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Among the Gently Mad

Strategies and Perspectives for the Book Hunter in the Twenty First Century


Nicholas A. Basbanes (View Bio)
Hardcover: Henry Holt & Co., 2002; Paperback: Owl Books, 2003.

Among the Gently Mad
Boston Globe Best Seller

"Whether you're just starting out or are already overwhelmed with stacks of books, Basbanes' charming guide will provide food for thought.... Basbanes is a delightful and informative companion for any booklover, and this book belongs on every bibliophile's shelf.... Basbanes' advice is rock solid." — New Orleans Times-Picayune

"The author brings a civilized sophistication to his subject, imparting critical information at the same time telling a good story.... AMONG THE GENTLY MAD does more than celebrate eccentricity. It also details emerging trends in the 'high spot' market, chronicles the rise of e-commerce and provides an excellent road map for improving book-hunting skills.... For the faithful who have already discovered dozens or perhaps hundreds of 'forgotten volumes that have in them the latent capacity to become valuable and curious,' AMONG THE GENTLY MAD is just one more treasure they cannot afford to be without." — Orlando Sentinel

"Studded with nicely told anecdotes about avid book collectors and their collections...Basbanes here presents what is essentially a how-to guide and hefty dose of encouragement for people looking to dip their toes into the world of book collecting.... A tender love letter to the pursuit itself.... AMONG THE GENTLY MAD comes complete with a helpful, well-annotated list of books on book collecting, including price guides and such, in the appendix section." — Buffalo News

"It delivers..... Novices looking to learn the rudiments of buying and selling without getting taken could do a lot works than to start with Basbanes. Curse him." — San Francisco Chronicle

"Evocative and instructive.... I'm on my third run through this book and I'm still having fun and gaining insights." — The Blade (Cleveland, OH)

"Every page of this compendium contains real information. Basbanes tells you what you want and need to know.... He explains clearly how to start, how to listen, how to search. He teaches questions to ask in libraries, of dealers, on the Web.... It illuminates the passion for books from the collector's perspective.... It is rich in engaging vignettes of book collecting and book collectors. It makes madness seem, well, logical." — Booklist

"Basbanes's guide to book collecting is a more practical, but no less impassioned, complement to his earlier history of bibliophilia, A GENTLE MADNESS. He presents useful tips illustrated with charming anecdotes about the collecting habits of everyone from Winston Churchill to Umberto Eco.... This lively book will appeal to any book lover, as Basbanes's enthusiasm is infectious." — Publishers Weekly

"Basbanes brings a civilized sophistication to his subject, imparting critical information while at the same time telling a good story." — Detroit Free Press

"Amusing and intriguing.... The book is for all book lovers, collectors or not." — Chattanooga Times

"[Basbanes] deftly delves into the mind of the collector.... This quick read is a primer on collecting rare books, a collection of anecdotes from the trenches, and tips for getting started in collecting. Basbanes looks at the field from all angles, from staggering prices paid at auction for rare Shakespeare folios to $5 bargains he finds in Martha's Vineyard bookshops. The stories are equally interesting.... For anyone interested in collecting." — The Post and Courier (Charleston, SC)

"[Basbanes] offers some wise and witty asides about book collections and book collectors aimed at both the experienced and the novice. His tone is just right: knowledgeable but never pushy, informed but not know-it-all. He's spent a good part of his life engaging some of the world's great collectors — those he's interviewed in person and others from earlier centuries he's researched in books — and soliciting dealers to share insights with him. He generously invites the rest of us in to learn and profit.... Basbanes is fun to read. But he doesn't short anyone on the practical side of things. His book is full of valuable reference information, from helpful websites to must-read bibliographies to notations on changing book values. And along with Allen and Patricia Ahearn's two volumes...I can't think of a better introduction to the lure and art of collecting." — The State (South Carolina)

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