Wednesday, November 09, 2005


It is a book lover's book. A book for the book lovers and by two book lovers! As its publisher claims, A PASSION FOR BOOKS is a 'treasury of stories, essays, humour, lore and lists on collecting, reading, borrowing, lending, caring for and appreciating books.' This is the book that thrilled me for the last two months. From celebrities like Umberto Eco, Susan Sontag to many unknown (i.e., unknown to me, that's all!) writers have made precious contributions to it. You will be astonished to read Gustave Flaubert's first published work, Bibliomania, a story written in 1836, in this collection edited by HAROLD RABINOWITZ and ROB KAPLAN. It is published by THREE RIVERS PRESS, New York. Here is a small, but funny piece from it. The book is worth buying. I bought it from DC HERITAGE BOOK SHOP, Kottayam.


>>On the return of A BOOK LENT TO A FRIEND
I give hearty and humble thanks for the safe return of this book, which having endured the perils of my friend's bookcase and the bookcases of my friend's friends, now returns to me in reasonably good condition. I give hearty and humble thanks that my friend did not see fit to give this book to his infant for a plaything, nor use it as an ashtray for his burning cigar, nor as a teething-ring for his mastiff.

When I loaned this book, I deemed it as lost; I was resigned to the business of the long parting; I never thought to look upon its pages again. But now that my book has come back to me, I rejoice and am exceedingly glad! Bring hither the fatted morocco and let us rebind the volume and set it on the shelf of honour, for this my book was lent and is returned again.

Presently, therefore, I may return some of the books I myself have borrowed.

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