Friday, October 25, 2019

Booknote: A Pound of Paper

John Baxter, A Pound of Paper: Confessions of a Book Addict. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2003. ISBN: 0-312-31725-5.

Genre: nonfiction
Subgenre: books, reading, book dealers, book trade, antiquarian, autobiography
Format: hardcover
Source: Work colleague let me borrow their personal copy (which has been returned)

This is going to be a quick and short review mainly because I borrowed this book from a colleague, and while said colleague had no rush in returning it, I was worried about keeping it pristine (so no turned pages or even sticky notes to annotate as I usually do).

John Baxter, an Australian growing up in a rural area of Australia in the 1950s loves to read. It was a time and place where reading, let alone collecting books, was seen as strange and even suspicious. Despite that, he slowly reads more, starts modestly collecting, and once he meets Martin Stone, a collector who would become his mentor and eventually lifelong friend, John's collecting life takes off. Eventually John makes a fortune and goes to live in Paris.

The interesting thing about the book are the various stories and elements of the book trading world. It really is a hunt, and it can have its ups and downs. He also meets a variety of interesting people from rogues to celebrities. There are a couple of times the narrative drags a bit, but overall, I really liked this book.

4 out of 5 stars. 

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