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This item has not been rated yet. The Enemies of Books is a book on biblioclasts and book preservation by nineteenth century bibliophile and book collector William Blades. The book was first published in and has been republished in different editions in , , , and and reproduced widely in electronic format in the twenty-first century.

Destruction of Books at Ephesus The Enemies of Books (on the Open Library blog).

In the book, Blades, a well known collector and preserver of the works of British printer William Caxton, documented his outrage at any mistreatment of books in what became a passionate litany against biblioclasts, human and non-human, wherever he found them. The book includes chapters on the following enemies of books: fire, water, gas and heat, dust and neglect, ignorance and bigotry, the bookworm, bookbinders, book collectors, and servants and children.

The book ends with a passionate call for reverence for old books -- something he felt was lacking during his life. Add to Cart. Log in to rate this item. You must be logged in to post a review. Please log in. There are no reviews for the current version of this product Refreshing There are no reviews for previous versions of this product. First Name. Last Name. Additional Comments.

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Catalog Record: The enemies of books | HathiTrust Digital Library

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Or what about the new acquisitions policy at the British Library, which now refuses to buy books unless they've already reached a certain level of commercial sales? Are you serious? Man, I thought I knew the worst after reading Nicholson Baker , but I see things are even more hopeless than I imagined.

What do they expect librarians to do? Books are dangerous. Sometimes you have to rough one of them up to let the others know that you are serious.

Publishers Start to Disappear

If not, you will be walking down the aisle and BAM! I don't blame librarians for being too hard on books; they do what they do to keep themselves safe. If that safety comes in the form of a rubber stamp, so be it. Everyone knows that the easiest way to be a cool trend-setting librarian is to look down on books. I used to. When I was twelve. Librarians are sexy. Books, not so much. Libraries are not meant to be repositories for items that future book historians will like.

They are meant to be places where people can borrow books they want to read. As such, Harry Potter and the Whatever the Fuck is a proper book to have. Man, I thought I knew the worst after reading Nicholson Baker, but I see things are even more hopeless than I imagined.

THE ENEMIES OF BOOKS

You know what? I'm almost certainly wrong.


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I thought I'd read somewhere recently that there had been changes to legal deposit in the UK so as to exclude titles with very low sale volumes, but I can't find anything to confirm this. So I think we can file this one under 'the confused imaginings of a disordered mind'. Sorry about that! Public libraries, yes, but not all libraries are public. John's College, which is all about books. Obviously, everyone there is a great reader of books.

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But because the community is so book-centric, one really begins to notice a division in temperament, with some folks being very pragmatic about books themselves, while others have sort of a fetishistic interest in books. I'm in the former category. While I admit I have a great deal of trouble in letting go of any book I own—so I accumulate large amounts of useless paperbacks—that's pretty much the extent of my own affection for books as objects. There's a very few books that I simply like owning, of course.

But they are the exception and thus in no way, really, can I be considered a collector of books. At the College, and here at MeFi you can often see the bibliophilic book-collector personality. I don't dislike that personality whatsoever—indeed, I find it admirable in a relative sense. Still, though, I do find that I'm slightly bothered by this sort of bibliophilia in the sense that I am suspicious that these folks are missing the point.

Which I would be sure is the case if they didn't actually read the books—luckily for me, I don't think I've known anyone like this I also find that I don't much think of books as status objects or social signifiers. I noticed at the College that some people put considerable energy into choosing, displaying, and defending their particular choice of translation.

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While I don't deny that some translations are better than others—of course they are—I find that for both my purposes and the College's purposes, which is a reading that takes the larger view rather than word-by-word textual criticism, differences in quality between already respected translations are not critical. My sense, then, is that in this context such aggressive affiliation for different translations are manifestations of social identity and status-seeking.

Which doesn't only bore me, but in this context sort of offends me. The pragmatic approach to books and how it manifests in my behavior was also seen in how I was perfectly happy to simply check out from the library most of the books I needed for class, rather than owning them. This is quite exceptional for a johnnie—owning a library of the so-called "Great Books" is, for most, a priority. Well, I was very poor. That wasn't an option for me, and I didn't rue the lack very much. I'd like a complete library.

See a Problem?

But note that years later when I easily could have afforded it, it wasn't a priority that I purchase a complete library of these books. My best friend is also a johnnie and, while not extreme by any measure in these bibliophilic tendencies, does have a great affection for books as objects. When I look at his library and we discuss his books, this character trait becomes very evident.

He has a great number of books that he cherishes, and rare editions and the quality of the book making factor heavily in his affection. You'll find almost no examples of this in my library. But of course I love books as much as anyone—at least in the sense of loving the reading of books. I love reading books that are serious and influential in teaching me and exploring my character, and I love reading books that are simply pure entertainment.

I don't apologize for the latter. My love of the reading of books and my learning from them has directed my life and is my chief interest since I was a small child. When I was four years old, I attempted to run away from home for the first time.