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Kevin Johnson

Published on 07 June 2012

Part 2

“You know that guy is very collectible. You should get a first edition.” - “What is a first edition?” 

The reply was made by an ABAA member while browsing the shelves of an antiquarian bookshop some day in the 1990s. Today he is one of the top modern first dealers: Kevin Johnson. “24 hours later the virus had completely been released”, he remembers. He quit his job as a government civil servant, established Royal Books in 1997 and specialized in  modern literature, crime fiction, science fiction, film, photography, art and music. 

Four years later Royal Books - named after Kevin Johnson’s middle name and his mother’s maiden name - moved to midtown Baltimore. There, the open bookshop has been located since 2001. The website “is our window to the world”, while the catalogues are “the engines of commerce”, Kevin Johnson says in his interview with Michael Ginsberg. Royal Books exhibits at all major ABAA fairs and at the International Antiquarian Book Fair in London. 

In 2007 “The Dark Page. Books That  Inspired American Film Noir  (1950-1965)”  was published. A second volume followed in 2009. “The Dark Page” is Kevin Johnson’s first book: a comprehensive full-color guide to the first edition sources for American film noir. 

Kevin Johnson has been a member of the ABAA since 2002 and he is a faculty member of the the Colorado Book Seminar

>>> Royal Books

(For technical reasons the video has been split into two parts.)

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