The Power of the Printed Word

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SPEAKER: Nicholas Basbanes
EVENT DATE: 01/31/2006
RUNNING TIME: 56 minutes


Popular journalist and book world chronicler Nicholas Basbanes discussed his new book, "Every Book Its Reader: The Power of the Printed Word to Stir the World," in a program cosponsored by the District of Columbia Library Association and the Center for the Book. "Every Book Its Reader" highlights interviews with a wide range of omnivorous readers. It's a sequel to "A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books" (1995) and "Patience & Fortitude: A Roving Chronicle of Book People, Book Places, and Book Culture" (2001), two volumes featured in previous Books & Beyond talks.

Speaker Biography: A native of Lowell, Mass., Nicholas A. Basbanes graduated from Bates College in 1965, received a master of arts degree from Pennsylvania State University in 1968 and served as a naval officer aboard the aircraft carrier Oriskany in the Tonkin Gulf in 1969 and 1970. An award-winning investigative reporter during the early 1970s, Basbanes was literary editor of the Worcester Sunday Telegram from 1978 to 1991 and for eight years after that wrote a nationally syndicated column on books and authors. He is a former president of the Friends of the Robert H. Goddard Library of Clark University, which has established a student book collecting competition in his honor. His first book, "A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books," was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in nonfiction for 1995 and was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; now in its sixteenth printing, it has recorded sales of more than 100,000 copies. In addition to his books about books, Basbanes has written for numerous newspapers, magazines and journals, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Smithsonian, Civilization and New England Quarterly. In 2004, he began writing a bi-monthly column, "Gently Mad," for Fine Books & Collections magazine. With his wife, Constance, he writes a monthly review of children's books for Literary Features Syndicate, which they established in 1993. They are the parents of two daughters, Barbara and Nicole, and live in North Grafton, Mass.

SERIES: Books & Beyond

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