Anyone who reads much so-called academic fiction may be forgiven for thinking that some of the folks teaching our sons and daughters are, for the most part, a bunch of narcissistic, neurotic misfits (Malcom Bradbury: The History Man; Elain Showalter: Faculty Towers). Although the rise of this fictional genre began in earnest in the mid 1950s, its roots can be traced as far back as Anthony Trollope's 1857 novel of provincial Anglican preferment, Barchester Towers, and - more to the point - George Eliot's Middlemarch (1872).
One harsh reality for booksellers in Japan is that the total sales of books is declining every year. The decline itself would not be of much concern if we were seeing an increase in the sales of eBooks. But unfortunately this is not the case. If we define books as a means by which one acquires information, Google already has the upper hand over all of us. Would "real" printed books survive this rapid development of information technologies? If so, what would the eBooks-to-printed books ratio look like in the future?
The Syndicat de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne (SLAM) was founded in 1914. Its long history shows that the field of bookselling was quick to adopt a collective vision of its role in transmitting written heritage. Promoting and even defending antiquarian books and the reading thereof requires the combined efforts of the numerous players in the field of bookselling, each specializing in a given field but all contributing to achieving the same objective.
We participated in an interesting project on Wednesday – the live broadcast of a conversation between book dealers in different parts of Florida on a new program called Rare Book Cafe. Although we had a formidable task before us – packing for the Brooklyn Books Art Photos and Design Expo – this little interlude on Wednesday afternoon was kind of fun, and a welcome respite. The project is sponsored by the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair, and is intended to serve as an online meeting place for people in the rare book trade and people who can't get enough of antiquarian books, who thrive on absorbing as much information as possible about them. You know who you are.
"Giacomo Girolamo Casanova was a gambler, swindler, diplomat, lawyer, soldier, alchemist, violinist, traveler, pleasure seeker and serial seducer. He was also a prolific writer who documented his adventures and love affairs in a steamy memoir that is one of the literary treasures of the 18th century. Born in Venice, he considered France his adopted country but was forced to flee Paris in 1760 after seducing the wives and daughters of important subjects of King Louis XV and cheating them out of their money."
Don Etherington's autobiography takes the reader through his lifelong journey of bookbinding and conservation. He began bookbinding at the age of thirteen as a student at the Central School of Arts and Crafts and later went on to study bookbinding and design at the London School of Printing. Since then, he has held positions at the Biblioteca Nazionale in Florence, The Library of Congress, the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin, and Information Conservation, Inc. In 1982, he co-authored with Matt Roberts Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, the first comprehensive attempt to compile terminology from all the bookmaking and conservation fields. His works can be found in collections worldwide. Read how Don Etherington first developed his skills, and how he was instructed by George Frewin, who had worked for Sangorski & Sutcliffe.