A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books


A Gentle Madness is chock-a-block with such strange and appealing characters, each more wonderful than the last.…an ingratiating and altogether enjoyable book.” 

—Michael Dirda, Pulitzer Prize winning critic, The Washington Post Book World

A Gentle Madness is an impressive achievement in its compilation of vast information, as well as being instructive and interesting. It is compulsory for anyone seriously interested in books or curious about the manic nature of collecting.” 

—Philip Kopper, The New York Times Book Review

Also available at Amazon and Abe Books


Patience & Fortitude: A Roving Chronicle of Book People, Book Places, and Book Culture


“Book lovers all should join the cheering section for Patience & Fortitude. Nicholas Basbanes has become the leading authority of books about books and this, his latest, is a jewel.” 

—David McCullough, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of John Adams and Harry S. Truman


A Splendor of Letters: The Permanence of Books in an Impermanent World


“Basbanes is a true champion of the book, and his intelligence and passion are inspiring.”

 —Susan Larson, New Orleans Times-Picayune


“If anyone has established his bona fides as a bibliophile, it is Nicholas A. Basbanes.” 

—Merle Rubin, The Los Angeles Times


“Mr. Basbanes is an elegant, wry and humane writer, a lover of all things printed and bound. No other writer has traced the history of the book so thoroughly or so engagingly, with such a warm human touch.” 

—André Bernard, New York Observer


Among the Gently Mad: Strategies and Perspectives for the Book-Hunter in the Twenty-First Century


“Basbanes is fun to read. But he doesn’t short anyone on the practical side of things. His book is full of valuable reference information…I can’t think of a better introduction to the lure and art of collecting.”

—William W. Starr, The State (Columbia, SC)


A World of Letters: Yale University Press, 1908-2008


“Basbanes relates some fascinating anecdotes…A World of Letters inspires confidence that Yale University Press will enjoy a second century marked not merely by endurance but by excellence.” 

—Kate Douglas Torrey, Director, University of North Carolina Press, American Studies


Every Book Its Reader: The Power of the Printed World to Stir the World


“Nicholas Basbanes has had books and writers running through his veins for most of his lifetime, which makes picking up Every Book Its Reader the equivalent of browsing through a rare-book store, spending the morning in a public library, and visiting your most literate friend.”

 —Brigitte Weeks, Washington Post


Editions & Impressions: Twenty Years on the Book Beat


“No living person has thought more about the extraordinary power of books than Nicholas Basbanes.”

 —Ellis Henican, Newsday


“Nicholas Basbanes has built a solid professional life around a passionate dedication to books—those who write them, read them, collect them, look after them and treasure them.”

 —John Baker, Publishers Weekly


About the Author: Inside the Creative Process


“Basbanes draws upon his conversations with an immense diversity of literary greats ranging from Alfred Kazin, Arthur Miller, John Updike, and Toni Morrison, to Doris Lessing, Kurt Vonnegut, Neil Simon and Alice Walker, to explore the motivations and processes that authors experience and utilize to create their novels, poetry, histories, and other literary works. A fascinating read from beginning to end.”

Kirkus Reviews


On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand Year History


“Buoyant, encyclopedic…Celebrates paper in all its forms.”

— The New Yorker


“Every facet of this celebration of paper is engrossing and thought-provoking…Paper, Basbanes avers, is nothing less than an embodiment and conveyance of humanity.”

—Donna Seaman, Booklist (Starred Review, A Best Book of the Year)


“An absolutely fascinating tale…An engrossing, essential book that no book lover should be without.”

Publisher’s Weekly (Starred Review)


“A thrilling, truly brilliant biography…crucial to the American bookshelf.”

—Alexander Theroux

"Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882) was far more than the old-fashioned and 'white-bearded Fireside Poet' of popular memory, writes cultural historian Basbanes (On Paper) in this illuminating biography...the book also emphasizes Longfellow’s relationships with smart, intellectual women, as exemplified by his brilliant and cosmopolitan second wife, Fanny...Basbanes notes that Longfellow’s reputation, demolished by early-20th-century literary modernists, has only recently begun to recover. This volume is an excellent addition to that worthy cause and is a captivating tale of a 'life lived well and lived in full.'" (June) 

Publisher's Weekly

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