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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Booksellers

110 Degrees of Archer City

Published on 03 Sept. 2012
As the roaming gangs of reporters, videographers, bloggers, and other media mavens have already made abundantly clear, Larry McMurtry held a two-day book auction – maybe more accurately, he held an event – in order to clear three of the four buildings in Archer City, Texas that he has packed full of the carefully selected better used and medium rare books that he has amassed in over a half century of bookscouting.
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Booksellers

The Best Lack All Conviction. Part 1

Published on 17 July 2012
For some reason (and this is what I'm thinking about, not how people don't understand me and I must run off and play some Smiths), people are happy, ecstatic even to buy a car, or a watch, or a vase or a pair of shoes for enough money to feed me for six months … but when they look at a book; they don't see it. It doesn't say "You want me. I'm your treasure." It doesn't make them not want to eat for six months so they can own it ... Apart from feeling like I'd failed slightly, as if I'd somehow let down my vocation by not being able to represent it properly (a recurring theme), it occurred to me that my world is an arrogant one in many respects. Rare book people can often be like teenagers in love, they'll burn the world down for the objects of their desire. Which made me ask; why? Why are we like this?
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Technology means “so many more bookselling opportunities” today says new ILAB president

Sally Burdon, new ILAB president was interviewed by the UK's Antiques Trade Gazette. Read the full article here.
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Article

A Personal Library

I do not think enough people have a personal library. A library with real wood shelves, not boxes under the bed and a library that has to be dusted (once in awhile). A library where all your treasures are placed... just the way you want them.
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Article

Getting Healthy on Summer Vacation

If you were a wealthy New Yorker in the Gilded Age, you spent the summer in the resorts of upstate New York to escape the stifling heat of the city. Upstate New York meant mountains, snow-fed streams, clean air, and luxury hotels. There developed a cadre of physicians and clergy who came to believe that those pristine regions were the perfect place for people suffering from diseases and chronic "delicacy of chest" ailments. Among them was Dr. Joseph W. Stickler, a physician and pathologist at Orange Memorial Hospital in New Jersey. Dr. Stickler was something of an authority on respiratory diseases and he wrote a book, The Adirondacks as a Health Resort, published in 1886. A copy of that book is in the collection of rare and unusual books at Lighthouse Books, ABAA.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Chapbooks: Short Books with Long History

Scholars debate over the etymology of the term "chapbook." Some argue that "chap" is derived from "cheap," surely an accurate description of chapbooks, since they were indeed cheap little publications. But the more widely accepted explanation is that "chap" comes from the Old English "céap," meaning "barter" or "deal." Peddlers came to be known as chaps, and they were the primary purveyors of chapbooks. Whatever the origin of their name, chapbooks became a vital tool for dissemination of information and promotion of literacy. As publishing and readers' tastes evolved, chapbooks also provided an ideal means of addressing an increased demand for children's literature.
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Article

The Girolamini Thefts in the Press: Tale of Big International Book Theft Gets a New Chapter

"Any American book collector who recently bought an Italian book from the 15th to the 17th centuries should take another look at the purchase. If it bears a red library stamp with a Madonna in the center, the collector may get a visit from U.S. Customs agents assigned to recover stolen artworks." The Washington Times summarizes the recent news concerning the thefts from the Girolamini Library in Naples, which the newspaper calls "the biggest book thefts in history".
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Article

42nd ILAB Congress and the 1st International Antiquarian Book Fair of Budapest

On behalf of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of Hungary, I am very happy to invite you to the 42nd ILAB Congress and the 1st International Antiquarian Book Fair of Budapest, which will take place between the 21 and 25 September 2016 in Budapest. It is a great pleasure and honour for me that Budapest will have the privilege to host this prestigious event, as we are proud to present the Hungarian capital to you as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with a rich and colourful cultural life and an immensely varied history...
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