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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
William Reese: Collectors, Booksellers and Libraries
Rare Book Trade

Collectors, Booksellers and Libraries: Essays on Americanists and the Rare Book Market by the late William Reese

Published on 17 Sept. 2018
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.
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Rare Book Trade

The Art of Book Cataloguing - British Bottoms

Published on 05 Aug. 2016
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.
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Rare Book Trade

Blogging and the Trade - War and… Peace

Published on 29 June 2016
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.)
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Rare Book Trade

The times they are a-changin' in the rare book trade

Published on 21 Oct. 2015
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.
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Rare Book Trade

Joint Catalogue – 80th Anniversary of the Dutch Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (NVvA)

Published on 20 Oct. 2015
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.
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Rare Book Trade

Every Dealer’s Nightmare - A Flooded Bookstore

Published on 19 Oct. 2015
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.
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Rare Book Trade

Buying Antiquarian Books in Oslo, Norway

Published on 08 Oct. 2015
If you find yourself in Oslo and are thinking about looking for antiquarian books, we can point you in the right directions. Norway isn't home to the largest remaining selection of antiquarian bookstores in Scandinavia (shops in Denmark and Sweden seem to have fared better than others), but there are still quite a few in which visitors can spend many hours scanning shelves and boxes.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Robert Frost’s First Book

Robert Frost wasn't much of a farmer but he loved living on a farm. Though he was born in the city (San Francisco), some of his formative years were spent on his grandfather's farm in Massachusetts. Indeed, much of his poetry seems influenced by his rural life.
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Article

Book Sizes and Taking Advantage of Bald Men

Book Sizes, also known as a book's format, at first sight come across as a bit pointlessly arcane: Folio: Fo. or 2° (try and imagine the 2 as really big and the O as really small). Quarto: Qto. or 4to or even 4°. Octavo: Oct. or 8vo. Duodecimo: 12mo (usually spoken as twelvemo). Sextodecimo: 16mo (sixteenmo). Vicesimo-quarto: 24mo (twentyfourmo). Tricesimo-secundo: 32mo (thirtytwomo). They are the most commonly used. There are a myriad of variations within each theme "Crown Octavo", "Elephant Folio" , "Royal Quarto", "Small..", "Squat.." etc. These are usually tied to bibliographical descriptions from SOMEONE OLD AND DISTINGUISHED tm. who wrote about this book eighty years ago and whose word has been taken ever since.
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Article

The World is Looking at Russia - Speaking to Pavel Chepyzhov of Bookvica (RU)

Pavel Chepyzhov is the owner of a rare book business in Moscow and in Georgia's capital Tbilisi. He is also member of the ILAB Executive Committee and shares some information about his country and the book trade in Russia.
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Article

Edgar Franco, Dictionary of Terms

In English, French, German and Italian. "Contrary to common practice, this dictionary contains as few words as possible. I have limited the terms, to those used by antiquarian booksellers, which are not to be found in the usual bilingual, trilingual, or multilingual dictionaries. "
Edgar Franco, Dictionary of Terms and Expressions Commonly Used in the Antiquarian Book Trade
Edgar Franco's "Dictionary" was published by the ILAB in 1994. It is available as a pdf file, and as a print version.
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Article

For the Love of Books – Part 2 of 3

This August we are presenting a number of books that could be an ideal companion on vacation or simply for a mild summer night.
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Article

The Challenge of Collecting Steinbeck

The challenge for virtually all collectors of John Steinbeck, whether novice or grizzled veteran, is the same -- money! If you still need a pretty copy of Tortilla Flat, a first in jacket, can you spare that extra $10,000 it's going to take to acquire the book?
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