Monthly Archives: March 2009

Bibliophile V Bibliomaniac

From the moment I could focus competently on a delicate sketch of Little Miss Muffet eating her curds and whey, I was hooked. 
     By the time I could recognize the horror etched into the egg-headed features of Humpty Dumpty, I was a book-lover.
     A certified book-worm through school, I imagine my bibliophilic status was confirmed once I began spending a quarter of my hard-earned wages on books, choosing a new book to read over eating or paying my rent on time. New and second-hand, illustrated or not, hard cover, paperback – I wanted them all. I am, these days, a bit of a collector but my library is not huge.
     My bibliophilic tendencies are more evident in the range of books in my collection: from Astrological Ephemerides to 21st Century American Erotica and everything in between.
     What possibly catapults me from ‘phile’ to ‘maniac’ is my absolute delight in the feel of books (the contours of a perfectly curved spine, the solid corners of a good thick hardcover) and my desire to smell the pages (modern recycled paper and intoxicating ink or ancient history and dust).
     Some favourite old and dusty hardbacks are:

  • Astrology for All by Alan Leo published in 1904;
  • Whitla’s Dictionary of Treatment by R.S. Allison and C.A. Calvert (1942);
  • Old Pink ‘Un Days by J.B. Booth (undated, with a gorgeous burgundy cover, chunky beige leaves, and superb photographs) and;
  • Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens (inscribed, in 1905, to Muriel Meredith for best examination at St Brigid’s Convent).
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