The rare book trade lost one of its most active members earlier this year. Besides his achievements as a remarkable bookseller of Americana material and the respect he gained in the bookselling community, William Reese is also remembered for his series of essays on the rare book market and Americana which were published in 2018. In a tribute to Mr Reese, ILAB will publish two chapters of his book over the next few weeks on this website with the permission of William Reese & Co.
The opportunity to travel to distant lands opens up new worlds for anyone. I am no exception. This particular adventure to attend the International League of Antiquarian Bookseller's Congress in Budapest was so much more meaningful to me on a larger scale.
The differences between paper and digital catalogs are obvious, but some of the results of those differences continue to surprise me. For example, in the old days orders from my paper catalogs would dribble in over a period of weeks. I used to mail them all first class, in three staggered mailings, hoping to achieve some kind of evenness in delivery, but customers were always complaining that their catalogs arrived late, and demanding exclusive previews. Others, more laid back, would wait for moments of leisure to read their catalogs, and some overworked acquisitions librarians required days or weeks to claw through the pile of incoming mail to discover where my list of treasures was buried. Digital catalogs, on the other hand, play out in an eyeblink. Everyone gets their catalog announcement via a Mail Chimp email blast within the same hour or so. Those who are highly motivated know that they must read it and respond immediately. Consequently, most of the orders arrive by email within the first few hours of the catalog's life. Maritime List 238 was posted Sunday night. By Wednesday even the laid back orders had arrived.
Hard to believe, for me anyway, but we've just shot past the sixth anniversary of Bookman's Log. Yes, I should have written this entry after the fifth anniversary, and I don't know why I didn't. The post dated June 8, 2015 is about my dimwitted attempt to sell rare maritime books through an eBay store. (Results for the 6 months I tried it were one sale and two offers, both for less that 50% of what I had listed the book for.)
Moved by this conference in Lucca, I had the chance of dealing with some incunabula belonging to Martini, whose library is considered one of the richest private collections of Italian literature in the world. Reconsidering them one year after Norbert's presentation at Lucca, invites me to consider how our profession has been changing. As there has been enough talking of stolen books, forgeries, laws and export licenses, I would like to reflect on the evolution of the booksellers' job along the 20th century.
A "Fair-Less" Year: For the last ten years, this catalogue was issued on the occasion of the Antiquarian Book Fair at the Passenger Terminal in Amsterdam. Members of the Dutch Antiquarian Booksellers Association presented their treasures through the catalogue but also referred to the Fair, where one could view and touch books and prints in tangible form.
Imagine - you live in an area where no flooding has taken place for 38 years and your stock is held in a professional storage area surrounded by some 200 other units. Sounds a good bet? . . . Read on. Here is one dealer's first-hand experience. Bon Summers was hit by a flash flood and it took her 20 day's solid hard work in temperatures exceeding 90°F with high humidity to recover the remaining stock. This is her account.
The book arts and the history of printing, publishing and bookselling fall within this genre, as do books that recount the trials, tribulations and triumphs of individual book collectors. Indeed, some book lovers only collect books about book collecting. Books which systematically record the physical and textual components of other books according to a set criterion are known as 'bibliographies'.
The Telegraph: "Collectors' demand for rare, first-edition Ian Fleming books has spiked in recent weeks ahead of the release of the 24th James Bond film, Spectre. New Bond films never fail to spark fresh interest in Fleming's books and James Bond memorabilia. And the value of some of the most sought-after pieces has risen steadily. Rare-book seller Peter Harrington said Ian Fleming's books had been consistently strong sellers over the past 50 years, but became even more sought-after when new films were released."
Folks who do not collect a particular author in depth often are less tolerant of short stories that are not among an author's best work. Accordingly, instead of buying a book of short stories that are all by a single author (such as Irving), they may buy instead anthologies that reflect the "best" work done in this form in a particular genre ...
Is there a place in the world where booklovers find rare and beautiful books, manuscripts, autographs, atlases and prints from all parts of the world and offered by some of the world's best booksellers? Is there an antiquarian bookshop somewhere in the world where you can browse the shelves filled with modern firsts from the United States, incunabula from Europe, woodcut books from Asia, and children's books, first editions, illustrated books, precious bindings or rare travel accounts from Australia, the United Kingdom, the Americas, Germany, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, Austria and the Netherlands? Yes, there is such a place - in Tokyo.
One of the most unusual types of book decoration is fore-edge paintings. These are books which have one or more of the top, fore or bottom edge painted – usually with watercolors. The typical form is a book with a single fanned fore-edge painting. In the twentieth century other forms have developed, including the double fore-edge or even the remarkable six-way painting where all three sides of the book have a double.