Reading in Bed:

Personal Essays on the Glories of Reading

As Gilbar writes in his introduction, “The essays in this book are not so much about books as about reading. Most of the pieces speak of the writers’ personal experience as readers. Some are more pontifical. But what they all have in common, I hope, is that they are themselves good reading.” How right he is! Just sample treasures like Nabokov’s “Good Readers, Good Writers,” Calvino’s “Why Read the Classics?” Proust’s “On Reading Ruskin,” or Brodkey’s “Reading, the Most Dangerous Game.” And the list goes on: Montaigne, Hazlitt, Hesse, Miller, Greene, Fowles, and many more, all devoted to – indeed passionate about – reading and about (as Emerson said) “Books, vital and spermatic, not leaving the reader what he was.”

Steven Gilbar was born in Detroit and educated at the University of Michigan and Wayne State University Law School. He later moved to San Francisco, where he worked as a senior managing editor at the law book publishing firm Matthew Bender & Company. This transitional phase led to a late career dedicated to books for books’ sake, of which he has published eight.