In his national bestseller, A Gentle Madness, Nicholas Basbanes explored the sweet obsession people feel to possess books. Now, Basbanes continues his adventures among the "gently mad" on an irresistible journey to the great libraries of the past -- from Alexandria to Glastonbury -- and to contemporary collections at the Vatican, Wolfenbüttel, and erudite universities. Along the way, he drops in on eccentric book dealers and regales us with stories about unforgettable collectors, such as the gentleman who bought a rare book in 1939 "by selling bottles of his own blood."
Taking the book's grand title from the marble lions guarding the New York Public Library at 42nd Street, Basbanes both entertains and delights. And once again, as Scott Turow aptly noted, "Basbanes makes you love books, the collections he writes about, and the volume in your hand."