Friday, April 2, 2010

Opening Sentence of the Day: Ex Libris

"When the Irish novelist John McGahern was a child, his sisters unlaced and removed one of his shoes while he was reading."

From the Preface to Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman.

"A few months ago, my husband and I decided to mix our books together."

From "Marrying Libraries," the first essay in Ex Libris.

I love the opening to the Preface because I remember reading like that, especially when I was a kid. I could be so engrossed in a book that I was oblivious to anything around me.

And the "marrying libraries" idea had me laughing. My husband and I have been married now for nigh on 10 years, and our books only started co-habitating when we moved to our present house a year ago. They are still not fully integrated.

Book Beginnings on Fridays is a Friday "opening sentence" event hosted by Becky at Page Turners


  1. Oh, I love this book and I'm sure you will too! It had me laughing out loud in public like a fool a number of times.

  2. Colleen and JoAnn -- I do love this one. I only wish it were longer. I'm whipping right through it. I have her Re-Reading book, but I think she just edited that one and it is essays by other people. So it won't be the same fun.

  3. Sounds so good! I was also definitely that child, lost to the world when reading a good book.

    So many books to read, so little time!

  4. Jaunita -- I wish my brain could turn tune out so thoroughly now. It can, but it is harder to achieve than when I was a kid.

    As for So Many Books, So Little Time, that was another book I enjoyed a ton. :)

  5. I lived with my boyfriend in college one summer and in that tiny apartment we ended up with book cohabitating - and I regretted it deeply as I lost a half-dozen that way. Although I now have a policy of getting rid of read books, that doesn't apply to my college books and it still bugs me every once in a while when I think of one of those books that ended up accidentally moving back to Virginia with him when we broke up.

  6. This is a new to me book. Will have to check it out.

  7. I enjoyed the sentences you shared. Sounds like a great book.

  8. Carin -- I have the same sour memories of some books I lost when my first husband and I split. Every so often, I'll go look for something and then realize, Dang it! I lost custody of that one.

    Nise' -- It's a great booklover's book. A lot of it hits home.

    Christina -- Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

    Juju -- Fab fab, indeed! I just wish it was a longer book.

  9. I love Ex Libris...loaned it out and haven't gotten it back. Usually, I don't fuss but this book is an exception.

  10. Bybee -- Oh no! This isn't one to lose because it is the kind of book you want to dip into from time to time.

    I give away many books after I read them, but if I have a certain attachment, I have a bad attitude about lending them. I've been known to buy a copy for a friend who asks to borrow mine. :)

  11. They are both great first lines!! Fortunately my boyfriend doesn't read so I dont have to wrorry about mixing books. Having said that, I dont think I would be comfortable with it at all!

    All the books you read always seem sooo good!! You have great taste

  12. My husband and I have been married for 12 years and it was only in this last year that I added his classic lit into my fiction collection. The rest of his books are still separate from mine. It's not intentional, it just seems to happen. :)

  13. I loved Ex Libris. Great book for book lovers.

    I was such a dedicated reader when I was a child that my grandmother ended up taking me to the doctor to get my hearing checked, because I shut everything out so much when I was reading that I literally didn't hear it when I was spoken to.


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