Book Report: Slightly Chipped by Lawrence & Nancy Goldstone (1999) / Warmly Inscribed by Lawrence & Nancy Goldstone (2001)

I bought these books, stated first editions both, at Hooked on Books for $11.50 each. Surely, the authors can appreciate that in an aesthetic sense, even if they cannot appreciate it in a royalty sense.

Both deal with collecting books, which is what I like to say that I do. More likely, I just accumulate books, but that’s okay by me, too.

The first, Slightly Chipped, details some of their book shopping in the nearby towns around their home in Connecticut. As they shop, they dine well and they slip into asides about the history of Virginia Woolf’s Bloomsbury circle, the history of Bram Stoker and Dracula, or a British publishing house amid anecdotes and scenes that drew them into their asides. The pace is leisurely and loving as they dwell on the high-priced books and their pursuit thereof.

The second, Warmly Inscribed, collects a series of essays about book collecting. And although I could relate to parts of it–I’ve been in the Printer’s Row Book Shop in Chicago and wonder if I’ve been to the only decent used book store in West Palm Beach, Florida–more than I could traversing Connecticut and the northeast, I didn’t like the book as much. Perhaps I felt they were trying too hard or reporting more than simply revelling in the experience.

And although the authors are well-to-do northeastern former writers for those papers, I could easily shunt aside their soft liberal asides (did they really think the Chicago policeman at the Dearborn book fair wished for 1968 so he could club them for no reason?). Besides, although they’re talking about high priced books from authors I’m barely concerned about, I cannot get on my low horse kick and go all common-man to pooh-pooh the practice; although I get most of my books from the dollar table or by the three-dollar bagful, I’ve been known to pay top dollar for rare Robert B. Parkercana.

So if you’re into books and want to share in some experiences of serious collectors, you will probably enjoy these books. Let me repeat that so that I’m clear in my enjoyment of these books, as many of my book reports on books bought by the bagful knock said books. Coincidence, I’m sure.

Books mentioned in this review:

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