‘Ex Libris’ By Anne Fadiman Beautifully Defines The Difference Between Readers Who “Abuse” Their Books & Those Who Don’t. ByKerri. hen Anne Fadiman was growing up, she writes in her endearing collection of essays, “Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader,” her family. Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader. Anne Fadiman, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $18 (p) ISBN

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Fadiman describes herself in the book as, “an unregenerate goody-goody, a priggish little pedant who would no more have permitted a rogue trochee to sneak among her perfect iambs than show up in Miss Fadimn class with a smudge on her monogrammed school uniform.

I feel that I know some of Fadiman’s books, and marginalia, as well as I know my own. It’s a book you bibliophiles will want to check out, even as it can be safely skipped anen those who aren’t.

Many thanks to LisaVegan for this treasure of a gift!!! It IS hard to sit down and listen to one funny essay after another; one even tires of laughing.

Marrying Libraries of the joys and tribulations of merging one’s library along with one’s life when sharing an abode with your beloved! Her essays cover a variety of topics that are bound to interest booklovers.

Lust for words, and ice-cream too

Confessions of a Literary Hedonist Penguin pounds It is so reassuring to read books by people as compulsive as I am about books, since in my “real life” I’ve often felt like the only book nut. Any book about books must be a good book. No trivia or quizzes yet. She loves the written word so much that, having run out of regular reading material in her apartment, she began obsessively poring over a Toyota Corolla manual.


Maybe I’m just being mean, but would she have been offered a column in the Library of Congress’s in-house magazine, Civilizationif her last name weren’t Fadiman? When I visit their homes, the children’s rooms are crammed with expensive books, but the parent’s rooms are empty. Marrying Libraries of the joys and tribulations of merging one’s li I finished this book on my flight home from Florida and it provided me with great pleasure amidst my great dislike of flying. You’re above science fiction too?

Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman

I’d like to reiterate my earlier point and say, Fuck. They had lived togeth This tiny book is an absolute gem!!! I enjoyed some of the essays, like the ones on plagiarism “Nothing New Under the Sun” and the Fadiman family’s anal proofreading habits, which I share.

Writing with remarkable grace, she revives the tradition of the well-crafted personal essay, moving easily from anecdotes about Coleridge and Orwell to tales of her own pathologically literary family. And you might have come to love wine later in life too, but you had to come at it from a reeeeeally different angle. In she fell out with the management of The American Scholar over her policy of making the magazine a ‘wildlife preserve for the endangered species of the essay’, got fired, became a New England literary cause celebre, and was hired by Yale as writer-in-residence.

Do you read post-order catalogs? I found there was a tad too much of a focus on Fadiman’s personal life and other subjects not strictly book-related, which frankly didn’t do much for me. How do you organize your library? It reflects its life, its caresses, its communion with the reader. As she grew up, it was, she says, always her habit to focus on small details rather than ‘larger and more important questions’.


In fact, I gobble them up whenever and wherever I can find them.

I knew this to be an undeniable truth simply from a mutual friend’s appropriately glowing review that gave rise to the heartening pang reserved for the flash of recognition in spotting a kindred spirit from a distance that may be easily conquered but lengthened intolerably by the inconvenient fact that we’d not been properly introduced yet thanks for playing matchmaker, Steve!

Nothing wrong with that of course, though I suspect that individuals who have actually gone through these major life phases, would connect more with it. I wish there were more essays – this book finished too soon.

It felt so chummy to hear Anne’s discussion of her love of books both literary and tactile! All of that said, here’s a random passage from the book that I really loved: Although a slim volume, this one packs a mighty punch because Ms. After reading Ex LibrisI’m not so sure.

The linris of developing the love for reading because you’ve been surrounded by books right from your childhood. I think that’s about enough.

I know we’ll libri again and, that when we do, my pettiness will have long ago been overshadowed by fond memories of a soul-baring heart-to-heart that is worth the dozens of instances of painfully insipid chatter I suffered through to find it.

The Victorians belonged together; separating them would be like breaking up a family. Besides, Susan Sontag arranged her books chronologically.