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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Collecting

David A. Williamson II

Published on 10 Sept. 2014
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

Published on 10 Sept. 2014
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

Published on 13 Jan. 2011
"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

Published on 13 Jan. 2011
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?

Published on 02 Aug. 2010
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

Published on 28 July 2010
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 - Bookbindings

`Bibliopegy' is the art of binding books, and the collector, lover or scholar of bindings is a `bibliopegist'. Bookbinding dates from the ancient world Indian, Persian, Coptic, Chinese, Greek & Roman examples are known to exist, even if only in fragments. The rise of the universities, the increase of literacy outside the monasteries, and the invention of moveable type in Germany in the 1450s, all contributed to the demand for books. With this came the demand for decorative bookbindings in leather and metal, and the introduction of goldtooling (impressions in the leather) by Islamic craftsmen who settled in Venice in the 15th century.
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Article

Richard Francis Burton - English Explorer, Scholar, Soldier and Diplomat (1821-1890)

"Quite unsuited and ill-prepared for life at Oxford, but enjoying its social life, he was in 1842 rusticated from the college for attending a horse race. Shortly after returning to an aunt's house in Hampstead, London, he bribed himself into the army of the East India Company as a second lieutenant in the 18th Regiment of the Bombay Native Infantry. After a crash course in Hindustani, and having taught himself a little Arabic, he sailed from Gravesend on 18.6.42 in the barque "John Knox", bound for India via the Cape of Good Hope ..." The life, deeds and works of the British explorer, translator, writer, soldier, orientalist, ethnologist, spy, linguist, poet, fencer and diplomat Richard Francis Burton, by Raymond Howgego.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Famous Literary Hoaxes (Part One)

Literary critics frequently argue that literature is full of frauds; there are plenty of authors, after all, whose work offers little substance or artistry. But the world of letters also has its share of true frauds: cheats, liars, and forgers. In some cases, these individuals were merely mischievous pranksters, but in others they hoped to profit from their malevolent handiwork. Here's a look at some of the biggest literary hoaxes of all time.
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Article

„The Heart of Africa“ - Early Adventures and Expeditions. Second "Bibliophile Evening" at Dr. Paul Kainbacher Rare Books

Baden (Vienna), 14th March, 2015 - a must for book collectors who are interested in rare and fine books on travel and expedition. Dr. Paul Kainbacher, Austrian bookseller and specialist on rare travel accounts, natural history and early photographies from exotic places, invites customers and colleague to a Bibliophile Evening dedicated to the history and exploration of the "heart of Africa".
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