In these pages, Nicholas A. Basbanes—the consummate bibliophile’s bibliophile—shows how paper has been civilization’s constant companion. It preserves our history and gives record to our very finest literary, cultural, and scientific accomplishments. Since its invention in China nearly two millennia ago, the technology of paper has spread throughout the inhabited world.

With deep knowledge and care, Basbanes traces paper’s trail from the earliest handmade sheets to the modern-day mills. Paper, yoked to politics, has played a crucial role in the unfolding of landmark events, from the American Revolution to Daniel Ellsburg’s Pentagon Papers to the aftermath of 9/11. Without paper, modern hygienic practice would be unimaginable; as currency, people will do almost anything to possess it; and, as a tool of expression, it is inextricable from human culture. Lavishly researched, compellingly written, this masterful guide illuminates paper’s endless possibilities.

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A Gentle Madness

When first published, A Gentle Madness astounded and delighted readers about the passion and expense a collector is willing to make in pursuit of the book. Written before the emergence of the Internet but newly updated for the 21st Century reader, A Gentle Madness captures that last moment in time when collectors pursued their passions in dusty bookshops and street stalls, high stakes auctions, and the subterfuge worthy of a true bibliomaniac. An adventure among the afflicted, A Gentle Madness is vividly anecdotal and thoroughly researched.

Patience & Fortitude

In A Gentle Madness, Basbanes explored theobsession of book collecting, here he widens his focus to view all ofbook culture. He gives us his unique outlook on the great libraries andgreat librarians both past and present, and he shares his seeminglyinfinite stock of stories about famous and unknown makers of books,influential booksellers, antiquarians, celebrated writers, andextraordinary readers, bibliographers, conservators, archivists, andcollectors. Titled after the unofficial names for the two lion statuesthat stand outside the New York Public Library this first edition issigned by the author.

Editions & Impressions

Editions & Impressions

Editions & Impressions: Twenty Years on the Book Beat collects thirty-three of Nicholas Basbaness most engaging articles grouped into three sections: Book Culture; People; and Places. Mr. Basbanes selected the essays in this collection precisely because they were not replicated in substantial ways in his other books. More than one-third of the essays in Editions & Impressions are published here for the first time in their full, uncut versions, and one essay and the introduction have never been previously published at all. Most of the essays include an endnote, telling the behind-the-scenes story about the article and bringing the subject up to date. There is much new for Mr. Basbanes fans to enjoy.

Editions & Impressions

About the Author

About the Author: Inside the Creative Process collects together more than forty of Nicholas Basbanes's interviews and essays that grew from this unique period of publishing. The list includes novelists, biographers, poets, historians, and others who were regularly among the best-selling authors. Perhaps no one has been more suited to this kind of reporting than Nicholas Basbanes. Using the skills of an experienced interviewer and the considered analysis of an impartial critic, Basbanes pioneered a new kind of journalism for his weekly column.

A Splendor of Letters

In vivid detail, Basbanes examines the many materials that have been used over the centuries to record information, among them clay tablets, papyrus scrolls, slabs of stone, palm leaves, animal skins, and hammered sheets of gold and copper. Also discussed are the various debates that continue to rage about preservation, which may mean saving and storing books on paper indefinitely, or as electronic data, which are by nature ephemeral.

Every Book It’s Reader

Inspired by a landmark exhibition mounted by the British Museum in 1963 of 440 books that made things happen in the world, Basbanes examines the specific aspects of book culture, considers various works that have shaped our culture, nudged the course of history, and influenced the way we see the world.

A World of Letters

A World of Letters

For Yale University Press, which celebrates its hundredth birthday in 2008, the century has been an eventful one, punctuated with no few surprises. The Press has published more than 8,000 volumes through the years, scores of bestsellers and award-winners among them, and these books have come to fruition through the efforts of a host of colorful authors, editors, directors, board members, and others of intellectual and literary renown.

Among the Gently Mad

From the author of A Gentle Madness—a book with more than seventy thousand copies in print that delighted bibliophiles everywhere—comes a twenty-first-century guide to book collecting that deals with both the traditional methods of acquisition and the electronic tools now available on the Internet.