2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Quirks, Quips and Quids from the rare book trade,
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This review is from: Tolkien's Gown and Other Stories of Great Authors and Rare Books (Hardcover)
I loved this book - it's a wonderful combination of literary insight, amusing anecdote and the useless bits of information only applicable to the most esoteric pub quiz. 20 different books, each with their own stories to tell - about authors, publishers, reviewers and readership. Because Gekoski comes at his subject as both an academic and businessman trying to make a living, he has a fascinating range of yarns up his sleeve.
It was particularly fun to hear of the recurring bitparts played by Graham Greene in the story of Gekoski's catalogue, as well as the often wry remarks of an American living in England - I suppose that makes him the Bill Bryson of the book trade, though I suspect he wouldn't be particularly flattered to hear it.
But the most enjoyable thing for me was to learn some of the rigmarole in the genesis of some of my favourite books, stories one never really hears (unless of course one has gone really keen by following up with writers' biographies). Too often, one just picks up a book to read without giving a moment's thought to how it came to be on a shop's shelf.
Anyone who has even the slightest appreciation for books (especially 20th Century novels and poetry) will not fail to enjoy this rattling book. Buy it and read it. Gekoski's bibliophilia is incurably infections.