Laura (laura0218) wrote,
Laura
laura0218

Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader


Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader
Anne Fadiman
162 pages

Reflections: This "book about books" is a collection of 18 essays which will delight any avid reader. Anne Fadiman grew up in a book-loving family, and draws on both early and adult experiences to explore many aspects of the written word. Each person who reads this book will probably have their favorite essays. From my perspective, the gems in this little book were:

  • Never do that to a Book, which explores the "proper" treatment of books, and highlighted one of my own personal quirks, the way in which I place a bookmark in order to know whether to resume reading on the right or left page.
  • The His'er Problem, which discusses the importance of inclusive language in writing, and how writers in earlier eras "didn't really see women, and their language reflected and reinforced that blind spot."
  • Insert a Carrot, celebrating the "compulsive proofreaders" among us. Yes, I'm one of them. My husband and I are prone to spotting grammatical errors on road signs. And I have found a kindred spirit in my friend and colleague Claudia, with whom I exchange raised eyebrows across the room when someone at work mixes up "averse" and "adverse".
  • Secondhand Prose, celebrating the joys of used books. I hardly ever buy new anymore, having discovered both Paperbackswap.com and a wonderful small bookshop in a nearby college town (a great source for classics, cast off at the end of term).
This is a quick and fun read, and highly recommended.  ( )

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