ILAB bookseller Heather O'Donnell on the joys of buying, selling and collecting books
"Heather O'Donnell grew up in the library stacks and bookstore aisles of suburban Delaware. In 1989, she moved to New York City, where she studied English at Columbia, and held down a series of bookish jobs on the side. While writing her doctoral dissertation in the Yale English department, Heather worked as a curatorial assistant at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. In 2004 she left academia to pursue the rare book trade full-time. For seven years, she worked as a bookseller in the New York gallery of Bauman Rare Books. In the fall of 2011, she founded Honey & Wax Booksellers in Brooklyn. In 2017, she and Rebecca Romney established the annual Honey & Wax Book Collecting Prize of $1000 for a young woman book collector."
We met at her office early one crisp October morning to talk about all of the above, plus Gertrude Stein, Henry James, completionists, bona fide collectors, publishers' bindings and women reading, the need for unusual distinctive inventory, the way core texts reach wider audiences, apprenticing, James Jaffe, and the valuable contribution collectors make to society.
THE BIBLIO FILE is one of the world's leading podcasts about "the book," and an inquiry into the wider world of book culture. Hosted by Nigel Beale it features wide ranging, long-form conversations with authors, poets, book publishers, booksellers, book editors, book collectors, book makers, book scholars, book critics, book designers, book publicists, literary agents and many others inside the book trade and out - from writer to reader.