Bothari’s #CBR4 Review #20: Ex Libris – Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman
My reading pattern usually goes something like this: sci-fi, fantasy, fantasy, mystery, sci-fi, mystery, etc. Every once in a while, however, someone will loan me something different that I never would have picked out myself. Sometimes it turns out to be marvelous, like the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Sometimes it turns out to be…not, like Hermann Hesse’s Knulp, which was just odd. In this case, the loaner definitely landed more on the marvelous side. Ex Libris is a collection of essays about books, written by a book lover from a book-loving family. My favorite one was about being the world’s proofreader, but she also writes about passing the love of books on to your children, the debate between noting in the margins or leaving pages pristine, the surprisingly value of mail-order catalogues, and her favorite books about food. And polar exploration. And books about books. And history books. And poetry books. And…you get the idea.
Anne sounds like she’d be enormously fun to hang out with, but intimidating as hell to play a trivia game with. I am in awe of her vocabulary. Her writing is warm and funny and inviting, and I liked her matter-of-fact assumption that of course everybody loves books as much as she does. Why wouldn’t you?