Meine vielseitigen Geliebten: Bekenntnisse eines Bibliomanen
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Meine vielseitigen Geliebten: Bekenntnisse eines Bibliomanen

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  371 ratings  ·  83 reviews
»Die Bibliothek ist der Ort, der dem Paradies am nächsten kommt.« Jacques Bonnet Jacques Bonnet ist bekennender Bibliomane. Er besitzt mehrere Zehntausend Bücher, seine ganze Wohnung ist eine Bibliothek. Aber wie sortiert man eine solche Menge an Werken? Mit welchen Lesetechniken schafft man es, sich ihren Inhalt einzuprägen? Und zu welchem Ort sollte man seinen vielseitig...more
Hardcover, 155 pages
Published 2009 by Droemer Knaur (first published 2008)
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"The library protects us from external enemies, filters the noise of the world, tempers the cold winds around us-but also gives us the feeling of being all powerful. It concentrates time and space. It contains on its shelves all the strata of the past. Writing is great, very great, in enabling us to converse with the dead, the absent, and the unborn, at all distances of time and space.

My library is a concentrate of space. Even imaginary countries like Swift's Lilliput, Musil's Cacania, Faulkner'...more
What a lovely little meditation on the beauty of living in a world full of books. Not only that but the author has three of my all time authors within these pages. Boris Vian, Osamu Dazai and Albert Cossery. So one is surrounded by great taste!

He also comments on the peculiar nature of collecting books as well as the human nature needing these objects to surround us. Without a doubt my library is very much my self portrait. And this book is now part of my collection!
I received this book from and reviewed it for New Book Magazine.

This is a book about books, written by a man in the middle of a life-long love affair with books, who has accumulated approximately 40.000 copies in his house.
This is a book about having such a personal library, acquiring the books and the need to keep them, the intricacies involved in organising the shelves and the frustrations associated with not being able to find a certain copy of a certain title. This is a book for those who lo...more
In Phantoms on the Bookshelves, Jacques Bonnet has set out to chronicle a lifetime of book collecting.
As a confirmed bibliophile myself, I was eager to read of another’s journey through the world of books.
Jacques certainly has some tales to tell of the many ways he has come across books, and the best ways in which to catalogue an enormous personal library, and I did find myself chuckling along at moments, recognising my own personal struggles with how best to organise my overflowing bookshelves....more
If you love books, physical books, then this slender volume, from someone who shares your passion, will fly right into your heart. I felt a sense of recognition from his opening quote: "Some people are fond of horses, others of wild animals; in my case, I have been possessed since childhood by a prodigious desire to buy and own books." --Julian the Apostate. The author has a personal library of 40,000 volumes, so you might say he is a bibliophile extraordinaire. He discusses the problems that co...more
Jacques Bonnet works in the French publishing industry, and between his profession and a self-professed case of bibliomania, he has a personal collection of some 40,000 books. Phantoms on the Bookshelves is a brief, breezy reflection on a lifetime spent book-collecting, sprinkled with quotations, aphorisms and anecdotes. Bonnet doesn't develop a lot of his ideas, and I disagreed with several of them, but this is nonetheless an enjoyable trifle.
Sian Lile-Pastore
the author of this book has a library containing 40,000 volumes!! there's lots in here about other collectors - one guy's apartment became so filled with books that he moved out to an apartment opposite and kept his booklined one as an office. Another story is a Brazilian guy who spent 17 years looking for a particular book and finally flew to france to pick up a copy, and then left it on the plane!! (it's ok, he mananged to get it back).

This was orignally written in french, and most of the book...more
A beautiful homage to books and bibliomania. It's main theme is based on Borges "Paradise is library." The book is crammed with elegant aphorisms and remarkable anecdotes, like the description of a lithograph by Daumier called "the book-lover in heaven", which perfectly illustrates the fascination rarity holds for the bibliophile. It shows a man thumbing through a little book and explaining to another book-lover, "I can't tell you how happy I am ... I've just found the 1780 Amsterdam edition of...more
Kirja on kuin lämmin viltti kaikille, joiden nurkkiin on kertynyt huomattava määrä kirjoja. Bonnetin lukeneisuus näkyy tekstistä, ja huomioita hänen yksityiskirjastostaan on miellyttävää lukea. Tämä kirja on rakkaudenosoitus henkilökohtaiselle kirjastolle, mutta siinä sivussa Bonnet herättelee lukijaa ajattelemaan oman kirjahyllyn sisältöä, sen järjestämistä, esteettisyyttä ja ennen kaikkea kirjan merkitystä esineenä ja muistona. Muutama lukuvinkkikin jäi haaviin. Suosittelen lämpimästi kaikille...more
This was a fun little book with some nice bits of subtle depth. I didn't know a lot of the specific books he was referring to, both because I'm not a big fiction reader and he reads a lot of contemporary european stuff, but I could relate to his feelings about books in general. Realized the distinction between his type of bibliophile and mine though, in that he wants to keep it all, whereas while I love to constantly be exposed to new books and new ideas, things have to be uniquely special and i...more
Avez-vous peur de mourir dans votre sommeil, enseveli sous l'écroulement de votre bibliothèque ?

L'accumulation de livres ne met-elle pas en danger l'existence même de votre famille ? Classez-vous les volumes par thème, langue, auteur, date de parution, format ou selon un autre critère de vous seul connu ?

Peut-on faire voisiner sur une étagère deux auteurs irrémédiablement brouillés dans la vie ?

Autant de graves questions se posant à cette espèce en voie de disparition : les bibliomanes, qui,...more
Farah Aridi
Jacques Bonnet lives up to his reputation as novelist, translator and a manic bibliophile through his book Phantoms of the Bookshelves. Originally written in French, this book expands the tale of one bibliophile to many others, allowing the readers hearty peeks into their bookshelves, their patterns and habits of collecting, buying and selling, and obtaining books as well as the art of reading them. Reading in this book takes the very act into a different level, the jouissance inherit in reading...more
A mature bibliophile feels no need to write an apologia for a book collection that runs to ten or even twenty thousand volumes. It is what it is and that's that. Monsieur Jacques Bonnett is the adult steward of more than forty thousand books and yet he felt compelled to write an explanation, if not a defense, of how his library grew to that size. He wrote this book for me. He must have assumed that I speak (and read) French better than I do, so he wrote the text in his native language. Sian Reyn...more
Keith Akers
About halfway through this short book, I wondered to myself -- what, exactly, am I going to say about this book? What is its thesis, what is it trying to say, does it have a message, or anything?

This is a book about books, and the people who collect them, their collections, and what happens to them in the "real world" as a consequence of their attitude towards books. If you have ever felt that you have too many books, but can never summon the courage (or have the time) to reduce it to a managea...more
Paul Secor
A celebration of books by a man who has a collection of 40,000 books. Mr. Bonnet writes about his books, other collectors, methods of organizing books, his very interesting theory of how fictional characters are more real than authors, why he can't bring himself to get rid of a book: "It is true that the Essai de grammaire sloven (Essay on Slovenian grammar) by Claude Vicenot is unlikely ever to be of the slightest use to me. But this is a souvenir from several visits to Ljubljana, and I would...more
Als erkend boekengek, veellezer en verzamelaar en ook nog van origine bibliothecaris leek me dit een heel leuk boek. Maar helaas viel het me toch tegen. Bonnet wil wel heel graag laten zien hoe belezen hij wel niet is, strooit met wel èrg veel namen en feiten en springt ook nogal van de hak op de tak. Regelmatig kon ik-em echt niet volgen Ook is het erg Frans georiënteerd.

Leuke hoofdstukjes wel over dilemma’s voor ons verzamelaars. Waar laat je je duizenden boeken en vooral via welk systeem ga...more
Guillermo Jiménez
Papá vive frente a todos, pero detrás de varias murallas de conocimiento. Es difícil que lo vea conversando animadamente con otras personas. Algo muy raro en realidad. La biblioteca que él se ha construido no solo es física, es también mental.

Convivir con libros me es algo tan natural como que haya muebles o cuartos en una casa. Desde niño he visto como mamá intentó infructuosamente acomodar unos cuantos libros en libreros que muchos años después se arrepiente de haber comprado.

Ahí donde ella im...more
I didn't know what to expect when I began this book, a charming little work on books, bookshelves, and libraries. I picked it out of the Writing section at the library, half out of curiosity and half because it didn't look too long and it fit the spur of the moment book-reading-touching-collecting-sniffing obsession I was having. I felt first and foremost while reading this book relief that my own bibliomania is not so intense nor so methodical as that of the author. I am torn as to how to respo...more
Cada vez gosto mais de ler sobre livros. Várias têm sido as leituras deste género ultimamente, e quando me cruzei com referências a este ensaio soube que, mais tarde ou mais cedo teria de o ler. Graças às BLX, acabou por ser bem cedo.

Este livro aborda essencialmente o tema da bibliofilia e de todas as consequências que esta traz. Encontra-se dividido em capítulos que abordam temas como as bibliomanias, a arrumação de livros, práticas de leitura ou a forma como o leitor sabe mais sobre as pessoas...more
Sofia Chapa
Bibliophiles will like this book, but I felt all the writers and books he wrote about were too local (french) and not so famous, so I got a little lost.

"...the frantic reader is like a burglar who has spent hours and hours digging a tunnel to enter the strongroom of a bank. He emerges face to face with hundreds of strongboxes, all identical, and opens them one by one. And each time the box is opened, it loses its anonymity and becomes unique: one is filled with paintings, another with bundles of...more
It took me some times to get my hands on this book. I had to wait until my favorite bookstore in Beirut ordered it for me. When I finally held it in my hand, I was surprised with its size. It was much smaller than what I thought it would be. I loved the paper quality and the text font.

While reading it, I especially enjoyed the quotes that Bonnet begins every chapter with. They are insightful words, taken by some of the world's greatest, and reflects the chapter's main theme. One of my favorites...more
In all, this is a pleasant little ode to the author's own library and story of how it came to be, but it is a niche book for the most avid reader and not something I would recommend to most people.

It's filled with well-placed quotes from dozens of sources, recent and historical. Many of the books that are mentioned are French (as is the author), but there are references to popular classics as well. Some of the anecdotes are nice. There's just not a lot of point to most of the reflections, and th...more
Non-fiction, quick read.

..."(Years of work are required before the cerebral mechanisms for reading, if regularly oiled, finally become unconscious.-Stanislas Dehaene.) The important thing is not so much to read fast, as to read each book at the speed it deserves. It is as regrettable to spend too much time on some books as it to read others too quickly. There are books you know well, just from flicking through them, others you only grasp at second or third reading, and others again will will la...more
Mark Lacy
This is a short and enjoyable discussion about the mental affliction known alternately as bibliomania or bibliophilia. Bonnet covers a lot of ground, including collecting books, reading books, and building personal libraries, as well as dealing with the mental afflictions associated with each of these behaviors. I enjoyed seeing that I am not alone in some of these afflictions. Take, for example, the compulsion to collect every book in a series after having collected one or two volumes. This com...more
Makes my gazillion books look 'easy to manage' (ha)
Has some great quotes:
“After owning books, almost the next best thing is talking about them.” – Charles Nodier
“There is no better reason for not reading a book than having it.” – Anthony Burgess
Refers to problems of dealing with (yes), organizing (yes), finding (YES) your books amongst the nearly dangerous stacks, etc.
Who knows, I may have moved, if it weren't for my collection of unusual & hard-to-find books. . . . .
Read beside the comput...more
Michelle Gastulo
Fast and enjoyable read filled with anecdotes from a bibliophile. Lots of quotable stuff for book-lovers. A lot of the references went over my head as my book knowledge is not as vast as the author who has 40,000 books in his private library.

Recommended as a cute gift book for the bookworm in your life.
I think that all book lovers can relate to the situations the author presents in “Phantoms of the Bookshelves”. Jacques Bonnet is a bibliophile and writes about the situations that normally “torment” people like him: how can I make more space for my books? How do I organize my library? Should I keep all the books I have or some are dispensable?

The author gives lots of examples, shares stories of famous writers and depicts characters and the links with their creators. But, sometimes, there is an...more
This was just average amongst the contemporary paeans to books and reading. Bonnet is quite typically French, which adds to the charm of this volume, but the fact that his most insightful passages are actually comprised of others' quotes speaks to the lack of originality at play here. The other thing that makes this book less interesting to me is that Bonnet is not a collector (or at least that's what he says), but an inveterate reader. Thus, his commentary on books (though it does extend to the...more
Da leggere solo se si è amanti dei libri. E per amanti intendo proprio amanti: fare carte false per passare un po' di tempo in più con quel libro, portarselo a letto, approfittare di ogni momento libeor per appartarsi con lui...
Un libro come questo di Bonnet puà estraniare e allontanare chi non vive la lettura come uno dei massimi piaceri della vita.
Leggendo mi piace riconoscermi, e mi piace pensare che se non sono ancora arrivata a certe follie, la mia speranza è che un giorno saràò anch'io co...more
Keith Davis
Jacques Bonnet is a French art historian with a collection of over 40,000 books. In this brief book he discusses the unique challenges that possessing so many books creates and the passions that drive a serious bibliophile. My own modest collection of 6,000 pales in comparison, but it is refreshing to encounter someone dealing with similar issues on a grander scale. How do you organize the books? How do you move them when you have to relocate? How do you answer the inevitable questions: have you...more
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“The important thing is not so much to read fast, as to read each book at the speed it deserves. It is as regrettable to spend too much time on some books as it is to read others too quickly. There are books you know well, just from flicking through them, others you only grasp at second or third reading, and others again which will last you a lifetime.” 5 likes
“..."(Years of work are required before the cerebral mechanisms for reading, if regularly oiled, finally become unconscious.-Stanislas Dehaene.) The important thing is not so much to read fast, as to read each book at the speed it deserves. It is as regrettable to spend too much time on some books as it to read others too quickly. There are books you know well, just from flicking through them, others you only grasp at second or third reading, and others again will will last you a lifetime.” 0 likes
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