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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Booksellers

Rare Book Catalogues - To E or Not to E

Published on 17 July 2018
A few years ago, in the course of one of my hyper-dramatized but mostly benign financial panics, I decided to stop issuing printed catalogs. Though I loved, and was proud of, my catalogs, they cost nearly of $4 each, and seemed to serve primarily as a vehicles for frustrated customers to complain about my grossly unfair manner of distributing them, or excuses for non-ordering pedants to inform me of the many grammatical and spelling errors they contained. ... Read Greg Gibson's plea for the printed catalogue!
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Booksellers

Sheila Markham’s “Second Book of Booksellers” to be published on 1st May, 2014

Published on 17 July 2018
Good news for all book lovers: On 1st May, 2014, Sheila Markham's "Second Book of Booksellers" will be published. Sheila's "conversations with the antiquarian book trade" are legendary. Her interviews with the most influential figures of the antiquarian book business first appeared in the Bookdealer, and were then published in book-form as "A Book of Booksellers" in the year 2004. Ian Jackson called it "an essential archive of book trade history". Delightful, witty, and sophisticated: All who have already read Sheila Markham's "conversations" know that they are something special. Sheila's interviews give insight into the everyday life of an extraordinary profession that needs extensive knowledge and owes a strong sense of individualism and dedication to the real value of books (which is not, in any case, their price). They reveal the stories and characters that stand behind the showcases at antiquarian book fairs, the 1-Million-Dollar highlights of the auctions, the well-designed book catalogues and the many online databases with its legions of old books. In short: Sheila Markham's "Book of Booksellers" and its sequel reflect the very reasons why antiquarian bookselling is one of the most fascinating things to live for in the global book world. The "Second Book of Booksellers", which will be published in May 2014, includes 30 conversations with rare book dealers like Sabrina Izzard, John Windle, Sophie Schneideman, Pom Harrington, Paul Mills and Michael Graves-Johnston. Sheila Markham has given us permission to publish one of the most fascinating pieces in her new book as a preview.
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Booksellers

Adrian Harrington buys Hall's Bookshop in Chapel Place, Tunbridge Wells

Published on 17 July 2018
Adrian Harrington Ltd is very pleased to announce that the company has bought the premises and business of Hall's Bookshop in Chapel Place, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Sabrina Izzard is retiring and has said how happy she is that the business is continuing and will be good for another 100 years! Hall's Bookshop, founded in 1898, has a long and illustrious history and has, from its beginning been at the heart of the town. Its basement and the contents of the basement have been the subject of rumour for decades. Dealers were not allowed down there! The legendary Harry Pratley, who was at Hall's from 1919 to 1967, was president of the ABA from 1959 to 1960. It seems somehow appropriate for another past president to be taking over.
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Booksellers

Rare Book Dealers - Bank On It

Published on 17 July 2018
I taught at CABS (Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar) a few years ago, once as the featured specialist dealer, and once pinch hitting for Rob Rulon-Miller. I went there thinking it would be like a week in summer camp – book stories, hikes, and handicrafts. I came away deeply impressed with the level of commitment on the part of the faculty, the seriousness with which they took their roles as instructors, and the level of information, all of it useful, imparted during that intense week in Colorado Springs. We trained for books with the same intensity as the Olympic athletes who trained just down the street.
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Booksellers

Book Scouting in … Amsterdam: Holy Ground

Published on 17 July 2018
Ever been in Amsterdam? As in every European city there is much to see. Beautiful old buildings, the historic canals (Amsterdam is one of the cities called 'Venice of the North'!) lots of museums, history and art. For booklovers there are some great old book shops and flee-markets. People are friendly, and - guess what? - with few exceptions everybody speaks English too!
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Booksellers

Cataloguing Rare Books – Sh*t Explosion

Published on 17 July 2018
Still too gimpy to drive across the state, so I was skipping the Albany Book Fair that weekend. But Dan Gaeta, who was doing the show, called to tell me about an interesting item he'd found. It's nice to have friends! (Dan operates John Bale Book Co., a café and book shop in Waterbury, CT. Talk about a simple but effective website, check ou t John Bale Books) Anyway, since I've been home all week, grumpily compiling my next catalog, and since I don't have a book fair to report on, I thought I'd talk a little about my catalogs.
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Booksellers

Selling and Collecting Books – Nigel Beale in Conversation with Antiquarian Book Dealer William Reese

Published on 17 July 2018
"Perhaps America's most important booksellers. He won't say it, but I will", Michael Ginsberg says about William Reese. With a catalogued inventory of over 40.000 items, and a general inventory of over 65.000 William Reese Company is among the leading specialists in the fields of Americana and world travel, and maintains a large and eclectic inventory of literary first editions and antiquarian books of the 18th through 21st centuries. The firm was established in 1975 by William Reese who issues frequent catalogues in his fields of interest, publishes works related to Americana bibliography and is author of many articles on book collecting and the rare book trade. Moreover he has been active with the Yale University Library for many years, funding a number of fellowships in the Beinecke Library, and being a member of the committee to raise funds for the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library. William Reese gave Yale major collections of 20th century writers such as Robert Graves and Siegfried Sassoon. Listen to Nigel Beale's audio interview with William Reese about book selling, book collecting, and cutting old pies in new ways.
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Booksellers

The Rare Book Trade - Fresh Carpets

Published on 17 July 2018
Recently, on the Internet discussion lists of the two biggest bookselling trade groups - IOBA and ABAA - I've been reading disheartening reports. Sales are down. Postage is up. And the big listing sites like AMAZON, ABE and Alibris are raising fees, reducing service and enforcing increasingly byzantine procedures aimed at making it easier and more profitable for them rather than the book dealers who patronize them. Sounds like the way gun nuts talk about their Second Amendment rights. Python coils, and all that. Louis Collins, however, is doing just fine.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

A PhD on the history of ILAB! Congratulations to Alena Lavrenova!

Friday, 12th December 2014 was a great day for ILAB – and for Alena Lavrenova. On this day her thesis on the history of ILAB was publicly defended at Moscow State University of Printing Arts. The decision of the Council was positive and unanimous, it included a recommendation to further work in this field and to publish a monograph on the League's history in Russian and in English.
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Booksellers

"He knows rare books. He knows how to sell rare books" - A Wake For The Still Alive: Peter B. Howard, Part 5

It was 1967 and I was just three months an employee of Jake Zeitlin's "Big Red Barn" bookstore, Zeitlin and Ver Brugge, and knew nothing. I guess that we received a list or catalogue offering rare books for sale (computers and the internet hadn't been thought of, at least not in the book business) and I had ordered (for all of $40 if memory serves correctly) an Advance Proof Copy of Bertrand Russell's Satan in the Suburbs. I was just beginning to collect Russell and, of course, had no idea what an Advance Proof Copy of anything looked like! It turned out to be not unlike an ordinary small paperback, but it was an Advance Proof Copy, and it impressed me beyond measure!
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Article

Cocktails and Book Tales on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day, 23 April 2016

"Book Tales & Cocktails" was such a big success on 23 April 2015, that the Munich dealers and their customers immediately decided to celebrate UNESCO's World Book and Copyright Day there also in 2016. And so, the Kaufmanns Casino is once again exactly the right venue for the 11 Munich antiquarian booksellers to invite their customers on 23 April 2016 to a five o'clock tea (without tea) with books, drinks, music and fingerfood:
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Article

Bibliographies - Rare Medical Books and Manuscripts

Looking for a cure against the flu? Try bloodletting instead of antibiotics. These are some bibliographies and recommendations from ILAB dealers that might help. The Wellcome Collection is the specialist collection for the history of medicine. It covers books, manuscripts, archives, films and pictures from the earliest times to the present day. While medicine provides the unifying theme, hardly a subject relating to the history of European science is not represented: alchemy and chemistry, astrology and astronomy, physics, botany, zoology, cookery and pharmacy, exploration and travel, geography and geology, horology, mathematics, magic, mesmerism, phrenology, patent medicine, quackery, psychoanalysis, psychology and sexology ...
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Article

The First Folio Thief found dead in his cell

Raymond Scott was sentenced to eight years in prison, because he had stolen a first folio edition of William Shakespeare's works from Durham University in 1998. On Wednesday he was found dead in his cell in Northumberland prison.
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