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Ex libris. Wyznania czytelnika

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  8,419 Ratings  ·  1,334 Reviews
Skrząca się od anegdot opowieść o literackich przygodach i codziennym życiu z książkami.Jak dokonać zaślubin księgozbiorów i uniknąć rozwodu? Czy kilkanaście kilogramów książek to dobry prezent na urodziny? Czym jest "imperatyw katalogiczny"? Co zrobiła pewna kopenhaska pokojówka, widząc na nocnym stoliku odłożoną książkę?Na te między innymi pytania można znaleźć odpowiedź ...more
Hardcover, 184 pages
Published January 2010 by Społeczny Instytut Wydawniczy Znak (first published 1998)
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May 10, 2013 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like many a Goodreader, no doubt, I have a thing for books about books. In this particular case, there’s a chapter in the book about books about books. (It might be tempting someday to write a book about such books about books about books, but let’s not get silly, or meta-silly for that matter.) Anyway, Fadiman’s essays are as elegant and well-written as my introduction is awkward and inane. She’s the kind of bookworm friend we’d all ‘like’ to the stratosphere here on this site.

Fadiman is the da
May 10, 2013 Madeleine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who considers him- or herself a bibliophile
Recommended to Madeleine by: Steve
If you'll excuse what I know has to sound like a weak attempt at an obvious pun, I find that books are easier to read than people. I summon far less effort to read a page than a face, a chapter than mixed body language: Even the subtext and allusions and metaphors are all naught but new takes on old tricks, and the most elusive hidden messages are often buried no deeper than a careful reexamination of text laid bare with a willingness most people eschew in the name of self-preservation and tactf ...more
Feb 23, 2010 JSou rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just a couple weeks ago, a great review of this book popped up on my update feed, (Ah, the magic of Goodreads) so when I spotted it at a booksale I went to last week for a dollar, I grabbed it quick. If you haven't read Jon's review yet, check it out:

Thanks to a bout of insomnia last night, I finished this and loved it. I feel like shoving this book onto some family and friends who think I'm much too obsessed with all things book. All of these essays show
May 14, 2013 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this collection of bookish essays. One of my favorite pieces was "Marrying Libraries," which was when Anne and her husband, George, decided to combine their book collections:

"We ran into trouble when I announced my plan to arrange English literature chronologically but American literature alphabetically by author. My defense went like this: Our English collection spanned six centuries, and to shelve it chronologically would allow us to watch the broad sweep of literature unfold before ou
October 2012

I don't always read books about books, but when I do, my to-read list suddenly grows. Still, it's nice to read someone who understands me so well:
"Alas," wrote Henry Ward Beecher. "Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore!" Mine is relatively strong at Barnes & Noble, because I know that if I resist a volume on one visit, and someone else buys it, an identical volume will pop up in its place like a plastic duck in a shooting gallery. And if I resist that one, there will
Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance]
Jun 08, 2012 Ruby Tombstone [With A Vengeance] rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: prigs, pendants, prudes, snobs
Recommended to Ruby by: Derek
In the spirit of full disclosure, this book was selected for me as part of a Bossy Book Challenge. A book of essays about reading is certainly something I would never have chosen for myself, but I did try to keep an open mind..

I understand why people like this book. The writer obviously truly loves books to the point of obsession, and anyone with a love of books will find something to relate to here. Unfortunately, that thing is unlikely to be the writer herself. The book's subtitle is, "Confess
There are two groups of people in this world. The first are erotically aroused by eating voluptuous, dripping fruits and having the fruity, pulpy juices trickle down their chins. The second would just like to get to a sink and wash it all off. Count me among the latter. Anne Fadiman is the former:

I have always preferred Keats to Wordsworth, but I was never able to put my finger on why until I read that Wordsworth, according to a visitor, "will live for a month on cold beef, and the next on cold
“Some friends of theirs had rented their house for several months to an interior decorator. When they returned, they discovered that their entire library had been reorganized by color and size. Shortly thereafter, the decorator met with a fatal automobile accident. I confess that when this story was told, everyone around the dinner table concurred that justice had been served.”

Books about books - or the reading experience in general - I am known to have mighty trouble saying no to. In fact, I go
Yet another case of had I read this book a mere few years ago, four stars would have been a guarantee, five if I was feeling especially forlorn due to few real life acquaintances even liking the concept of a book, let alone sharing my fervent devotion for the written word in bound and paged form. Alas, while I added this book more than two years ago, I didn't get around to a finally acquired copy till now, and the three stars would need a great deal of this way or that motion to raise or lower i ...more
This is a delightful slim book, a collection of personal essays about her love of reading.
In "Marrying Libraries", she and her husband embark on merging their libraries. "After five years of marriage and a child, George and I finally resolved that we were ready for the more profound intimacy of library consolidation." They had to agree on which order to shelve their books, how to deal with the duplicates, whether to be a lumper or a splitter. "His books commingled democratically....mine were ba
This book is primarily a book of humor. There are 18 essays, all of which are related to books and you and me, the people who read them. It is a book about us! Of course some essays are better than others. The majority had me laughing, but not all. How do you organize your library? Are you a courtly book-lover or a carnal one? I am carnal, meaning that I write in my books and don't hesitate one second to use then for other purposes. They follow me around, get dirty, squished in bags, are taken t ...more
Jun 18, 2008 Leanna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I walked past Anne Fadiman’s Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader at the library and immediately turned around. Without reading the dust jacket, I added the book to my pile. Any book about books must be a good book.

After reading Ex Libris, I'm not so sure. The collection of essays is ten years old, and they already feel dated—particularly an essay about pens and typewriters. More than anything, though, I take umbrage with the subtitle. Fadiman is anything but the “common reader.” She is the
It has become familiar. Perhaps, excessively so. I have ventured again for family reasons to a funeral home. This is five times in the last nine months. This reflects a turning of corners in my family dynamics. While it isn't unusual for people at my work to pass prematurely, there has been a statistical glut in my family where people live beyond the norm and have now passed in quick succession. I have also begun buying books with regularity upon leaving the funeral home or cemetery. In itself, ...more
Sep 21, 2007 Lena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This short collection of essays on the reading life is a true delight of a book. Anne Fadiman writes with self-depreciating joy about the pleasures and pains of the book obsessed, and reading her confessions helped reawaken (and soothe my guilt) about my own book-related afflictions. Her ruminations on marrying libraries (a task I have not yet been bold enough to undertake with my own husband), the art of inscriptions, and her clever discussion on plagiarism and the originality (or lack thereof) ...more
A delightful collection of essays by a bibliophile, for fellow bibliophiles. Small enough for a pocket, great for dipping in to.

She describes growing up a sesquipedalian, the joys (and otherwise) of trying to merge her library with that of her husband, the quirks of proof reading, and much more, as she shares her love of all things literary.

A delight from cover to cover and worth every one of the very pennies it costs.
Lisa Vegan
May 21, 2007 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone on goodreads,those who love beautiful language, essays
This is one of my favorite books. The daughter of Clifton Fadiman can write! These are wonderful essays about life, family, and most importantly, about books & reading. All are interesting & written beautifully, and they also have a lot of warmth & humor. This is a book worth owning to be able to reread certain essays every once in a while.

This book is a perfect gift for anyone who enjoys reading, books, and language.
Jason Pettus
Jul 28, 2009 Jason Pettus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although there are exceptions to this, in general I am not much of a fan of meta-nerd "books about books written for obsessive lovers of books," nor of essays that treat physical books themselves as precious sacred objects, to be lusted after like sex symbols and used to partially define who we are in the first place. (For what it's worth, I instead tend to look at books as simple delivery vehicles for what's truly important, the information being conveyed on their pages through the codified use ...more
Nov 26, 2007 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: book lovers!
Recommended to Kathryn by: Melanie (thank you!)
Shelves: non-fiction
I finished this book on my flight home from Florida and it provided me with great pleasure amidst my great dislike of flying. (Perchance I would have given it five stars had I read it from the cozy comfort of the couch in my den!) It felt so chummy to hear Anne's discussion of her love of books (both literary and tactile!) and I found myself nodding with agreement for many of her observations and confessions.

My favorite essays:
Marrying Libraries (of the joys and tribulations of merging one's li
Beth Bonini
I don't know how many times I've read this collection of essays about the love of books, but it has been many. Sometimes I just dip into one of my favourites: "Marrying Libraries," "Never Do That To A Book," or "You Are There" -- but today, I ended up rereading the entire thing. This book is an absolute must for the book lover, the book hoarder, the word collector and the grammar/punctuation pedant. Fadiman's writing style is just so perfectly polished, and I love the confiding warmth of her voi ...more
A charming collection of about 18 essays on the art of reading and loving good books.

All addicts need apply here. You do not have a problem. Embrace it. There are always more books and you will always find new ones. There is no way to stop, not even if you wanted to. It is better here.
Eveline Chao
I went into this expecting that I was going to LOVE it. After all, it's a woman who loves books writing about her love of books, and, hey, I love books too. But, I ended up not really connecting with it. Every once in a while there would be a sentence here or a passage there that I loved, but for the most part I felt alienated by this woman's relationship to books, which felt SO different from mine and, honestly, a little bit elite. I guess it just felt like she was addressing an audience of peo ...more
Aug 03, 2016 Kirsty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was having a bit of a rereading kick during September (largely due to the fact that my TBR shelves were almost exhausted), and decided to pick up Anne Fadiman's charming little volume of essays, Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader. Throughout, Fadiman's scope is broad. Whilst all of the essays are about books (no shit, Sherlock...), she writes about such things as the value of books as objects and how we treat them, to the art of writing sonnets, a skill she feels she has never quite mas ...more
Jul 01, 2008 rivka rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all book lovers
Recommended to rivka by: Jennie Peterson
Shelves: non-fiction, borrowed
I enjoyed this book, but perhaps not nearly as much as some of my friends seem to have. It's always nice to read something that makes me feel that someone out there is like me and/or my family -- that we're not completely crazy! ;)

So reading about another kid who was taught NOT to say "the hoi polloi", someone else who can't help but proofread menus, who is an obsessive book collector -- these are cool.

However. Anne Fadiman has an annoying to tendency to assume that her delineations are univers
First read: Jan 2016
Re-read: May 2017

There isn't anything I can say about this wonderful book of essays except I absolutely love it and anticipate re-reading it many more times in the years to come.

5/5 stars, best of 2016 & best of 2017
Aug 11, 2014 Ycel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is an excellent collection of essays on the reading life. The title is a reference to Virginia Woolf (The Common Reader, the First and Second Series), who borrowed it from Samuel Johnson’s Life of Gray, who wrote of “all those rooms, too humble to be called libraries, yet full of books, where the pursuit of reading is carried on by private people. The common reader, as Dr. Johnson implies, differs from the critic and the scholar. He is worse educated, and nature has not gifted him so g ...more
Mar 24, 2017 Kiwi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nf-bio, nf-other
Interesting collection of essays. If you are a book lover you’ll relate to and even recognise yourself in some of the author’s experiences.

Fav. Quotes:

Homer was meant to be spoken, and even though I had no idea what he was saying, I could hear the slosh of the wine-dark sea beneath each quavering dactyl.

These beautiful volumes had been published in 1897, and not a single person had read them. I had the urge to lend them to as many friends as possible in order to make up for all the caresses the
Sep 26, 2007 Natalie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves to read
My aunt Heather recommended this book to me. She is exactly the type of reader Anne Fadiman is and also very frugal. So instead of buying books as gifts for me she mails me short lists of books she thinks I will enjoy and should check out at my local library.
This one was an easy beach read for me one year at Myrtle and then I read it again on a winter break. I later gave it to my cousin-in-law for a gift so I no longer have a copy of it by as I remember them each of the short stories were base
Mar 27, 2009 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-books
This book was WAAY too much fun. Anne Fadiman is Clifton Fadiman's daughter, and she has collected this book of essays about book-love. She is funny and frank and the book is a delight. There are essays on merging her library with her husband's, on the delight of finding long, delicious words, on sonnets, on "carnal-love" book lovers versus "courtly-love" book lovers (for the record, I'm in the carnal-love category--my books know they are loved), ink pens, flyleaf inscriptions, the compulsive ed ...more
Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)
Been in a books about books mood lately. This is one of them. Basically what I been reading so far, books with a book theme to it really. This was interesting, good but interesting.
Jun 24, 2009 Wendi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sarah Brannon
Recommended to Wendi by: Tina Dalton
My friend subconsciously suggested this book to me after a conversation we had about finding treasures hidden in books. She had just purchased a book for her husband, used book (the best kind), and within its pages she found a treasure trove of items left by the former owner(s). It sparked me to tell her how wonderful I thought that was, and how I loved finding notes scribbled in the margins of books. That's when she told me about Ex Libris.

This book may be sub-titled Confessions of A Common Rea
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Recycling books 3 50 Feb 22, 2014 06:23PM  
Imprinted Lives: Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader. Anne Fadiman 7 20 Jul 29, 2011 02:03PM  
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  • Sixpence House: Lost in a Town of Books
  • Readings: Essays and Literary Entertainments
  • Ruined By Reading: A Life in Books
  • The Anatomy of Bibliomania
  • Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading: Finding and Losing Myself in Books
  • The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, a History
  • More Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason
  • Q's Legacy: A Delightful Account of a Lifelong Love Affair with Books
  • Howards End Is on the Landing: A Year of Reading from Home
  • Bibliotopia Or, Mr. Gilbar's Book of Books & Catch-all of Literary Facts And Curiosities
  • Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World
  • How Reading Changed My Life
  • At Home with Books: How Booklovers Live with and Care for Their Libraries
  • The Book on the Bookshelf
  • Shakespeare Wrote for Money (Stuff I've Been Reading, #3)
  • So Many Books, So Little Time: A Year of Passionate Reading
Anne Fadiman, the daughter of Annalee Whitmore Jacoby Fadiman, a screenwriter and foreign correspondent, and Clifton Fadiman, an essayist and critic, was born in New York City in 1953. She graduated in 1975 from Harvard College, where she began her writing career as the undergraduate columnist at Harvard Magazine. For many years, she was a writer and columnist for Life, and later an Editor-at-Larg ...more
More about Anne Fadiman...

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“My daughter is seven, and some of the other second-grade parents complain that their children don't read for pleasure. When I visit their homes, the children's rooms are crammed with expensive books, but the parent's rooms are empty. Those children do not see their parents reading, as I did every day of my childhood. By contrast, when I walk into an apartment with books on the shelves, books on the bedside tables, books on the floor, and books on the toilet tank, then I know what I would see if I opened the door that says 'PRIVATE--GROWNUPS KEEP OUT': a child sprawled on the bed, reading.” 449 likes
“I have never been able to resist a book about books.” 129 likes
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