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Patience and Fortitude

Wherein a Colorful Cast of Determined Book Collectors, Dealers, and Librarians Go About the Quixotic Task of Preserving a Legacy


Nicholas A. Basbanes (View Bio)
Hardcover: HarperCollins, 2001; Paperback: Perennial, 2003.

Patience and Fortitude

"This poignant glimpse...is but one of the many fascinating stories told by Nicholas Basbanes in PATIENCE AND FORTITUDE, a grand, rambling, serendipitous treasure-house of material about books and the people who love them." — Christian Science Monitor

"The printed book cannot be destroyed.... Even so, the book can diminish in number of copies and become very rare indeed; hence the proliferation of collectors and dealers, about whom Basbanes knows as much as anybody alive. He also has the anecdotal skills to make these people charming and heroic." — Harper's magazine

"PATIENCE AND FORTITUDE is a new journey into the world of rare books and book collecting...[it] contains much of interest and is welcome as an account of the changing world of rare books at the dawn of the 21st century." — Washington Post

"PATIENCE AND FORTITUDE follows Basbanes's first book about book lovers, A GENTLE MADNESS, and fortunately it's just as enjoyably chatty." — The New York Times Book Review

"Not only is Basbanes seriously obsessed with books, he's fascinated by libraries, spots where libraries once stood, bookstores, other bibliophiles, and, basically, anything else to do with books." — Pages

"Nick Basbanes makes you love books, the collectors he writes about, and the volume in your hands." — Scott Turow

"Nicholas Basbanes is no ordinary book lover. Not only do books themselves fascinate him, virtually everything about them does as well, including the ways they have been stored and safeguarded in the past and will be in the future.... A big, rambling book that is as readable as its predecessor." — Boston Globe

"Mr. Basbanes is a good writer with a loyal and growing readership. But he is also a writer enamored of books — for their artifactual as well as intellectual value, for their beauty and uniqueness, and for the culture of the mind they embody and promote. This kind of love is not given to all writers. It doesn't just come with talent. How fortunate a man to have such a passion. How fortunate his readers that he is willing to share." — Clark University Library News

"More than just an...informational tome, it is alive with the people and places that make the book a symbol of learning.... Nimble and friendly.... Essential reading for anyone interested in appreciating a science central to the evolution of history as we know it — the history of the book." — Orlando Sentinel

"How could any intelligent, literate person not just love this book? It is a wonderful hymn to a world that every one of us admires and hopes and prays will survive the ceaseless onslaught of the philistines. The eventual trilogy is certain to be a classic, a landmark study of the unremittingly glorious universe of books." — Simon Winchester

"From almost the first page, one gets the sense that Nicholas Basbanes has done for books in PATIENCE AND FORTITUDE what Kenneth Clark did for Western Civilization in 1969 with the publication of his monumental work, CIVILIZATION. By any measure — his interviews, his travels to sites around the world, his comprehensive scholarship, or his inspired writing — Basbanes has given us a full history of the book, its importance, its collection, and its future." — The Caxtonian

"Extensive and ardent research...lively.... An eloquent, knowledgeable, and invaluable argument for maintaining a balance between the tradition and the new." — Library Journal (starred review)

"Book lovers relish meeting people who share their passion, just as all aficionados gravitate toward their own kind. So when Nicholas Basbanes, the king of bibliophiles, speaks here...there's sure to be a like-minded crowd on hand to absorb his every word.... He is a most exciting and entertaining speaker." — Chattanooga Times Free Press

"Book lovers all should join the cheering section for PATIENCE AND FORTITUDE. Nicholas Basbanes has become the leading authority of books about books and this, his latest, is a jewel." — David McCollough

"Basbanes's fund of stories will delight readers who value books for more than just a good story, have a yen for second-hand books plucked from dusty shops or look to book catalogs for suspense and excitement." — Publishers Weekly

"Basbanes has a deep and abiding passion for books — a joyful affliction.... PATIENCE AND FORTITUDE will delight any true bibliomaniac... [Basbanes's] joy is infectious." — Toronto Star

"Basbanes focuses on the challenges today's libraries face as books and digital information vie for limited budgets and space...[he] concludes with an eloquent, knowledgeable, and invaluable argument for maintaining balance between the traditional and the new." — Booklist (starred review)

"An Exemplary Piece of Work...a rich feast.... [A] sheer pleasure.... One dips into it, absorbs the many interwoven details, and comes away edified, enlightened, delighted and enriched.... The tone, the pace, and the 'weave' of Basbanes's prose have a cumulative effect. His journalistic background has taught him how to craft a good sentence, good paragraphs, and a captivating narrative line. His conversational style makes the reader acutely sympathetic to his intent; it makes us want to repay him with unflagging attention. His appreciation, even reverence, for all things bibliographic tells book lovers they are in the company of a kindred spirit." — LOGOS: Professional Journal of the Book World (UK)

"A work of detailed scholarship filtered through the author's loving regard for books and those who make, collect, and preserve them.... [Basbanes] captures the essential qualities of the bookish with grace and an easy erudition...a superb storyteller...fascinating.... [The book] inspires travel plans and reading lists, piques visions of the future and commitments to preservation of the past; raises public policy questions, and inspires curiosity, as any good book should." — Toledo Blade

"A few years ago I read and was enraptured by Nicholas Basbanes's book, A GENTLE MADNESS.... I have just finished reading his new and equally delightful sequel, PATIENCE AND FORTITUDE." — International Herald Tribune

"A comprehensive look at just about all things bookish.... There are vivid descriptions of shops, libraries, universities, museums and private collections, along with portraits of people whose lives revolve around the buying and selling of rare volumes." — Worcester Telegram & Gazette

"[Recommended]...for habitual readers and book lovers — generally one and the same — Basbanes's book holds reams of fascinating information about the wide world of books past and present." — Houston Chronicle

"[It] will keep all those who love books and libraries reading into the wee hours.... Reading this book, book lovers feel that Basbanes is writing just for them, for the small but strong circle of those who love books, book places, and book people. We know who we are." — New Orleans Times-Picayune

"[An] entertaining exploration of the world of books...Basbanes's anecdotes will bring considerable pleasure to those who value books and learning.... [H]is enthusiasm for books and their makers is overwhelming. Of much interest to readers who, like the author, nurse a passion for books." — Kirkus Reviews

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