Ex Libris : Confessions of a Common Reader is a collection of eighteen short essays which explore Anne Fadiman’s lifelong relationship with books. In the first essay, "Marrying Libraries," Fadiman discusses the initial hesitation and process of merging two extensive libraries after marriage. This essay sets the tone as Fadiman focuses on books as a loved material artifact of the reading experience. Carnal love for a book versus courtly love is discussed in "Never Do That To A Book." In the essay entitled "My Ancestral Castles," Fadiman describes how as a child she used her father’s pocket-sized, twenty-two-edition set of Trollopes as building blocks. Other essays deal with growing up in a family that loved intellectual competition, "The Joy of Sesquipedalians," and were compulsive proofreaders, "Insert a Caret." These eighteen essays celebrate the author's joy in reading and owning books. Following the essays is a list of recommended books and essays on books, literature and reading.
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