“Of the Making of Books There Is No End”


Of the making of books there is no end, and too much study is wearisome to the flesh. –ECCLESIASTES 12:12 NKJ

Love this photo and thought you might appreciate it too. Don’t know who shot it, but I wish I did.  Whoever it was, he/she captured how overbooked passionate readers and writers can sometimes feel. Not that it deters or cures the serious bookaholic. Because …

 “Your library is your paradise.” ―Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus

“When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.” ―     Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus

Not that everyone would agree —

This–from  a plaque that was given to me and which remains above my desk–a   quote from the famous broadside against the book biz by the English philosopher John Locke, and presented to me as hundreds of laughing bookstore owners and managers, as well as big trade publisher reps, looked on convulsed with near terminal mirth,  at the conclusion of my tortured  two terms as president of the Southeast Booksellers Ass’n some years ago (the first “chapter” of my wandering career through the book “industry”)

Books seem to me pestilent things and infect all that trade in them with something very perverse and brutal…Printers, binders, sellers …have so odd a turn  and corruption of mind ..not conformed to the good of society and the general fairness which cements mankind.

JOHN LOCKE, 1632-1704

Funny, but now, on some days, I don’t think it’s soooo “funny” anymore.  OK, maybe a little funny.

“Of the making of books”–whether you’re a reader, writer or publisher–there is “no end.”  And that’s a wonderful thing in my book for all of us.

About Margaret Jean Langstaff

A lifelong critical reader with literary tastes, a novelist, short story writer, essayist, book critic, and professional book editor for many years. A consultant to publishers and authors, providing manuscript critiques and a full range of editorial services. A friend and supporter of all other readers and writers. A collector of signed modern first editions. Animal lover and tree hugger. Follow me on Twitter @LangstaffEditor
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2 Responses to “Of the Making of Books There Is No End”

  1. Ha Ha! I have one of those towers next to my bed and another on my desk.


    • Don’t we all? The walls of most rooms in my home are lined w books, floor to ceiling, much like my old bookstore was back in the day. Book bliss. Guests browse, are knocked out if they find a book by Margaret Langstaff “Wow! You mean you actually wrote this?” Makes me feel weird. Yep, apparently I did. All those books


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