Most helpful positive review
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
A 'must have' book for ALL bibliophiles!
on 20 March 2008
I really enjoyed reading this book from start to finish. It's small and manageable; not too long, not too short. Although described as a memoir, it's not all about the author but contains snippets of information and history that all booklovers will devour. It's quite nicely bound and is lightweight enough to carry around. All-in-all if you're a true bibliophile, then this book is for YOU.
Lewis Buzbee tells his story as a partial memoir; the history of his interest, and then love, of books is described in some detail. He writes about his career as a bookseller (although always as an employee - he never ran his own shop) and as a publishers rep, and he writes about his love of visiting bookshops of all shapes and sizes. In-between this narrative is neatly woven a basic potted history of bookselling, from ancient times, through the Gutenberg press, and on into the production of mass market paperbacks. I was particularly fascinated to read about the scandal surrounding the publication of James Joyce's 'Ulysses', and how the publishing of the book was taken on by one of Joyce's friends, the proprietor of the little but exclusive Shakespeare & Co. bookshop in Paris. Copies of the book then had to find their way into England and America where it had already been censored. A fascinating account.
I have a couple of very small quibbles about Buzbee's style. At one point early on he mentions shop-lifting a book as a teenager; he narrates this in such a way that it sounds as though this is considered acceptable practice, or at the very least is an activity which lots of people have done and can understand. This did shock me a bit and marred my enjoyment slightly. In a couple of places he does also go over a point he's already mentioned which is a little repetitive. However, tiny quibbles aside, I found this book a delightful journey from cover to cover and will be cherishing my copy for some years to come.