Nigel Beale, journalist and bibliophile, regularly interviews accomplished authors, publishers, and "sundry biblio folk". In June 2018, he met with NY bookseller Glenn Horowitz. Listen to this fascinating podcast here.
Booksellers and collectors from across the globe mourn the loss of William Reese, antiquarian bookseller of New Haven, CT, and owner of the William Reese Company. A titan of the rare book trade who will be deeply missed.
Meet Elisabeth (left) and Sally Burdon. A pair of sisters involved in the antiquarian bookselling community and yet operating businesses thousands of miles apart. Elisabeth runs Old Imprints in Portland, Oregon, and is one of the most interesting sellers of ephemera that we know. Sally runs Asia Bookroom in Canberra, Australia, a business that specializes in Asian books, art, and ephemera. Both sell on AbeBooks and we’re thrilled that they partner with us. Sally is also President of ILAB (International League of Antiquarian Booksellers), so these are two booksellers with much to talk about. They were kind enough to answer our questions about their family, bookselling and much more.
It does not happen all that often that an old antiquarian bookseller sees a catalogue and thinks, a little enviously: "I wish that was one of mine." Paul Kainbacher's latest catalogue "Im Herzen Afrikas" is one of those. The presentation is generous, in a large quarto format. Nearly every item is illustrated in colour. The numbering, which often makes a catalogue lifeless, has been omitted. The text is set in single or double columns, which does not make reading hectic, rather it adds a component of surprise and dynamics. Well, these are externals, it is the content that counts. But still, a mood is set, the reader is curious and elated ...
We are rare book dealers and from the items we bought and sold over these decades, we had the opportunity to learn something about history, literature, art, life and the world (past and present). We realised that editing a text in English which should be read almost as an "historical tale" is a very hard job, something totally different from the usual bibliographic descriptions with our familiar technical terms. In any case, this pamphlet will be a much more comfortable way for you to share our history with us: let's say that this text was guided by the same "Italian passion" that we have been putting in our works for a century...
Vividly I do remember the origin of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, in 1947, although certain details become somewhat vague. From 1939-1945 war reigned in Europe. Five long years had put up extra barriers between several nations. There was no communication. This fact enforced extra chauvinism and worse, hatred. Was there a possibility to do something about interhuman relationship, to bring nations more together? This was my dream; but how could this be realised. Only on common ground, on mutual interests, and therefore, for an antiquarian bookseller, by his love, the Book.
David Mason discovered his love of literature in a bathtub at age eleven, at fifteen he was expelled from school. For the next decade and a half, he worked odd jobs, bought books more often than food, and floated around Europe. He helped gild a volume in white morocco for Pope John XXIII. And then, at the age of 30, after returning home to Canada and apprenticing with Joseph Patrick Books, he found his calling. A few weeks ago Canadian author and rare book dealer David Mason published his memoirs The Pope's Bookbinder. In his brilliant book he tells the most exciting stories of his legendary international career. An interview with David Mason about his career and the art of collecting.
Ashley Wildes is one of the young talents of the trade. For seven months she has been working at Between the Covers. Now she has attended the Colorado Book Seminar for the first time: "So, what did I, a currently-blonde-but-soon to be purple haired young woman, take away from my experience? ... What I really took away from this was that rare bookselling is more than just selling crazy priced books to the bourgeoisie; that people who really make it in this line of work absolutely love what they're doing. It is at once a business and a preservation of our dwindling culture. Most of all, if you do it right, you can find yourself doing business with people who are happy to see you succeed, and willing to do what they can to help that success along."
"One of the joys of being a bookseller is the chance to take occasional trips overseas as part of my business. My latest adventure was a two week, three country trip by plane, train, car, and boat to England, the Netherlands, and Hungary (with an airport layover in Poland). I saw lots of old friends and made some new ones, bought books, finalized a publishing deal, and ate many great meals. The main purpose of the trip was to participate in the International League of Antiquarian Bookseller's (ILAB) Committee meeting in Budapest." Part 1 of Bob Fleck's adventures in Europe.