Saturday, June 25, 2005

"When I was visiting the monastic republic of Mount Athos on the Chalkidiki Peninsula of northern Greece in 1998 to learn what I could about the manuscript collections that have been maintained there for a thousand years, I ran across a lovely word, idiorhythmic, which describes a kind of relaxed monasticism no longer in favor in which adherents could more or less follow their own rules, not those of an inflexible abbot. Translated from the Greek, idiorhythmic means "living by one's own life patterns," and it suggests for me a way to go about the business of scouting out books."

-- Nicholas A. Basbanes, Among the Gently Mad: Strategies and Perspectives for the Book Hunter in the Twenty-First Century.

Such is the philosophy of a good book browser, literary flaneur, the one more disciplined people would call peripathetic?