Here, in the guise of a history of the Private Libraries Association, is an account of the friendships of its members over the past fifty years. They have all been collectors, with widely differing interests, from countries across the world, united by a love of books and the need to be surrounded by them at the end of a day's work and in all the years of retirement.
The aim of the society is to bring together such enthusiasts and to offer them books and essays in the association's journal that would lead them further into the bibliophilic web. The enormous range of their interests adds vitality to the group's publications and creates a dynamic tension between the need to deal in sufficient depth with each subject and yet to interest other members whose collections have moved in quite different directions.The book contains the story of the Association and a bibliography of its publications, but perhaps the most interesting portions are the brief essays by over eighty members about their collections, with photographs of many of these individuals and illustrations taken from the collections. Their specialties range from illustrated books and early private presses to Australiana, golf, the history of the automobile and surgery. There is a retail price index at the end of the book, which will prove very useful when recounting book prices over the last 50 years. This book is an enjoyable and valuable resource for book collectors everywhere.
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