*)

It's by ANL Munby from Floreat Bibliomania, which seems to be an essay he did. There's a few good quotes from it in the Treasury, so I went looking for it, but it just seems to be available in his Letters and Essays, which is $50 or so on abebooks. He's written lots of other interesting-looking things too. Oh dear.

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( 10 comments — Comment )
(Deleted comment)
pickwick
Mar. 7th, 2008 04:36 pm (UTC)
Heh! This is why I love LJ. I'd never heard of him, even though he seems to fall directly in my sphere of interest.
dave_t_lurker
Mar. 7th, 2008 02:21 pm (UTC)
I'm slipping, my book average per day so far in 2008 is barely 0.1 - ten days between buying books! Not good.
pickwick
Mar. 7th, 2008 04:36 pm (UTC)
Eeek! Very restrained. But it just needs a couple of days at markets or second-hand bookshops. Or Amazon.
matgb
Mar. 7th, 2008 02:55 pm (UTC)
one book a day

We are currently managing to resist the book buying urge. Mostly. For us, anyway, Shrubby still gets stuff. This are because we each own books the other hasn't read (yet). Many many books the other hasn't read.

Which is good. I'm working through her Target novels as they're nice and quick and portable.
pickwick
Mar. 7th, 2008 04:38 pm (UTC)
Oooh, that's a clever plan.

Note to self: find vaguely interesting bloke with great book collection; move in with him.
sloopjonb
Mar. 7th, 2008 05:22 pm (UTC)
A book a day? Good grief. I've only bought 8 this year!
pickwick
Mar. 7th, 2008 06:20 pm (UTC)
I have no idea how many I've bought. Oh dear. Um, about half a dozen from Amazon, that had been on my wishlist and I didn't get for Christmas. Another, er, four or five in Paris. A dozen from the OUP sale. Half a dozen from Waterstones (partly) from birthday vouchers. Two Torchwood books from Borders yesterday. And I'm waiting for another half dozen or so from Amazon. And I've probably forgotten some...oh, a few from Fopp.

So probably not quite one a day, but not far off. Oops.
kaiserdad
Mar. 7th, 2008 07:59 pm (UTC)
"Get rid of books" O! the horror of it, is it conceivable?
dakegra
Mar. 7th, 2008 10:32 pm (UTC)
it's called 'sell them on amazon to raise some cash for shiny things'
( 10 comments — Comment )

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