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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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1 - 8 / 12

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Highlights of the ANZAAB Sydney Rare Book Fair, 8-10 November 2013

The ANZAAB Sydney Rare Book Fair will be held at The University of New South Wales in The Roundhouse. There will be a total of 23 exhibitors attending. Some of the highlights are:
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Article

The Romance of Spain - Roses, Catalogues and Empty Bookcase Posters!

Barcelona, Bilbao and Madrid Celebrate World Book and Copyright Day, 23 April 2015! Bilbao: At Astarloa Bookshop, one of the nicest bookshops in Spain, April 23 will be a literacy charity day. Even though as these words are written, World Book and Copyright Day has not yet begun, Astarloa have begun fundraising for UNESCO's literacy work in South Sudan! The Empty Bookcase posters are up and the "symbolic spines" are available for purchase - Empty Bookcase Posters are filling in Bilbao. On April 23 as the bookshop promotes literacy in South Sudan Javier Madariaga of Astarloa will also demonstrate that the value of literacy is timeless by presenting his most recent catalogue of old and rare books.
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Article

Books about Books: A History of Oak Knoll Press, Part 8: New Partnerships Emerge

The American Antiquarian Society elected us their distributor in August 1995, the Bibliographical Society of America in May 1996, the John Carter Brown Library also in May 1996, the Library of Congress (selected titles) in June 1998, and the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia in January 1999. Since then we have signed up the Manuscript Society, the Typophiles, Catalpa Press, the Bibliographical Society (selected titles), and many other organizations. These distribution deals have increased our publishing list to over 1000 titles of which only about 300 are Oak Knoll Press publications. Booksellers and distributors love this arrangement, as they can deal with one business instead of fifty when fulfilling orders for customers.
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Article

The London Book Fair Week 2014

Who invented the antiquarian book fair? In 1958 the first book fair worldwide offering rare and beautiful books, prints and manuscripts was held in London at the National Book League in Albemarle Street from 6th to 21st June, organized by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (ABA). Now in its 57th year, the London International Antiquarian Book Fair is not only the oldest, but one of the biggest and most important events of the rare book trade. With over 180 leading antiquarian book dealers from across the globe exhibiting rare treasures from the early days of printing up to highly collectible modern first editions, children's and illustrated books, precious bindings, autograph letters, prints, photographs, manuscripts, ephemera and original art works spanning the centuries, with prices ranging from the accessible £10 to half a million – it is the place to be for book collectors. Whatever you collect, whatever your subject, curiosity or indulgence, you will find something to capture your imagination and interest at the International Antiquarian Book Fair at National Hall, Olympia - and not only there. A series of book fairs will be held in London at the end of May. This is a short summary of all the fairs, with links to the official websites.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Isaac Asimov, Legendary Author of Science Fiction

Isaac Asimov, legendary author of science fiction, celebrated his birthday on January 2. Born Isaak Yudovich Osimov in Petrovichi, Russia around January 2, 1920, Asimov immigrated to Brooklyn, New York with his family. Asimov would always retain a strong New York accent, a feature just as distinctive as his legendary mutton chops. The author is less well known for his flying phobia and using the nom de plume Paul French.
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