By Dale Salwak (eds.)
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Additional resources for A Passion for Books
But the true reading passion goes deeper and wider, leaving its victim convinced that knowledge and experience are most vividly, most reliably, most lastingly transmitted through the printed page. This applies equally to technical books that explain how to make a souffle, tie a knot or sail a boat as to works of the Casaubon's Syndrome, or Reader Rampant 37 imagination - poetry, fiction or philosophy. The setting of words on the page provides an opportunity that no other medium offers for the author to collect his own thoughts, uncontaminated by outside babble, and put them down in enduring, unchanging form; for his part, the reader then picks up these thoughts, equally uncontaminated by the outside world, and imbibes, appreciates, and eventually stores them away for good - in both the temporal and moral sense.
A bad author may be clumsy or sentimental; he may organize his material badly or leave out the wrong things. All the same, he has certain aims in view, and if he fails to achieve them, that is because he lacks the requisite talent or has not worked hard or long enough. There is no inherent complication in the task, no outside force spoiling his aim. The same goes for the reader; we may fail to understand something through inattention or stupidity; if we get stuck in a book, it may be our fault, or it may be the author's.
As the years passed, however, after this precocious start, I turned out to be one of those extreme cases Orwell might not have 33 D. ), A Passion for Books © Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1999 34 Ferdinand Mount approved of so much: someone who tended to regard books as more real than life, more reliable, more concrete even. As so often, precocity had grown into something even more repulsive: the bibliomaniac's cold carapace that repels ordinary experience. And by books I mean books, not words.
A Passion for Books by Dale Salwak (eds.)