Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman was absolutely delightful. It is a short collection of essays (previously published in the magazine Civilization) on the nature of reading and how we as readers interact with books and words. The essays cover everything from the anxiety of merging your book collection with your spouse's to gender neutral language to how books are physically handled. Each essay drew a smile or a laugh or an "Oh my gosh! I do that too!" I began thinking about how I interact with books - do I treat them with courtly love or carnal? Do I have an "odd shelf" of books? How did she know about my love of the physical implements of writing? The essay on proofreading reminded me of when my local paper reported that Bill Bixby died of "prostrate" cancer. And I was oddly proud that in the essay about words that have fallen into disuse, I knew what the word grimoire meant when Anne didn't. (Even if it was just because it's used frequently in fantasy novels.) I enjoyed reading about the love Anne and her family have for language and books and discovered that I share many of their ideas and habits when it comes to books and reading. I suspect this would be the case for anyone who loves books.

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?