One down, a lot more to go

I finished Slightly Chipped: Footnotes in Booklore by Lawrence & Nancy Goldstone today. It wasn’t as good as their first one, Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World; their first one seemed to have more enthusiasm. I found myself skimming pages of this new one, where they describe a Sotheby’s auction or what Bloomsbury is all about; I just didn’t care. Many sections seemed to consist of advertisements for stores they frequent or restaurants they’ve been to. Their freedom to buy almost anything they wanted was annoying, too; they seem to have no budget problems, with their complaints about how expensive a book was coming across as superficial. It’s their insights into book collecting that was interesting: how dealers frequent library sales and every book fair in driving distance; how dealers’ prices vary greatly, but there are a lot of honest sellers out there; that you should collect what you like, not thinking books as an investment; about particular valuable books to keep an eye out for, such as those by published by Hogarth Press. There was a section about mystery-related books and how they’re collectable among dedicated readers, but they went on too long about an award banquet that few people cared about.

I recommend their first book if you’re a bibliophile, and their second only if you like their writing style and tendency to go on about subjects that isn’t directly related to books.

I’m going to read Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal next.

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