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Expert on book collecting to speak at Alexander Library, Thurs. March 11th

Photo courtesy of Nicholas A. Basbanes

Members of the Rutgers community and the general public are invited to hear Nicholas A. Basbanes speak about: "Among the Gently Mad: Continuing Adventures Among Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes and Book People of Every Persuasion." The talk, the 25th annual Louis Faugeres Bishop III Lecture in the Rutgers University Libraries, will be held on Thursday March 11th.

Nicholas Basbanes has been called the nation's leading authority on books about books. His award-winning first book, A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books (1995) is now in its twentieth printing. He is the author of Among the Gently Mad: Perspectives and Strategies for a Book Hunter in the Twenty-first Century (2002), A Splendor of Letters: The Permanence of Books in an Impermanent World (2003), and Every Book Its Reader: the Power of the Printed Word to Stir the World. Most recently, Basbanes was commissioned to write a centennial history of Yale University Press, A World of Letters (2008). He is currently working on a cultural history of paper and papermaking, tentatively titled Common Bond, to be published next year by Alfred A. Knopf.

Completely at home in both the print and electronic environments, Basbanes maintains the Gently Mad blog at

A native of Lowell, Massachusetts, Nicholas A. Basbanes graduated from Bates College in 1965, received a master of arts degree from Pennsylvania State University in 1968, and served as a naval officer aboard the aircraft carrier Oriskany in the Tonkin Gulf in 1969 and 1970. An award-winning investigative reporter during the early 1970s, Basbanes was literary editor of the Worcester Sunday Telegram from 1978 to 1991, and for eight years penned a nationally syndicated column on books and authors. At present, he writes a regular column for Fine Books & Collections magazine. He is a former president of the Friends of the Robert H. Goddard Library of Clark University, which has established a student book collecting competition in his honor.

The Bishop lecture was named in memory of the son of Louis F. Bishop, Jr., a prominent cardiologist and book lover who helped build one of the excellent New York private libraries at the New York Racquet Club. Dr. Bishop had close family ties to Rutgers–note Bishop House and Bishop Place on the College Avenue Campus–even though he himself attended Yale University. Already up in years when he endowed this lecture, Louis Bishop only lived long enough to attend the first one. These lectures feature diverse topics on book and manuscript collecting, printing history, and the use of rare books and manuscripts.

This year's lecture will be held at 5 p.m. on March 11th in the Teleconference Lecture Hall, part of the Scholarly Communication Center, on the fourth floor of the Archibald S. Alexander Library on 169 College Avenue in New Brunswick. The talk will be followed by a reception. For more information or to RSVP, please contact or call 732/932-7505. If you have questions about parking, please indicate with your RSVP.

Posted February 18, 2010