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I am going to do something today that I've never done since starting the Book Chase blog in January 2009: I am going to suggest that you start paying regular visits to another book blog.
The Neglected Books Page has set a very special mission for itself. The blog describes itself as where "you'll find articles and lists with thousands of books that have been neglected, overlooked, forgotten, or stranded by changing tides in critical or popular taste." Articles are categorized by type, so that blog latecomers like me can browse them at leisure (although I should warn you that you can spend hours browsing and reading from this blog's archives):
- Excerpts from Neglected Books
- Featured Books: Long Reviews
- Featured Neglected Authors
- Gems from the Internet Archive
- Gleanings: Articles from Other sites
- Justly Neglected
- Reader Recommendations
- Short Notices: Short Reviews
Whether or not a book or author joins the neglected class is often determined as much by chance and sheer luck as anything else. What else was being published at the same time, in the same part of the world? How successful was the publishing house in keeping its doors open? How many copies saw print? Is the author a one-book wonder or did he leave behind a substantial back catalog? What language was the book first published in?
Questions like these are just the beginning, though. So many different variables, variables that can be combined in an almost infinite number of ways, determine whether a book will survive more than a limited first printing, that a site focusing on forgotten books is fascinating. If you are an avowed used-bookstore browser, you will almost certainly find yourself wondering about (and maybe researching) some of those wonderful old books you've been passing by all these years.
So, take a look at The Neglected Books Page and let me know what you think about it.