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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Collecting

David A. Williamson II

Published on 26 May 2018
Part two of our interview with David A. Williamson, one of the largest Stephen King collectors in the world. In 2009, he bought Betts Books and one of his greatest joys is helping other King collectors find that “special” collectible for their own collections. He lives in Fairfield, CT, is married and has three children.
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Collecting

David A. Williamson

David A. Williamson began collecting Stephen King novels and memorabilia in the 1980s and has amassed a collection that ranks as one of the largest in the world. In 2009, he bought Betts Books and one of his greatest joys is helping other King collectors find that “special” collectible for their own collections. He lives in Fairfield, CT, is married and has three children. He has generously shared his collecting experience and expertise with Books Tell You Why in the following interview.
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Sheila Markham's Conversations

Born (Again) in the USA

"The challenge for the book trade is to introduce young people to rare books and foster an appreciation of the importance of books as cultural artefacts. We can show them what a difference they can make to the world by what they choose to collect and treasure, to write about and share with friends. Chris and I are thinking of publishing our next ventures as apps for the iPad. If we continue to embrace technology, the future for the rare book trade is unlimited. Terry Belanger once pointed out that the less utilitarian horses became, the more highly they were valued and treasured. I'm betting the same is true of books and I hope to be selling them for many years to come." Sheila Markham in conversation with John Windle
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Sheila Markham's Conversations

John Windle

The idea that I wanted to surround myself with books seemed ridiculous to my adopted parents. They wanted me, an unwanted war baby with an unknown American father, to go into the Army, be a good soldier, kill some people and make a man of myself.
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Sheila Markham's Conversations

Speculating on the Book Trade - Rare Books as Investments?

The stock market appeals to the gambler in me. The first thing I do in the morning is switch on my computer and check stock prices. Unlike the price of rare books, they change every day. My earnings as a book dealer have always been either supplemented, or often superseded by, my earnings from the stock market. I can see a time when the book trade will be reduced to a handful of big businesses in London. There are not enough books to go round, and the present hierarchy of dealers operating at different levels will ultimately disappear. The internet has made the business a level playing field.
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Sheila Markham's Conversations

Between a Rock Cake and a Stone Wall – Rare Books and Manuscripts in Devon

After I had been in Cornwall for about a year, I rang a colleague who said that he thought I was dead. Obviously I would have to improve my visibility; and so, in addition to exhibiting at book fairs, I make a point of coming to London regularly. Liskeard has a railway station, and it takes three and a half hours to Paddington. I receive about a dozen visitors a year, who come down because my books are not on the internet and you never know what you might find. I am like a magpie in my buying instincts. I like my books to have something unique about them. Although they are probably not talking about it, many dealers are taking this approach.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Red Jack

'Until the 1950's, Jack London was by far the most popular American author in Soviet Russia. Over thirteen million copies of his works have been printed since the Revolution. Even today [i.e. 1962] he continues as a popular classic, and it is probable that over the Soviet period as a whole he has been read more widely than any other non-Russian author.
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Booksellers

Dr. Lotte Roth-Wölfle 1912 – 2011

It is with great sadness that the German Antiquarian Booksellers' Association reports the death of its long-deserved member and Member of Honour Dr. Lotte Roth-Wölfle. She died on April 29, 2011, shortly before her 100th birthday, and only one day after the re-opening of her beautiful antiquarian bookshop which has been situated in Munich since 1945. Dr. Lotte Roth-Woelfle was a remarkable woman, probably the oldest rare book dealer in Germany and in Europe. From time to time she still visited her shop in Munich's Amalienstraße which has been a famous address for rare and fine books for more than 60 years. The shop is now run by Franziska Bierl, while Lotte Roth-Wölfle's daughter Dr. Christine Grahamer continues the tradition of the family company Robert Wölfle KG in the third generation, also still in the same premises.
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Article

Collecting Literature on Socialism - The Libraries of Anton Menger, Theodor Mauthner, Wilhelm Pappenheim und Bruno Schönfeld

In the early years of the 20th century scholars and collectors like Anton Menger, Theodor Mauthner, Wilhelm Pappenheim und Bruno Schönfeld established huge collections of books, manuscripts and pamphlets on the history of socialism. Their famous libraries comprised thousands of books, and they were all situated in Vienna. Within the following decades all these libraries were destroyed or brought out of the country under different circumstances. Gerhard Oberkofler's profound study tracks the history of these famous libraries.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - New York, New York!

Like the architect and sculptor Max Bill, Welti (1891–1934) belonged to the artistic new wave which characterised Zurich in the late 1920s, experimenting with abstract art and Dadaism. In 1932, it was Welti who was asked by Wilhelm Wartmann, director of the Zurich Kunsthaus, which was mounting a major Picasso retrospective, to look after the Spaniard during his visit. These early lithographs arose out of a visit Welti made to New York thanks to a 'Swiss Economic Study Tour to America', an initiative begun after the First World War.
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