‘Ex Libris’ By Anne Fadiman Beautifully Defines The Difference Between Readers Who “Abuse” Their Books & Those Who Don’t. ByKerri. hen Anne Fadiman was growing up, she writes in her endearing collection of essays, “Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader,” her family. Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader. Anne Fadiman, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $18 (p) ISBN
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To those who have read her work, Anne Fadiman is the object of cultish devotion. Libriis really do, at least if you have a sense of humor!
It IS hard to sit down and libtis to one funny essay after another; one even tires of laughing. Secondhand Prose is a fitting finale, for it speaks to the book hoarder in me and I find myself quite happy and justified with such an affliction. Fadiman describes herself in the book as, “an unregenerate goody-goody, a priggish little pedant who would no more have permitted a rogue trochee to sneak among her perfect iambs than show up in Miss Farrar’s class with a smudge on her monogrammed school uniform.
The delight of developing the love for reading because you’ve been surrounded by books right from your childhood. And I do accept that my capacity to learn new words has reduced drastically.
You’ve spent an entire chapter boring me stupid with anecdotes about your reading of European mail order catalogues and now you’re dismissing science fiction libis “junk”? Preview — Ex Fadimah by Anne Fadiman.
I would have loved to know the Fadimans. Apropos her ideal dinner party, she says ‘Virginia Woolf, Coleridge and Charles Lamb would have to be there. Talking of Pleasure, this moment I was writing with one hand, and with the other holding to my Mouth a Nectarine – good God how fine.
Whereas the emotional relationship I have with books, and which frankly I actually feel way more people have with books, is that the love first came about because books provided an escape from some of the more unpleasant aspects of life, whether it be arguing parents, bullying at school, generally feeling like you don’t fit in, or even just plain old boredom with wherever you grew up. A book of essays about reading is certainly something I would never have chosen for myself, but I did try to sx an open mind.
Fadiman uses words that I have never lihris before. She had a very bibliocentric upbringing, as you might imagine. For summary purposes, I will put it in terms of disliking something based on not oibris able to empathize with the characters, a judgment that I usually don’t hold by but am apparently substantially affected by when it comes to more autobiographical works.
The Victorians belonged together; separating them would be like breaking up a family.
Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman
In The Qnne of Sesquipedaliansthe author shares what it is like growing up with a bookish family. Feb 23, JSou rated it really liked it Shelves: And I realized that the jealousies I’d brushed aside in the eager pursuit of getting to know this marvelous new ally with whom I shared multitudinous proclivities and compulsions were now a spreading stain that unfairly marred our enchanted first encounter, which is a personal failing that should say terrible things about me and should not, at all, be held against librix exuberant and eloquent little annne but is why I docked a star off annne rating — I assume, with the heavy-handed clarity of hindsight, that Confessions of a Common Reader is dressed in green to warn me how deeply I’d envy anyone whose childhood was a warmly nurturing word nerd’s dream and a booklover’s haven.
Sep 21, Lena rated it really liked it Shelves: She says in the book, I know what you may be thinking. I feel that I know some of Fadiman’s books, and marginalia, as well as I know my own. Finally, she finds it: When I visit their homes, the children’s rooms are crammed with expensive books, but the parent’s rooms are empty. I am carnal, meaning that I write in my books and don’t hesitate one second to use then for other purposes.
Her writing first appeared in Britain inwith the publication of Ex Librisa rare and enchanting celebration of bibliophilia; one woman’s salute to words like ‘sesquipedalian’, ‘apopanax’ and ‘goetic’, aanne the romance of flyleaf dedications, and to the joy of reading aloud. She would annw discuss an ideal literary dinner than, say, her now-deceased parents, both of whom seem to have given her a near-perfect childhood.
I guess it just felt like she was addressing an audience of peo I went into this expecting that I was going to LOVE it. I have also begun buying books with regularity upon leaving the funeral home or cemetery. Shortly thereafter, the decorator met with a fatal automobile accident. This short collection of essays on the reading life is a true delight of a book.
They mis-matched coffee mugs, socks, record collections, years ago without any incident- but their libraries remained separate. I prefer long books where you meet people and get to know them well. Not having a whole lot of friends in “real-life” who are book-lovers like myself, makes this website and books like this almost a necessity. They give you the sense that it’s okay to constantly be re-organizing your bookshelf, kind of panicking inside when someone asks to borrow a book, or even spotting annoying grammar and spelling mistakes everywhere you go.
I was having a bit of a rereading kick during September largely due to the fact that my TBR shelves were almost exhaustedand decided to pick up Anne Fadiman’s charming little volume of essays, Ex Libris: Is that the pedigree of a common reader? Undoubtedly, this might be a case of me having had wrong expectations. The daughter of Clifton Fadiman can write!
More than anything, though, I take umbrage with the subtitle. Our English collection spanned six centuries, and radiman shelve it chronologically would allow us to watch the broad sweep of literature unfold before ou I loved this collection of bookish essays. Anne Fadiman 7 24 Jul 29, If you’ll excuse what I know has to sound like a weak attempt at an obvious pun, I find that ez are easier to read than people. Two of my own that might surprise acquaintances and fill up odd shelves of their own are patristic theology of the fourth and fifth centuries and North American Indian captivity narratives.
Fadiman made me feel comfortable enough to continue reading. View all 6 comments. Over time this morphed into book collecting and the obsessive selection of the mot juste, fadimab the little girl who recalls ‘hot, humid, firefly-filled summer nights’ is, to adapt Wordsworth, mother to the woman. I don’t, but I know for a fact that others in my family do!