Books as Gifts : The Meaning and Function of a Personal Library

Abstract

‘Much of the evidence used in researching the history of individuals’ reading preferences and practices i elusive and transient. Most individuals to not leave material traces - why would they? - of an activity which nonetheless, in many cases, occupies a significant proportion of their waking lives; and the traces that some of them do leave are often enigmatic or ambiguous. The ‘personal library’, however - by which I mean a collection of books acquired over a period of time by a specific individual (as distinct from a family or an institution) - may reasonably be regarded with some optimism as a potentially rich source of information, at least about that individual’s reading history, and perhaps also about wider patterns of reading behavior which he or she may exemplify.’ (Author’s introduction)

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Published 1 October 2012 in Volume 27 No. 3-4. Subjects: Collections, Gifts, Libraries, Literature & writers, Reading.

Cite as: Buckridge, Patrick. ‘Books as Gifts : The Meaning and Function of a Personal Library.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 27, no. 3/4, 2012. https://doi.org/10.20314/als.bbfabbf784.