A Gentle Madness (Paperback)

Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books

By Nicholas A. Basbanes

Holt Paperbacks, 9780805061765, 672pp.

Publication Date: March 1, 1999

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (5/30/2012)
Hardcover (8/1/1995)

List Price: 22.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


The passion to possess books has never been more widespread than it is today; indeed, obsessive book collecting remains the only hobby to have a disease named after it. A Gentle Madness, finalist for the 1995 National Book Critics Circle award, is an adventure among the afflicted. Richly anecdotal and fully documented, it combines the perspective of historical research with the immediacy of investigative journalism. Above all, it is a celebration of books and the people who have revered, gathered, and preserved them over the centuries.

About the Author

Nicholas A. Basbanes, former literary editor for the" Worcester Sunday Telegram," is now a nationally syndicated book columnist. He lives in North Grafton, Massachusetts, with his wife and two daughters.

Praise For A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books

"A massive, comprehensive, and wonderfully readable history of book collecting and collectors." --David Walton, The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Nicholas A. Basbanes has compiled a wonderful gallery of eccentrics, isolatos, charmers and visionaries . . . an ingratiating and altogether enjoyable book." --Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Book World

"A Gentle Madness is an impressive achievement in its compilation of vast information, as well as being instructive and interesting. It is compulsory for anyone seriously interested in books or curious about the manic nature of collecting." --Philip Kopper, The New York Times Book Review