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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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Book Fairs

My New Business Plan

Published on 17 Nov. 2015
In days of old, it is said, herds of buffalo stretched twenty-five miles across the great plains of America; flocks of carrier pigeons darkened the sky for hours as they flew past. That's the way it was, more or less, last Friday at the opening of the 39th Annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair. The enormous opening-night line stretched all the way up the spacious Hynes lobby and into the rotunda adjacent to the Prudential shopping mall.
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Book Fairs

Books – Gone With the Wind

Published on 13 Nov. 2015
Always in these days when the antiquarian book fairs in Boston, Chelsea, Sydney, Toronto or in California, New York, Paris, Milan and London open their doors to visitors I remember the day when I lost my books. Have you ever made this experience? Have you ever attended an antiquarian book fair without your books? Empty shelves for sale? I'm a retired antiquarian bookseller of over 40 years standing. I think I have seen most of what this curious profession has to offer: the interesting and the boring, the delightful and the dreadful, the amusing and the saddening. Most of all, I have seen a lot of strange and curious events, and I am about to relate one of the most curious here.
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Book Fairs

The 39th Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair Returns to the Hynes Convention Center, November 13-15, 2015

Published on 10 Nov. 2015
The annual fall gathering for booklovers, the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair, will return to the Hynes Convention Center in Boston's beautiful Back Bay, November 13- 15, 2015. More than 120 dealers from the United States, Australia, England, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Russia, and The Netherlands will exhibit and sell a vast selection of rare, collectible and antiquarian books, illuminated manuscripts, autographs, maps, atlases, modern first editions, photographs, and fine and decorative prints. Special events at this year's Fair include the Boston debut of the Typewriter Rodeo, a group of poets who create custom poems on vintage typewriters; a talk by Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster, about the 19th century dictionary wars; a behind-the-scenes talk with Marsha Bemko, executive producer of Antiques Roadshow; as well as The Annual Ticknor Society Roundtable, a panel discussion of collectors talking about their collections.
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Book Fairs

Sydney Rare Book Fair, 5-7 November 2015. Officially opened by ILAB/ANZAAB Patron of Honour David Malouf

Published on 04 Nov. 2015
Lovers of rare and collectable books in Sydney are in for a treat this year. The heritage Customs House at Circular Quay, only five minutes from the Sydney Opera House, will host the Sydney Rare Book Fair from Thursday November 5th to Saturday November 7th. Books, manuscripts, maps, prints, photographs and ephemera will be offered for sale by leading dealers from all over Australia.
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Book Fairs

Friendly, stylish, hip - Chelsea Antiquarian Book Fair, November 6-7, 2015

Published on 02 Nov. 2015
Warmer than Boston, more intimate and less formal than most other antiquarian book fairs - over its life, the Chelsea Antiquarian Book Fair has become a fixture in the November calendar for book collectors which leads book-people from Sydney in Australia to Chelsea in the UK to Toronto in Canada and Boston in the United States. 'See you at Chelsea' has become a phrase familiar to everyone who is fond of books, not only in the British rare book trade.
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Book Fairs

Buch Wien – Book Festival and International Book Fair in Vienna, November 2015

Published on 09 Oct. 2015
From 9th to 15th November 2015 the Austrian capital Vienna will be the final destination for book lovers. With over 450 lectures, discussions, performances – and an International Book Fair – "Buch Wien" will be the greatest Austrian book festival and one of the most important bookish events in Europe. For the first time in 2015, the antiquarian booksellers will be a prominent part of it.
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Book Fairs

Under the Auspices of ILAB – International Antiquarian Book Fairs Across the World

Published on 17 Sept. 2015
Whether you already have your own personal library or would like to dive into the world of collecting, this is your opportunity to explore the world of books with the leading experts in their fields. Whether you are an experienced or novice book collector, a librarian or an archivist, a scholar or an academic, or are simply interested in books and the book arts in general, this is your chance to find something to your taste. And be sure: If you have once experienced the fascinating feeling of finding a book, you have never thought you were looking for, you will never be able to stop again. Save the dates in your calendar!
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Book Fairs

Salon du Livre ancien et de la Bibliophilie de Lourmarin, 21 to 23 August, 2015

Published on 21 Aug. 2015
This Fair has become one of the most important bibliophilic events in France. From incunabula to modern first editions, thousands of books will be there waiting to be discovered, and with the new August dates, a numerous and informed public is expected.The beauty of the venue, the celebrated provençal gastronomy, the warmth of the sun as summer draws to a close. This and much more should seduce all connoisseurs of fine books and the pleasures of life.
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Book Fairs

FOR THE LOVE OF BOOKS! - Melbourne Rare Book Week, July 16 to 26, 2015

Published on 26 June 2015
Once again, Melburnians, Victorians and interstate visitors will be drawn to Melbourne for a week full of interesting, amazing and outstanding events dedicated exclusively to the wonderful world of rare books and book collecting. Melbourne Rare Book Week commenced in 2012 as a partnership between the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (ANZAAB), the University of Melbourne and eight other literary institutions. In 2014, over 40 free events were held at libraries, literary and historical societies and bookshops throughout Melbourne, attracting local, national and international visitors. Now in its fourth year, Melbourne Rare Book Week is well established in the City of Melbourne's event calendar. It is a major attraction for book collectors, librarians and all who have a love of words, print on paper and literary heritage.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

The American Gift Book

In France the first gift book may have been ALMANACH DES MUSES, first published in 1765. This format was copied in Germany in 1770 with the publication of MUSEN-ALMANACH. In the 1790s some anthologies appeared in England that were clearly intended to be given as gifts, like ANGELICA'S LADIES LIBRARY, OR PARENTS AND GUARDIANS PRESENT (1794), which was followed by THE ANNUAL ANTHOLOGY (1799, 1800), edited by Robert Southey, and including twenty-seven poems and epigrams by Coleridge, plus contributions by Charles Lamb and Southey himself. A third volume was planned, but never appeared. These proto-gift books did not start a trend, and I know of no similar anthologies published in England during the next two decades. In the early years of the nineteenth century in Germany, some gift books (taschenbuch) were being issued in glazed paper boards, and in 1822 Rudolph Ackerman used those as his model when he published the first English gift book, the FORGET ME NOT, which he would publish without interruption for the next twenty-five years. Gift books like Ackerman's, which were issued year after year, became known as gift annuals, literary annuals, or simply "annuals." Since not all "annuals" were exclusively literary in their content, I will use the term "gift annual" to describe them as a subset of the broader family of gift books.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Rousseau and Women

Today is the 300th birthday of the great philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, so I thought I'd post this book from 1792, 'On Rousseau's connections with women', by Carl Gotthold Lenz (1763–1809), described by one bibliography as 'a rarity of the very first order' (which it is).
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Article

John Henry: The Ballad and the Legend

What's an article on John Henry doing in AB Bookman's Weekly? Are we going to collect both books about him?' Ha, Ha! You may think that such a joke hits the spike on the head, but in fact the material on John Henry is plentiful, and not a few pieces pose a serious challenge to the collector. Indeed, I can personally testify to the difficulty of some of the items in the canon.
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Article

MOST ELEGANT! - The Paris International Antiquarian Book Fair at the Grand Palais from 25th to 28th April 2013

From New York to Paris - two major events of the antiquarian book trade within two weeks: After the New York Antiquarian Book Fair closed it doors antiquarian booksellers and collectors head for Paris to visit the most elegant book fair of the bibliophile year. At the magnificent Grand Palais the Paris International Antiquarian Book Fair assembles dealers and curators, who present a wealth of rare and original books, manuscripts, spectacular bindings, and incunabula, in short: the best that science, literature and the arts have to offer.
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Article

Undercover Books

The Books You Never Knew You Wanted - Simon Beattie has revived his blog which talks about some of the more curious and interesting books he came across. The latest post is about a French saboteur's manual, disguised as a dictionary. It's a French camouflaged-book, a "Tarnschrift".
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