John Bayley, Margaret Drabble, Jeffrey Meyers, Alan Sillitoe and Ann Thwaite are among the nineteen contributors of original essays to this indispensable guide for anyone who cares at all about the past and future of books and the publishing industry. A Passion for Books is intended as both a celebration of the value and importance of reading and a spirited defence against the many gloomy voices in our so-called electronic age who say the book will soon be obsolete. How do books shape and nourish our lives? What motivates readers to turn to books in the era of cyberspace? What role do collectors play in the preservation of books? What are the central issues for academic publishers who are trying to preserve the book? Does the book have a future? These are among the important questions answered in the essays that follow: some personal and anecdotal, some philosophical, others practical. Taken together, A Passion for Books will capture for some and kindle for others the fascination, the enlightenment, and the sheer joy that books can give to the willing.