I have borrowed David Finkelstein and Alistair McCleery’s The Book History Reader and An Introduction to Book History and I am looking forward to posting on the subject anon. In the meantime, I shall entertain you with excerpts from Otto Bettmann’s The Delights of Reading, a jovial collection of “quotes, notes & anecdotes” about writing and reading. Bettmann was a renowned bibliophile, but he was better known as the “Picture Man”, named so because he assembled one of the most impressive picture archives in history. One of the first quotes Bettmann cites is from Richard de Bury, book-crazy bishop and author of the Philobiblion, a treatise that ranks amongst the first and most famous “books on books”.
All the glory of the world would be buried in oblivion, unless God had provided mortals the remedy of books. — Richard de Bury