The writer — and reader — Nat Hentoff has died at the age of ninety-one. Here, from one of Hentoff’s memoirs, is a recollection of early reading:
I was addicted to books. Both the reading of them and the physical possession of them. On the way home from Boston Latin School, I would sometimes stop at an astonishing building that had nothing but used books, four floors of them. And while hunting for jazz records in other parts of the city, I would often find some in the backrooms of bookshops. And every time my father took me for a ride to the railroad station to make the last mail connection to New York, it was understood that I would not return home without at least one new book. Soon the books burst out of my bedroom and took over nearly all the wall space in the front hall of our apartment as well as the living room.The New York Times has an obituary. The Village Voice, whose management fired Hentoff in 2009, has an obituary and excerpts from his Voice columns.
Boston Boy: Growing Up with Jazz and Other Rebellious Passions (Philadelphia: Paul Dry Books, 2001).