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Adventures of a Book Collector

Currach Press, 2011

Reviewed by Wendy Scott, Kenmore Uniting Church.

Different! Intriguing! Readable. The style is part history, part social commentary and part life story.

The autobiography covers book collector Philip Murray's life in Ireland.

The book is unusual in that his entire life story is left out except his passion to finding or acquiring a new love with books.

Murray started in Catholic schools in Ireland then entered a seminary to continue studying literature.

He then changed to Maths and Science and did postgraduate studies in teaching.

He taught then tutored and worked in a silver mine to pay for further studies in medicine.

His internship was in Australia then his initial medical practise took place in regional Australia, before returning to Ireland.

In a very fluid manner, rather like writing to family, he details the origin of his love of reading and appreciation of various literary styles, and his search for rare books and signatures for his collection.

The paragraphs do not follow the formal pattern of topic sentence, individual detailed sentences then conclusion that is the norm for non-fiction works.

The 154 pages are simply written, and easy to follow.

I read it in an afternoon.

The cover price of $29.95 is average for a paperback of this size.