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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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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

Oldest Library in Germany excavated

The Art Newspaper reports: "The foundations of a Roman building that is probably the oldest library in Germany have been uncovered in central Cologne in archaeological excavations..."
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Article

Books about Books: A History of Oak Knoll Press, Part 4: New Friends, a New House, and a New Employee

As is typical with all bookselling businesses, Oak Knoll kept running out of room. From our start in 1976 in the second floor bedroom of my Newark home, we had moved to the renovated two car garage and then to New Castle. The first floor of 414 Delaware Street in New Castle proved to be too small as well, so Millie and I moved our home and the business up the street to 212 Delaware Street in 1985.
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Article

Synopsis de l'exposition: "Maudits livres luthériens" : aux origines de la Réforme en France - Bibliothèque Mazarine, Paris

Un demi-siècle après l’invention de l’imprimerie, avant que la Renaissance ne laisse place aux Guerres de Religion, le livre est à la fois l’acteur principal et un témoin privilégié de ces bouleversements.
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Article

Rubens in Stuttgart

There are many books with a Rubens design. Even in books from the 19th century we find frontispieces copied from a Rubens design which was often simply reproduced and thus many editions were adorned with a Rubens.
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Article

Books about Books: A History of Oak Knoll Press, Part 16: Our Greek Friend, continued

Kostas was the perfect host and showed me the city as it was my first trip to Athens. I was invited to his home for dinner that night which again proved a bit strange as he lives right next to the President of the Greek Republic and soldiers were everywhere as I attempted to get there for the dinner date. After a number of checks I was pointed to the correct building where I was warmly welcomed by Kostas and his sister. I was shown parts of his personal collection of rare books which were soul-stirring to an antiquarian bookseller. When it was time for dinner, Kostas pointed me to a chair and commanded that I sit there. Not aware of the social etiquette of the Greek dining experience, I sat as instructed and had a glass of wine as booksellers are known to do. Kostas, with that impish smile I have grown to enjoy so much, then quickly opened the curtains in front of me and there, under floodlights, was the Acropolis. I was stunned with the magnificent view.
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