Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Used and Rare by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone

A quick recommendation for today. If you, like me, are at all interested in books about books, antiquarian, used, rare and not-so-rare and enjoy reading about them, have I got a book for you. I first read this several years ago and have since gone on to re-read it countless times and often give it as a present to book-worthy friends.

The Goldstones begin as hapless novices in the book trade, but before too long they are both 'in the hunt' for books in out-of-the-way shops, mostly in the Northeast. They revere (and the reverence is felt), books and the reading life and make the joy of reading and discovering another 'treasure' at the bottom of a dusty shelf, seem like the purest fun. And oh, the wonderful eccentrics they meet along the way - each one revealed in perceptive little vignettes. Is there any eccentric more intriguing or often baffling than a 'book eccentric'?

The Goldstones obviously enjoy being married to each other and there is a delightful meeting of the minds that occurs between them - it can't help but be revealed in the pages of this book.
So USED AND RARE is about books, but also about life, marriage, relationships, commonality of thought, book collecting and, best of all, reading.

(Of course USED AND RARE was written before the proliferation of used book websites, Amazon, Ebay and the like. But that only makes it more enjoyable in my eyes.)
I cannot recommend it enough.

There is a sequel titled, SLIGHTLY CHIPPED, which is almost as good.

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