Shelf Life in the TLS
Shelf Life was reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement at the end of January by Katie Mennis. Here's the first part of it:
You can read the rest here.A reader must have money and a shelf of his own if he is to collect books. Some books are to be tasted, others to be chewed and digested. We read some books to remember, and others to forget. These are the ideas – expressed in witty, aphoristic, masculine terms – that recur across the 400-year span of the essays in Shelf Life.This digestible book offers many pleasures, not least a wonderful selection of book-related terms: “biblioclasts” (from the bibliographer William Blades’s ironic attack on children as the enemies of books, in 1881), “Bibliomania” (the title of a poetic dig at rich book collectors written by Dr John Ferriar, a campaigner for the improvement of public health care, in 1809), and “biblia a-biblia” (Charles Lamb’s term for books he deemed “no books” at all – which ranged from almanacs and pocket books to the works of David Hume.