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The Bookshelf: A Reader’s Discrimination

recent column, one should haunt used bookstores. Some books have gone out of print and should not have; others, even if in print, are undeservedly obscure and little known. The serendipity of used-bookstore discoveries is one of the greatest delights a reader can have.

Fifth, since newly published books are so numerous that some are bound to be of interest, one should read book reviews regularly. The weekend book sections of major newspapers, the back sections of major magazines, the quarterlies and other publications with Review of Books in their titles, and online reviews such as here at Public Discourse should be a regular part of our reading diet. Few indeed are the books I buy because of a review I’ve read, but adding to my library is only one reason I read book reviews. A negative review can alert us to a bad book—but so for that matter can

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