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ILAB News 22

Published on 25 July 2012



Melbourne Rare Book Week and 39th ANZAAB Australian Antiquarian Book Fair

From July 19th to 29th Melbourne (Australia) will be the ultimate destination for rare book lovers. The Melbourne Rare Book Week with numerous lectures, exhibitions and other book-related events including a guided tour through Melbourne as a UNESCO Citiy of Literature will culminate in the 39th ANZAAB Australian Antiquarian Book Fair where the leading Australian dealers and their colleagues from England and the United States will offer rare and valuable books, manuscripts, autographs, maps, prints and photographies.

Check out the amazing program of the Melbourne Rare Book Week!

La storia di un burattino

Susan A. Burgess, writing in Children's Books and Their Creators, penned a rather harsh assessment of this celebrated story's author. He was, she suggested, a hack journalist, an undecorated soldier, and a low-level government official whose best-known work is full of inconsistencies and contradictions, evidence of careless writing. An assessment, incidentally, with which the author's admirers profoundly disagree.

Strictly recommended by L.D. Mitchell: The wonderful story of Pinocchio, in the original Italian version and any other language, as a first edition, a pop-up-book or a movie.

Buchgedanken - Thoughts on Books

There are many things that make a book an antiquarian book, not just the text. Some will point to typography, others will mention the binding, others again the former owner, if famous or important, or an interesting inscription. I am fond of these things as well. But I also like the imperfect, the slightly ramshackle, the signs of wear and tear - of life, in fact. In the many years that I've been dealing with antiquarian books, I must have seen every state of a book, from immaculate to conditions that could only be of interest to a necrophile.

Frank Werner: With each book I handle, I ask myself: Why? What is the story behind this stain, these scorch marks, this musty smell?

Found in a Garage - The Famous Codex Calixtinus Manuscript

A year ago the spectacular theft of the Codex Calixtinus was reported in the press. Almost 12 months later, this famous 12 century Codex, which is considered one of the most valuable books worldwide, has been found by the National Police in a garage in Santiago de Compostela.

Read the whole story and the articles in the press!

Amor librorum nos unit!




Women Who Read and Write Too Much

Dangerous creatures!

In 1844, French painter and caricaturist Honoré Daumier published Les Bas Bleus, a series of forty lithographs satirizing bluestockings, i.e. intellectual women. They turn traditional gender roles topsy-turvy and cramp a man's style.

Stephen J. Gertz: Instead of doing the laundry they hang men out to dry. Sacrebleu!

The Best Lack All Conviction

For some reason people are happy, ecstatic even to buy a car, or a watch, or a vase or a pair of shoes for enough money to feed me for six months ... but when they look at a book; they don't see it. It doesn't say "You want me. I'm your treasure." It doesn't make them not want to eat for six months so they can own it ... Apart from feeling like I'd failed slightly, as if I'd somehow let down my vocation by not being able to represent it properly (a recurring theme), it occurred to me that my world is an arrogant one in many respects.

Bibliodeviant: Rare book people can often be like teenagers in love, they'll burn the world down for the objects of their desire. Which made me ask; why? Why are we like this?

Six Days On The Road & I'm Gonna Make It Home Tonight

For a few years now, there's been a crisis* brewing in the rare book industry.** Small, regional book fairs all over the country are disappearing at a rate matched only by that of the (not coincidental) disappearance of brick-and-mortar used bookshops. Why or whether we should be concerned about either phenomenon is a matter of open debate among antiquarian booksellers. 

Are bookshops, and book fairs, silent victims of the Internet terror? There are many articles on this subject, this article by Lorne Bair is excellent.

These Days of Hatlessness - Emily Post's Etiquette

Should I cover my tattoos and piercings before a job interview? Should I throw a divorce party? These questions are considered in the 18th edition of Emily Post's famous book on "Etiquette", revised and updated by the author's great-granddaughter.

If you want to learn how to have a love affair or a cup of tea in high society during the 1920s, read the original edition, or Jack Lynch's collecting tip.

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