Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Bookworm’s Book Life: A book review by Jianping

The Bookworm's Book Life

A book review by Jianping

《书山蠹语》顾犇著   国家图书馆出版社2013年6月版

Thus spoke The Bookworm / by Ben Gu
National Library of China Publishing House, June 2013
ISBN 978-7-5013-5056-8

In my eyes, Dr. Ben Gu is a living specimen of a "bookworm". Book is the subject of all his life, and his life is closely related to books. In his work, Dr. Ben Gu is responsible for the acquisition and cataloging of books in foreign languages, and have made great achievements in the field of library cataloging; in his spare time, he is busy in reading, collecting, writing and translating books. People call him "The Bookworm", and even he himself uses this name for his blog. Wherever he is, he keeps recording his "book life" in his blog, and gradually accumulates quite a lot of texts. Now, Dr. Ben Gu compiled the best texts from his blog to publish a book Thus spoke The Bookworm (书山蠹语, literally "The Bookworm spoke on the book mountain").

With diary style, this intimate and interesting book is written informally and easily. Readers will see the book life of "The Bookworm" without pedantry and with freshness. The book includes reviews of books, experiences of book translating, records of book collecting, events of library and book trade community, feelings of a music lover, stories around the world, etc., which form a vivid picture of life of a librarian.

Dr. Ben Gu is interested in the platform of blogs, actually because he has his own considerations. Just as he wrote in the book, "Blog is a kind of memory, which keeps records of my own life and also events related to me, most of which will not be recorded later. Blog is a mirror, which reflects comments of my audience. Blog is also a way of communication, from which I can share my knowledge with readers and learn more knowledge from comments by readers."

While reading this book, I was frequently reminded of a man, who is a blind librarian and keeps writing. He is Jorge Luis Borges, great Argentine writer. Since Dr. Ben Gu always call himself "library person", we can find shadows of respectable Jorge Luis Borges from this Chinese book lover.

Wenhui Book Review, July 12, 2013, P. 6.

Bibliographic information at the publisher's site:

Bibliographic information at the Douban site:

Another book review at the China Library Weekly site: