Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader (1998) by Anne Fadiman

The title of this book is highly misleading—common reader. According to their Wikipedia page, the author “Anne is an American essayist and reporter. Her interests include literary journalism, essays, memoir, and autobiography.” That sounds like anything but a common reader.

A common reader is likely to be anyone you can pull off of the streets that reads books. A common reader is unlikely to be one is obsessively collects and organizes their books, one that reads to their spouse before bed, or who would carry nineteen-pounds of books home from a used bookstore. I don’t argue the fact that this book is mis-titled based on my own experiences—I would happily bring home forty pounds of books from the store to read, and have. I refute the title’s premise based on the accounts in this book are all too specific and niche.

As for the content of the book itself. Meh. This work doesn’t offer an actual common reader much in terms of value.