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A Book Addict's Treasury    by Julie Rugg & Lynda Murphy order for
Book Addict's Treasury
by Julie Rugg
Order:  USA  Can
Frances Lincoln, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In their Introduction, authors Julie Rugg and Lynda Murphy, supply a brief history of the development of their own biblomania - I empathized with Julie's comment that 'Pregnancy is the very best time to read, offering as it does an incontroverible excuse for immobility.' The duo have organized their delightful collection of (often lengthy) quotations on 'the joys and vices of book love' under categories from Adventures in Reading (authors' recollections of early interactions with books) to The Landscape of Books (bindings and appearance), with stops along the way for topics like Booknesting (shelving approaches), Rapacious Readers, and Bookish Vices.

Rudyard Kipling tells us of when 'it came to me that 'reading' was not 'the Cat lay on the Mat', but a means to everything that would make me happy.' Tibor Fischer talks of the impact of re-reading, when finally 'the meaning dripped through like portly raindrops infiltrating a roof.' Julian Barnes tells us that 'Books make sense of life. The only problem is that the lives they make sense of are other people's lives, never your own.' Oliver Wendell Holmes warns, 'When I want a book, it is as a tiger wants a sheep.' And here's a good one - Matthew Battles tells us 'I've had a notion of writing a murder mystery in which a book was the weapon. It always seemed to me the greatest loss of the game Clue{do} that one could never do it to Colonel Mustard, in the library, with the book.'

I'll end with one of my all-time favorite authors, Terry Pratchett, after which you'll just have to acquire a copy of A Book Addict's Treasury and make your own selections. Pratchett writes, 'There are many horrible sights in the multiverse. Somehow, though, to a soul attuned to the subtle rhythms of a library, there are few worse sights than a hole where a book ought to be.' Hear, hear!

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