Dr. Rosenbach and Mr. Lilly Reviewed
Dr. Rosenbach and Mr. Lilly: Book Collecting in a Golden Age by Joel Silver was recently reviewed by Pradeep Sebastian in The Hindu Literary Review. Providing a brief summary of the book, Sebastian also explains why this book is thrilling for any bibliophile to read.
I think the enjoyment comes from the minutiae of book transactions that Silver knowledgably and engagingly describes in evocative prose: first reading about an individual copy in a catalogue or a bookseller’s description, the suspended-waiting while you decide, and then the rush from deciding you definitely want it no matter the cost, making the purchase, and finally getting the book in the mail or having the book dealer hand it to you.
The ritual is repeated with each new buy and the bibliographical pleasure derived is not from just the buyer-collector’s emotion but the emotion of the bookseller who acquires the hard-to-acquire copy, describes the book, prices it and then offers it to an individual collector who he knows might want it. Seldom have rare book transactions been written about with as much literary flair, controlled style, storyteller’s skill and scholarly passion.