Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Every Book Its Reader: The Power of the Printed Word to Stir the World” as Want to Read:
Every Book Its Reader: The Power of the Printed Word to Stir the World
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Every Book Its Reader: The Power of the Printed Word to Stir the World

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  247 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Inspired by a landmark exhibition mounted by the British Museum in 1963 to celebrate five eventful centuries of the printed word, Nicholas A. Basbanes offers a lively consideration of writings that have "made things happen" in the world, works that have both nudged the course of history and fired the imagination of countless influential people.

In his fifth work to examin
Paperback, 400 pages
Published December 12th 2006 by Harper Perennial (first published 2005)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Every Book Its Reader, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Every Book Its Reader

The Book Thief by Markus ZusakFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyMatilda by Roald DahlThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz ZafónThe Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Books about Books
104th out of 636 books — 999 voters
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco84, Charing Cross Road by Helene HanffFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann ShafferThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Books on Books: Bookmaking, Biblioclasm, Bibliophilia
71st out of 237 books — 270 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,259)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Sasha Martinez
This is a book-lover’s dream. Or dream dictionary, to be more technically correct about it. This has always been in my “Currently Reading” pile—whenever I am plagued with that terrible hiccup I’ve dubbed Bibliophilic Purgatory, I skim the pages of this book, picking out choice anecdotes, lingering over highlighted quotations and images. It’s a book crammed with information and trivia about books, writers of books, collectors of books, readers of books, lovers of books. It made me giddy. In some ...more
When you read this one be prepared to add another 1000 tbr's.
Dec 29, 2012 Pam rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Pam by: Found in bookstore in Moab
Depending upon your reading style, you will find this book captivating or boring. For me it was captivating and exciting. I loved it! I am enthralled with books as history-makers in themselves, and that is exactly what this book is about. You will learn how books influenced America's founding fathers, Thomas Edison, Malcolm X. You will learn the effect that books have upon six month old children. You will discover the importance of the book collections that belonged to famous writers, politician ...more
I picked this up on a whim at the Harvard Book Store sometime early last spring when I was feeling like I wasn't reading enough grown-up books. I read the first half and really enjoyed it, but then got distracted by some other book that needed to be read. I picked it up again when I needed something to read while I waited for the next group of requests from the library. I picked up where I left off a year ago, and slipped right back into it.

I particularly enjoyed the first few chapters, which di
Since I am a reading freak, I am always enthralled by Nicholas Basbanes books about bibliophilia, bibliomania, book collectors of all ilk, and lost libraries. In this book, he enters the realm of famous readers who have left commentary in the margins of the books they read. He discusses the keeping of commonplace books and interviews well-known readers of today, including David McCullough and Harold Bloom.

It is a fascinating book. However, I could not give the book five stars because he does su
I enjoyed this book, even though at times it feels like forced lists of books that important folks read.

Most interesting were bits on Marginalia, the Unabomber (See Chuck Klosterman's "Eating the Dinosaur for a further treatment of this topic that is definitely interesting), Translation (Godel Escher Bach alert!), and a continuing compendium of "books to read" woven throughout the 316 pages.

This is a great book if you like to read about reading. If you like to comb books for other books to read.
Jun 06, 2009 Oliver rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Bibliophiles
Shelves: misc
I really enjoyed this book at first but lost steam towards the end. The last few chapters especially. One of my favorite anecdotes from the book was a story where Abigail Adams learned that her son, John Quincy Adams, was getting a little full of himself. She quickly wrote him a letter that contained the following:

"If you are so conscious to yourself that you possess more knowledge upon some subjects than others of your standing, reflect that you have had greater opportunities of seeing the worl
For all who really love books, not just reading but collecting, holding, gaining understanding, to escape to worlds of another time, to use them to whatever ends you do, you will surely enjoy this book by an author who ranks high as a bibliophile. He's written many books about all things books and this one is very fun to read to identify with great readers of the many books that have no end.

As the page turns, we are met with the experiences of reading by many great authors, politicians, rulers,
Oct 16, 2007 Diskojoe rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Emily
For my first book here at good reads, it's appropriate that it's this one. I have read the author's previous books & have found him interesting. This book was no exception. It deals with such topics such as what famous authors had in their own libraries, notes written in books and other topics relating to books and reading.
I don't remember much about this book except it made me want to keep at my project of reading the classics that I hadn't even started yet since I was still at the stage of reading about reading the classics. And I found good quotes for my new commonplace book.
A seemingly fascinating topic (judging a person by the books he/she has in their "library") made a bit tedious by Basbanes tendency to write in a stream-of-consciousness style.
There are times when I think my bibliomania is an insane waste of time. Then I go back and reread portions of this book. Insane--maybe, waste of time--no way.
I was a little disappointed. Basbanes has written several in this series, and I thought the first, A Gentle Madness was the best.
Fascinating information on books and people to whom books are important.
A book about reading books. What could be better than that?
This was an interesting concept for a book, but way to dense for me.
Well written but I found the topic rather dull.
Who knew that writing in books could actually be a good thing? Not me, for sure. I learned a lot from this, and it certainly made me feel good about being a reader - lots of incredibly talented and brilliant people made reading the center of their lives. Coleridge, for example, was notorious for reading like it was going out of fashion and for writing in the margins of his books, to the point where his friends were kind of reluctant to lend him books. Now, of course, there's a huge collection of ...more
Mark Fallon
A book for people who love books. Brisbane shares thoughts – from himself and other readers – on how and why books matter. The sections on canons, collections, translations and margin notes were wonderful. The chapters that celebrated specific readers and critics, like Harold Bloom, seemed a bit out of place. Overall, a very good read.
I tried to love this book because it felt as if it should be loved. Alas, I could only 'merely' like it.
There were two problems in this book for me. First, it doesn't have a clear organization to it. Mr. Basbanes writes this book in a type of sophisticated stream of consciousness that makes it difficult to predict what topic will come next. At times I was pleasantly surprised with his choices. In fact the section of what the U.S. presidents read was probably my favorite. But the meandering did
I mainly picked up this book to supplement my studies of marginalia for a term paper I was writing. That occupies only one chapter from the book, and I found that the chapter was primarily a recap of Marginalia, so it didn't add a lot of new information. The rest of the book does look interesting -- focusing on how the books that people read have influenced their lives and actions -- but I didn't have time to delve deeply.
Lindsay Hickman
Absolutely one of the best books I've ever read! Brilliant transition between chapters and a great history of book reading!! Wonderful book a must read for any Bibliophile.
Marla Glenn
This is fun to flip through, but he can get bogged down in boring details. Also, I found it annoying that so many "best" lists contained only male names/writers. It gets old.
It felt a bit like he just wanted a place to collect a bunch of old interviews, but that's fine with me: he's good at it.
Jan 31, 2010 Eddie is currently reading it
The book person's book person.
Belainey marked it as to-read
Dec 27, 2014
Marcy marked it as to-read
Dec 27, 2014
Casey marked it as to-read
Dec 26, 2014
Allie marked it as to-read
Dec 26, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 41 42 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Book by Book: Notes on Reading and Life
  • A Pound of Paper: Confessions of a Book Addict
  • Library: An Unquiet History
  • The Smithsonian Book of Books
  • The Anatomy of Bibliomania
  • The Book of Lost Books: An Incomplete History of All the Great Books You'll Never Read
  • A Passion for Books: A Book Lover's Treasury of Stories, Essays, Humor, Love and Lists on Collecting, Reading, Borrowing, Lending, Caring for, and Appreciating Books
  • A Great Idea at the Time: The Rise, Fall, and Curious Afterlife of the Great Books
  • The Book on the Bookshelf
  • At Home with Books: How Booklovers Live with and Care for Their Libraries
  • Rereadings: Seventeen writers revisit books they love
  • Slightly Chipped: Footnotes in Booklore
  • The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future
  • So Many Books: Reading and Publishing in an Age of Abundance
  • A Reader on Reading
  • Biblioholism: The Literary Addiction
  • The Library: An Illustrated History
  • Ruined By Reading: A Life in Books
Nicholas A. Basbanes is an award-winning investigative journalist and was literary editor of the Worcester Sunday Telegram. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and Smithsonian, and he is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. Basbanes lives in North Grafton, Massachusetts.
More about Nicholas A. Basbanes...
A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books Among the Gently Mad: Strategies and Perspectives for the Book-Hunter in the 21st Century Patience & Fortitude: Wherein a Colorful Cast of Determined Book Collectors, Dealers, and Librarians Go About the Quixotic Task of Preserving a Legacy A Splendor of Letters: The Permanence of Books in an Impermanent World On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand-Year History

Share This Book