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Sunday, January 7, 2007

Book Two

The second book we have read this year is Bibiliotopia or, Mr. Gilbar's Book of Books and Catch-All of Literary Facts and Curiosities, by Steven Gilbar, and illustrated by Elliot Banfield.

From the title, cover, and blurb, this promised to be a wonderfully interesting book. Unfortunately, there was little of substance inside. A handful of word origins, and some terms defined highlighted the good content; the rest just seemed like filler. Page after page of lists, like what writers have graduated from Universitat Angstadt (as well as every other university one could name off the top of one's head) or what books have won the annual Al-Qaeda Most Terrifying Novel award (and lots of other awards no one has ever heard of). This is little more than a trivia book that could have been made much better by relating anecdotes appropriate to each list. If it's interesting information about books and the biblioworld you want, better to read from the great bookdealers of the late 1800s and early 1900s, like the 1863 edition of The Book-Hunter, by John Hill Burton, which we will report on soon.

We give it one (out of four) pipefuls.

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