Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader

4.16 avg rating
( 8,259 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780140283709: Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader

Anne Fadiman is the sort of person who learned about sex from her father's copy of Fanny Hill, and who once found herself poring over a 1974 Toyota Corolla manual because it was the only thing in her apartment that she had not read at least twice. EX LIBRIS wittily recounts a lifelong obsession with books. Writing with humour and erudition she moves easily from anecdotes about Coleridge and Orwell to tales of her own pathologically literary family. 'One of the most delightful volumes to have come across my desk in a long while...witty, enchanting and supremely well-written' -- Robert McCrum, Observer

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Product Description:

Ex Libris

Review:

The subtitle of Anne Fadiman's slim collection of essays is Confessions of a Common Reader, but if there is one thing Fadiman is not, it's common. In her previous work of non-fiction, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, she brought both skill and empathy to her balanced exploration of clashing cultures and medical tragedy. The subject matter here is lighter, but imbued with the same fine prose and big heart. Ex Libris is an extended love letter to language and to the wonders it performs. Fadiman is a woman who loves words; in "The Joy of Sesquipedalians" (very long words), she describes an entire family besotted with them:

When I was growing up, not only did my family walk around spouting sesquipedalians, but we viewed all forms of intellectual competition as a sacrament, a kind of holy water as it were, to be slathered on at every opportunity.
From very long words it's just a short jump to literature, and Fadiman speaks joyfully of books, book collecting and book ownership ("In my view, 19 pounds of old books are at least 19 times as delicious as one pound of fresh caviar"). In "Marrying Libraries" Fadiman describes the emotionally fraught task of merging her collection with her husband's:
After five years of marriage and a child, George and I finally resolved that we were ready for the more profound intimacy of library consolidation. It was unclear, however, how we were to find a meeting point between his English-garden approach and my French-garden one.
Perhaps some marriages could not have stood the strain of such an ordeal, but for this one, the merging of books becomes a metaphor for the solidity of their relationship. Over the course of 18 charming essays Fadiman ranges from the "odd shelf" ("a small, mysterious corpus of volumes whose subject matter is completely unrelated to the rest of the library, yet which, upon closer inspection reveals a good deal about its owner") to plagiarism ("the more I've read about plagiarism, the more I've come to think that literature is one big recycling bin") to the pleasures of reading aloud ("When you read silently, only the writer performs. When you read aloud, the performance is collaborative"). Fadiman delivers these essays with the expectation that her readers will love and appreciate good books and the power of language as much as she does. Indeed, reading Ex Libris is likely to bring up warm memories of old favourites and a powerful urge to revisit one's own "odd shelf" pronto. -- Alix Wilber

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Anne Fadiman
Published by Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom (2001)
ISBN 10: 0140283706 ISBN 13: 9780140283709
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 178 x 108 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Anne Fadiman is the sort of person who learned about sex from her father s copy of Fanny Hill, and who once found herself poring over a 1974 Toyota Corolla manual because it was the only thing in her apartment that she had not read at least twice. EX LIBRIS wittily recounts a lifelong obsession with books. Writing with humour and erudition she moves easily from anecdotes about Coleridge and Orwell to tales of her own pathologically literary family. One of the most delightful volumes to have come across my desk in a long while.witty, enchanting and supremely well-written -- Robert McCrum, Observer. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780140283709

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
7.17
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Anne Fadiman
Published by Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom (2001)
ISBN 10: 0140283706 ISBN 13: 9780140283709
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 178 x 108 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Anne Fadiman is the sort of person who learned about sex from her father s copy of Fanny Hill, and who once found herself poring over a 1974 Toyota Corolla manual because it was the only thing in her apartment that she had not read at least twice. EX LIBRIS wittily recounts a lifelong obsession with books. Writing with humour and erudition she moves easily from anecdotes about Coleridge and Orwell to tales of her own pathologically literary family. One of the most delightful volumes to have come across my desk in a long while.witty, enchanting and supremely well-written -- Robert McCrum, Observer. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780140283709

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
7.20
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Anne Fadiman
ISBN 10: 0140283706 ISBN 13: 9780140283709
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
BWB
(Valley Stream, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Bookseller Inventory # 97801402837090000000

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
7.20
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Anne Fadiman
ISBN 10: 0140283706 ISBN 13: 9780140283709
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
US_Superfast_Bookstore
(New Castle, DE, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Brand New Paperback Same Title Author and Edition as listed. Standard Delivery within 6-14 business days ACROSS THE GLOBE. Access code/CD may not provided with these editions. We may ship the books from multiple warehouses across the globe including Asia depending upon the availability of inventory. Printed in English. Bookseller Inventory # OA9780140283709

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
5.96
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.04
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Fadiman, Anne
Published by Penguin Books, Limited (UK)
ISBN 10: 0140283706 ISBN 13: 9780140283709
New Softcover Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
Sunshine Book Store
(Wilmington, DE, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books, Limited (UK). Book Condition: New. 0140283706 Brand New, Paperback, Choose Expedited shipping for GUARANTEED delivery within 4-5 business days. Standard Delivery within 6-14 business days. We may not ship to PO Box, APO , FPO Address, please contact us. Customer satisfaction guaranteed. Bookseller Inventory # SO9780140283709

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.10
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Anne Fadiman
Published by Penguin 2000-03-02 (2000)
ISBN 10: 0140283706 ISBN 13: 9780140283709
New Paperback Quantity Available: 3
Seller
Chiron Media
(Wallingford, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin 2000-03-02, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # NU-BER-00023070

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
6.64
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.99
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Anne Fadiman
Published by Penguin 2000-03-02 (2000)
ISBN 10: 0140283706 ISBN 13: 9780140283709
New Quantity Available: 3
Seller
Chiron Media
(Wallingford, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin 2000-03-02, 2000. Book Condition: New. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is 24-48 hours from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Bookseller Inventory # NU-GRD-00404862

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
6.79
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.99
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Anne Fadiman
Published by Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN 10: 0140283706 ISBN 13: 9780140283709
New Paperback Quantity Available: 4
Seller
THE SAINT BOOKSTORE
(Southport, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader, Anne Fadiman, Anne Fadiman is the sort of person who learned about sex from her father's copy of "Fanny Hill", and who once found herself poring over a 1974 Toyota Corolla manual because it was the only thing in her apartment that she had not read at least twice. "Ex Libris" wittily recounts a lifelong obsession with books. Writing with humour and erudition she moves easily from anecdotes about Coleridge and Orwell to tales of her own pathologically literary family. 'One of the most delightful volumes to have come across my desk in a long while.witty, enchanting and supremely well-written' - Robert McCrum, "Observer". Bookseller Inventory # B9780140283709

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
5.04
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 5.94
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Anne Fadiman
ISBN 10: 0140283706 ISBN 13: 9780140283709
New Quantity Available: 3
Seller
Speedy Hen LLC
(Sunrise, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # ST0140283706. Bookseller Inventory # ST0140283706

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
11.46
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Fadiman, Anne
Published by Penguin
ISBN 10: 0140283706 ISBN 13: 9780140283709
New Softcover Quantity Available: 3
Seller
Kennys Bookstore
(Olney, MD, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin. Book Condition: New. 2001. Paperback. The author is the sort of person who learned about sex from her father's copy of "Fanny Hill", and who once found herself poring over a 1974 Toyota Corolla manual because it was the only thing in her apartment that she had not read at least twice. This title recounts her lifelong obsession with books. Num Pages: 144 pages. BIC Classification: DNF. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 181 x 111 x 11. Weight in Grams: 110. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780140283709

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
11.53
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book