BIBLIOGRAPHY WEEK happens each year in New York City at the end of January when the principal national organizations devoted to book history have their annual meetings. Other groups plan interesting events, too, since so many bibliophiles are in town. Some events (not noted here) are open to members only, but mostly you are encouraged to show up everywhere: get a sense of what is going on in the book world, hear some interesting papers, schmooze over cocktails ...
“Palpable history”, says Sir David Attenborough. We are at the annual Antiquarian Booksellers Association Rare Books Fair, and he is describing the pleasure of holding an incunable – a book printed in the fifteenth century, in the first few decades after the printing press was invented.
UCLA's William Andrews Clarke Memorial Library, renowned for its collection of rare books and manuscripts from England’s Tudor period through the 18th century, including the world’s largest repository of materials related to Oscar Wilde, has just reopened after extensive renovations. Participants of the upcoming ILAB congress, will visit the library as part of the extensive congress programme.
Every once in a while we encounter events that we know will be benchmarks in our careers as antiquarian book dealers. The first shop, with its smell of fresh cut pine shelving, the first big buy, the first book fair, the biggest book fair, the biggest buy, the luckiest find, the first whale (dealer slang for a big buyer) … all these things will be chapter titles in the book of our days in the trade, written out as memoirs, or only recollected as memories. To their number must be added appraisals (for those of us who engage in such shenanigans) – the first one, the biggest one, the one that was challenged by heirs or IRS. The best one. I spent last week on a new chapter in my book of memories. It will filed in my memory bank as "Appraisals, Best."
It is a very special week for antiquarian booksellers. From 12th to 17th July young and more experienced colleagues will meet at Colorado College for the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar (CABS). More than 2000 students have already graduated from this seminar since its inception, many of whom have gone on to become prominent members of the bookselling community. Under the guidance of the faculty members Lorne Bair, Terry Belanger, Sally Burdon, Brian Cassidy, Dan de Simone, Kathy Lindeman, Nina Musinsky, Robert Rulon-Miller Jr and Steven Escar Smith the seminar provides an opportunity for leading specialists to share their expertise with booksellers, librarians, and collectors in a comprehensive survey of the rare book market, both antiquarian and modern. "A week at the Colorado Rare Book Seminar is a week like no other I know.", Sally Burdon wrote in 2014. "It is a highly practical week, it is an inspiring week and it is one of those weeks when, at least metaphorically, you feel you can see for miles." Eight years ago Kenny Parolini was among the Colorado students. He shares with us his memories and says: sooner or later every antiquarian bookseller should go to Colorado, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience one should not miss. Read his (slightly shortened) report:
Avere l'ambizione di presentare Umberto Eco, che ha inaugurato la Fiera del Libro di Torino con la conversazione Non sperate di liberarvi dei libri, può sembrare pretenzioso: ma non intendo qui parlare del professore di semiotica, dello scrittore italiano vivente più conosciuto nel mondo, bensì di Umberto Eco bibliofilo, raccontando quelle che sono le relazioni pericolose tra il collezionista ed il proprio pusher di libri antichi: un'esperienza unica, che consente al libraio di entrare nello spirito, ancor prima che nel portafoglio, del cliente.