Would you pay $30.8 million for a seventy-two page manuscript, even if it was written by Leonardo da Vinci? What about spending $40,000 or more for one page of a Gutenberg Bible? Would you ever steal almost 24,000 books from over 268 libraries in forty-five states? There are book junkies, collectors, archivists and eccentrics that would find all these actions perfectly reasonable. In A Gentle Madness, Nicholas Basbanes catalogs the public and private libraries from antiquity to modern day that helped shape book history. In addition, specific book collectors and obsessions are dissected which show the book world as not only a store of knowledge, but of patient rivalries, double dealings and even theft.