Gordon N. Ray (1915-1986), professor of English at the University of Illinois from 1946 to 1960 and president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation from 1963 to 1985, was one of the major book and manuscript collectors of his time. His two great Morgan Library catalogues, on English and French book illustration, are monuments both to his collecting and to his scholarship. Over the years he wrote a number of essays and addresses on book collecting, the book trade, libraries, and the role of books in life. Some of them have become famous, while others are not well known; all are perceptive and eloquent statements, full of literary allusions and touches of humor. Books as a Way of Life brings together virtually everything of this kind that he wrote; the result is an appealing and important book that has come to be regarded as a classic contribution to the literature of the book world.