"I love researching the provenance of my books", wrote bibliophile and blogger Jerry Morris in his 2014 blog post 'Some Auspicious Biblio-Sleuthing", a mission statement that shines from every page of a new collection of his writings, The 7 Book Blogs of Jerry Morris.
Morris, who died in April 2022, comes across as eager and infectiously excited about the world of books and book collecting in the 29 posts selected here from his numerous blogs by a team from the Florida Bibliophile Society (a full list of all 250+ posts is helpfully included too).
These are not swiftly scribbled pieces of writing, but extremely readable, meticulously researched mini-essays on a wide range of topics from cataloguing Samuel Johnson's library and profiles of bibliophiles such as Mary Hyde Eccles, to the heartbreaking The Demise of Lindmark's Book Shop, Poughkeepsie, New York and his thoughts on 20 years of collecting William Strunk's The Elements of Style ("I LOVE THIS BOOK! It's the best little book on the use of English"). The topic of association copies looms large throughout.
Blog posts don't always translate well to print, but Morris's very accessible style coupled with his deep knowledge of books and collecting make this a genuinely readable collection, and one which hopefully will send readers online to search out more of his work. The editors have also done an excellent job in including plentiful images from the original posts online which enliven the joy of reading them in print. All in all, a fitting tribute.