Friday, April 11, 2008
What is a bibliography? The dictionary definition (Webster's Collegiate - my favorite) describes it as a list of sources of works on a particular subject or works by a particular author. It might also be a book containing such information or the study of certain data about books and other writings (although I might call that bibliographology). On a more personal level, for this reader, a bibliography is a signpost for further study; a guide for more enjoyment and further reading. The best bibliographies are annotated with commentary that distinguishes the nature of the items listed, pointing to the best for a particular topic or just the most well-written. The annotator may comment on those items that he found especially useful or enjoyable - always a good sign. Needless to say, I always look for books with bibliographies and appreciate the writers and editors that provide them for their readers.