more than 95 theses


A journal, commonplace book, and Wunderkammer by
Alan Jacobs.

My blog on technologies of reading, writing, and knowledge is called Text Patterns; I am an occasional contributor to the Technology channel of The Atlantic; I'm a Contributing Editor for The New Atlantis. Also, I tweet.

My biography of the Book of Common Prayer has now been published by Princeton University Press, and I’ve created an associated tumblelog.

My critical edition of W. H. Auden’s long poem For the Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio is now available.

My next book will be about Christian humanism in a time of total war.

I invite you to a meditative encounter with my online project The Gospel of the Trees.

Please consider supporting this tumblelog by buying some of my books. I will thank you, my family will thank you, and the internet — surely — will thank you.

”Reverting to Type: a Reader’s Story”

The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction

The Age of Anxiety, by W. H. Auden — a critical edition. A PDF of my Introduction to the poem is available online.

Wayfaring: Essays Pleasant and Unpleasant

Original Sin: a Cultural History

Looking Before and After: Testimony and the Christian Life

The Narnian: the Life and Imagination of C. S. Lewis

Shaming the Devil: Essays in Truthtelling

A Theology of Reading: the Hermeneutics of Love

A Visit to Vanity Fair: Moral Essays on the Present Age

What Became of Wystan: Change and Continuity in Auden’s Poetry

  • March 28, 2012 1:21 pm


    Things have now changed so radically in the rare book world – dragged along limply in the wake of the IT revolution – that, today, neither integer of Greene’s description pertains as it used to. For most book collectors – and there seem to be fewer and fewer of them – finding what you want is now so easy that the only real consideration is what you are able or willing to pay. Twenty-five years ago, first editions of Kerouac’s On the Road were both scarce and valuable. Nowadays they still cost a lot, but there are masses of them on offer ( lists 103 of them, priced between £3.84 and 18,562.60). It may be that a similarly large number were out there in the past, but nobody knew where they were. You had to find them, encounter them serendipitously one at a time.

    So two things have happened, and they threaten to cut our archetype off at the knees: “treasure” is now common, and “hunting” involves nothing more exciting or time-consuming than booting up a computer and surfing the rare book sites. You want to collect Conrad? You could build a virtually complete collection in the next hour or two. What the hell fun would that be?


    A new chapter for rare book collecting | Books |

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