Ex Libris – Anne Fadiman – 8/10

“My brother revealed that in a 364-page computer software manual he had consulted the previous month, he had found several hundred errors in spelling, grammar, and syntax. His favourite was the oft-repeated command to ‘insert a carrot.’ He had written the company, offering to trade a complete list of corrections for an upgraded version of the software, but had not received a reply.”


This very cute little booklet (it’s hardly a major work of non-fiction at 154 small pages of essays) is just the ticket for someone who likes books about books, or reading about reading if you will. Fadiman recounts her family and friends’ literary idiosyncrasies – whether spine creasing is a major offense (I prefer my spines pre-creased if I’m honest – does away with feeling guilty about doing it myself), inscriptions on fly leaves, reading ANYHING AT ALL because it’s the only thing you have with you to read…

I’m sure I could start any number of debates here – and may do, in a slow week for the blog – about reading practices, but Fadiman’s 8 page essays on the various ways in books can be loved are neatly written, humorous without being guffaw-inducing… All in all, cute, and a perfect trinket-type present for the book lover in your life this festive season.

Additional information:
I actually bought this for myself. Shocking, I know. I’ve seen that many good reviews of this.
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 154 pages (paperback)
Order Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader from Amazon*
*this is an affiliate link from which I will earn a few pennies towards this site

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