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6 May 2020
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How did you become a bibliophile?


Among the great mysteries of Creation, one is often forgotten in the classical cosmogony: How does someone become a bibliophile?

Yet, I’m sure we all remember the first rare book we purchased! As far as I am concerned, it was an 18th century booklet in Italian, the description of an agricultural machine... a very handsome copy on blue large paper bound in contemporary gilt vellum. I was eighteen years old... and was born into a booksellers family where antiquarian books surrounded me everywhere.

Thirty years later, I’m still surrounded by antiquarian books and tens of thousands have also passed through my hands, modest and inexpensive or noble and costly, but my fascination remains the same - for the books as well as for the history of each copy and their previous owners.

Contribute and share your testimony, to show the incredible diversity of our bibliophile's world!


So... How did you become a bibliophile?


 
Love (of books) in times of COVID-19
posted by  Julien at  19:17 | comments [2]


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posted by   LAMBERT (J. H.) 8 May 2020 at 04:01
Most professions can present a parade of important books, ones that laid down fundamentals or produced great advances in understanding or practice. Even in my narrow engineering specialty (Lighting Engineering) there are several, and foremost is Johann Heinrich Lambert’s Photometria of 1760

Photometria is honored by all, understood by few, read by none. Learning that Lambert’s Latin had never been translated into English, I undertook the project myself. Though microfilm could have served, I wanted to work from an original printed copy, and so, as a tyro innocent of antiquarian books, I searched for a copy.

Photometria was my first antiquarian purchase. I can still recall the moment when I held that book in my hand; untrimmed, unpressed, still in its original drab printer’s pasteboards and paper spine. But this is a common place, isn’t it? – most book collectors can recall the moment when they were first and permanently afflicted.
 


posted by   MORRIS (W.) 10 May 2020 at 00:30
I started collecting in my early twenties while studying Politics in Amsterdam. First buying texts even incomplete then buying more sophisticated copies. Yes microfilm could serve as well but books were usually cheaper than today and society was less greedy in general.