“Where is the American collector who wore a miner’s lamp on his forehead so as to enable him to penetrate the darker cavities of the bookshops he visited?” demands Marius Kociejowski during the course of his eccentric, meandering new memoir, A Factotum in the Book Trade. “Where,” he goes on,

is the man who collected Stefan and Franciszka Themerson’s Gaberbocchus Press titles? . . . Where is the man who collected virtually every edition of The Natural History of Selbourne by Reverend Gilbert White? Where is everybody? Am I deluding myself in thinking collectors are no longer as colorful as they once were?

And what about the bookshops themselves? Where have they all gone? Anyone who enjoys rooting about in...

 

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