I all the time thought he was a bibliophile, "an individual who collects or has an important love for books." However a latest journey made me fear that I used to be progressing to the following degree, a librarian, "one with an excessive concern for gathering books."
Irrespective of the place I journey, I really feel pushed to discover used bookstores, guide gross sales and guide stands in flea markets. I did it from Connecticut to California, from New York to Florida.
Just lately, at an Atlanta flea market, when sellers have been packing to go away, I purchased a New York Occasions bestseller that I had all the time needed for a greenback. It’s promoting on Amazon for fifteen dollars. I nearly get an excessive amount of pleasure from such success.
I’ve nearly 500 books. Greater than some, however lower than others. As I all the time have a private motive to purchase a guide, I obsessively maintain each guide I purchase. My assortment is consistently rising.
Some name guide selecting up an obsession or an habit. I fantasize about constructing a house library sooner or later, a room only for books and studying. One other symptom, perhaps?
Nonetheless, there are essential existential causes to learn and gather books.
Astronomer Carl Sagan as soon as mentioned: “Books permit us to interrogate the previous with nice precision; to benefit from the knowledge of our species; perceive the perspective of others, and never solely of these in energy; to ponder, with the very best academics, the concepts, painfully extracted from nature, from the best minds which have ever existed, extracted from your complete planet and from our total historical past. "
Benjamin Franklin, a guide lover, known as the gathering of books "the slightest of ailments." I can reside with that.
However happily, my worries ended once I found a guide entitled "A delicate insanity, bibliophiles, bibliomanes and the everlasting ardour for books" by Nicholas A. Basbanes.
Basbanes' tales about librarians and librarians (guide thieves) assured me that I’ve nothing to fret about.
Throughout the 1830s, after bidding for uncommon books at public sale, Don Vincente, a Spanish monk, murdered eight of his opponents to accumulate the books. Vincente declared in court docket that "Each man should die ultimately, however good books have to be preserved."
He was summarily executed sooner than later.
In 1950, officers from town of Lincoln, Nebraska, cited Thomas Jefferson's grandson, Thomas Jefferson Fitzpatrick, for violating native constructing codes as a result of weight of his guide assortment. Every room in his home was stuffed with books containing about 90 tons, greater than eight occasions the load restrict for a residence. His love for books was "so cancerous that he may barely quit one thing printed."
Subsequently, the costs have been dismissed as a result of Fitzpatrick's proper to privateness had been violated.
Stephen Blumberg, from Ottumwa, Iowa, the newest guide and bibliographic guide, felt the necessity to maintain the very best books on this planet for the nice of humanity. He spent twenty years stealing nearly 19,000 books from greater than 300 libraries and museums in North America and Canada.
He was caught when a thief handed him over to the Division of Justice for the $ 56,000 search engine charge.
Blumberg was arrested in 1990, accused of transporting stolen items to Iowa and sentenced to 71 months in jail. He was ordered to pay a nice of $ 200,000 and was launched from jail in 1995 after serving 4½ years of his sentence.
These tales (and plenty of extra) made me really feel fairly comfy with my guide assortment.
Mockingly, my issues about bibliomania have been cured by a guide. Good.
John Steward lives in Waterford. He could be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.