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 - Rob Kaplan, Harold Rabinowitz Like many collections of essays from various sources, some pieces were stronger than others. This was, however a very enjoyable and, indeed, passionate exploration of books with contributions from a variety of people, of many times and places.

Perhaps what has stuck with me the most, due to the current climate of the publishing and printing industries, was an excerpt from a longer piece by Anna Quindlen, "How Reading Changed My Life," that examines the future of the book in digital age (in the late 1990s). While it's interesting to see that the argument preoccupying so many readers today was already stewing nearly 15 years ago, the piece was tinged with a touch of sadness and bitter humor for me personally; her outlook is positive but is not holding up quite so well in the present day.

Another piece I really enjoyed was Umberto Eco's examination of the large personal library, something he most definitely possesses. It's suggested reading for anyone who has ever had a non-bibliophile friend survey your overstuffed shelves and ask "Have you read all of these books?" Really, what good is a library where you've read everything? I agree with my pal Umberto: not much good at all.

For those of us who turn to books not only for entertainment or edification, but for solace and understanding, there is the essay by George Hamlin Fitch. After the death of his beloved son, only the comfort of books could keep him going, and I feel that is the ultimate testament to the power of the written word.

A Passion for Books is a well-balanced compilation of insight, humor and wit and it ranks among my favorite books about my favorite thing: books.