this is the 150th in my series of forgotten or seldom read books
Biblioholism by Tom Raabe, Fulcrum Publishing 1991 – trade paper, nonfiction
“Do you have a bookstore problem?”
This book is intended to be humorous – or is it? There is enough truth here to make many of us recognize ourselves and be glad that Raabe is only joking with us… we don’t really have a problem. Right? On the cover of this trade paperback the definition of biblioholism is given thus: “the habitual longing to purchase, read, store, admire and consume books in excess.”
That hits the nail on the head as far as an awful lot of us are concerned, there’s no doubt about it.
Biblioholism is written in the style of a self help book, with tests to determine the level of your illness, hints to help you through the worse symptoms, doses of “hard reality”, encouragement to help you when the siren song of the book store, and the books themselves, sounds loudest in your ears.
I enjoyed this – taken in good humor but with a nod to the reality that many people, myself among them, find books infinitely attractive and to some degree habit-forming. The book has chapters or sub chapters on readers, collectors, those who care very much (and those who care not at all) about books. It’s also filled with interesting quotes, such as the one that opens the book, from The Bibliomania by John Ferriar, (1888):
“What wild desires, what restless torments seize, the hapless man who feels the book disease.”
Really very enjoyable and appropriate for my 150th Friday Forgotten Book.