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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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Rare Book Trade

Italian Borders Closing On Rare Books

Published on 07 Oct. 2015
News from Italy: With local authorities no longer in charge of heritage protection, it is now illegal to export from Italy any book printed before 1965. Until August 2015, under Italian law, anyone owning a book older than 50 years and wanting to export it from Italy, was required to apply for an export license to the competent regional authority. On August 6th, the Italian Parliament approved a law on the reorganization of local governmental departments. The law 125/2015 repeals the paragraph of the Italian Heritage Code granting Regions the authority to carry out heritage protection on books and manuscripts; and provides for such authority to be "subject to specific agreements with the State". Alas, no specific agreements have been made so far and nobody can tell when, where and how these agreements will be finalized.
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Rare Book Trade

Rare Book Cafe: A program for book lovers

Published on 21 Sept. 2015
We participated in an interesting project on Wednesday – the live broadcast of a conversation between book dealers in different parts of Florida on a new program called Rare Book Cafe. Although we had a formidable task before us – packing for the Brooklyn Books Art Photos and Design Expo – this little interlude on Wednesday afternoon was kind of fun, and a welcome respite. The project is sponsored by the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair, and is intended to serve as an online meeting place for people in the rare book trade and people who can't get enough of antiquarian books, who thrive on absorbing as much information as possible about them. You know who you are.
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Rare Book Trade

Thanks, Bruce McKinney!

Published on 21 Sept. 2015
Every once in a while we encounter events that we know will be benchmarks in our careers as antiquarian book dealers. The first shop, with its smell of fresh cut pine shelving, the first big buy, the first book fair, the biggest book fair, the biggest buy, the luckiest find, the first whale (dealer slang for a big buyer) … all these things will be chapter titles in the book of our days in the trade, written out as memoirs, or only recollected as memories. To their number must be added appraisals (for those of us who engage in such shenanigans) – the first one, the biggest one, the one that was challenged by heirs or IRS. The best one. I spent last week on a new chapter in my book of memories. It will filed in my memory bank as "Appraisals, Best."
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Rare Book Trade

The Rare Book Trade - Hit Me Again, Please

Published on 05 June 2015
Thus the inadequacies of the general used book store concept, circa 1980, led to the development of specialties at Ten Pound Island. Thus the failure of those specialties to meet the economic demands of an escalating real estate market drove Ten Pound Island out of the retail trade in 1993. Thus the computer and the fax machine put an end to TPI's flourishing postcard-driven nautical book search operation, which itself - owing to the need for a place to store the thousands of books accumulated in the course of this evolution – put TPI back in the retail business. Thus the rise of the Internet and the degradation in the value of low end maritime books, which had hitherto been Ten Pound Island's stock in trade, resulted in TPIs penultimate exit from the retail trade. Thus the paradoxical combination of rising cost and increased availability of rare books drove TPI into manuscripts, ephemera and documents. Thus the failure of provincial book fairs, which had hitherto been a major source of sales and stock, forced TPI into further dependence upon the Internet and the cultivation of institutional customers. Thus sales at TPI dwindled from thousands of mid range transactions to hundreds of larger ones. Thus the intervals between cash infusions increased. Thus the owner of TPI woke up one morning at 3 am with his hair on fire, recalling theorem #1 and thinking, "I've got to get more low end stuff out there on the market, to fill in the gaps between big hits.
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Rare Book Trade

Upgrade for AntiquarianAuctions.com - Developed by Booksellers for Collectors, Librarians and Dealers

Published on 11 Feb. 2015
AntiquarianAuctions.com – offering rare books, maps & prints, documents, letters, ephemera and vintage photography - is pleased to launch its upgraded website. For over 5 years, AntiquarianAuctions.com has been running successful online rare book auctions, growing its database and traffic exponentially. AntiquarianAuctions.com was set up by ABA member Paul Mills of Clarke's Africana in Cape Town, South Africa and is still managed from the offices in Cape Town.
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Rare Book Trade

The Book Trade in Austria and the First World War

Published on 16 Dec. 2014
In 2014 numerous books and articles were written, numerous TV documentations were broadcasted about the First World War and its impact on cultural, political, social and economic history. Besides the groundbreaking historical changes, there were manifold changes in every day life, and also the book trade was affected. How did the trade react to the circumstances caused by the war? Soldiers wished to read, but during the war it became more and more difficult for the printers to publish the books. Paper shortage and the fact that most employees had to fight as soldiers were only to decisive problems. Professer Murray G. Hall, ILAB Patron of Honour, describes the situation of the book trade in Austria during the First World War and the difficult conditions publishers and booksellers had to overcome.
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Rare Book Trade

The Antiquarian Book Trade - House Calls and Archives

Published on 02 Dec. 2014
The other things that stopped coming in the door (besides annoying retail time wasters and desperately needed cash), were books. I'd gotten quite used to the steady flow of material that drifted in over the transom, and the house calls that resulted from having a used book shop on a busy street. Indeed, one of the primary functions of my several shops had been to serve as billboards for people who had books to sell. When that was gone, so were they. Rare books are called "rare" because there aren't many of them. Consequently, house calls for rare books generally consist of long journeys to heft and haggle over a single ancient tome, or maybe two or three – hardly ever more than a couple of boxes.
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Rare Book Trade

Just what has been going on Down Under? - A great deal has been going on, “Down Under” this year!

Published on 21 Oct. 2014
Having held both a wonderful conference in May and a hugely successful Melbourne Rare Book Week and Melbourne Rare Book Fair in late July the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (ANZAAB) is on a high! Not only have we enjoyed great success with these two events with our profile considerably raised and many sales made – but, and this is a significant but - we have learnt something very powerful and extremely heartening. We now know that there is just as much interest as there ever was in rare books – if not in fact more, but the methods we need to use to reach and motivate collectors have changed considerably. Both the ANZAAB Conference and most particularly the Melbourne Rare Book Fair are proof of this. We tried something different and it worked!
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

AbeBooks Fills "Empty Bookcases" for South Sudan!

A generous donation started the ILAB Pop Up Book Fair week! Even before the ILAB Pop Up Book Fairs appear across the world on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 2015, Richard Davies of AbeBooks announced that AbeBooks would make the generous donation of US$ 2000 towards ILAB's project to help fund UNESCO's vital literacy work in South Sudan. South Sudan, the world's newest state, is a troubled place indeed. Literacy is a way through some of the problems that beset the children in South Sudan and thanks to AbeBooks' generous gift, 190 sets of children's "Bouba and Zaza" books especially written and published for African children will be put into South Sudanese schools. "This generous donation by AbeBooks will make a real difference to the children in South Sudan". ILAB President Norbert Donhofer said yesterday. "In affluent countries it is so easy to take books and literacy for granted. However for those of us who work with books everyday of our lives, we realise that the debt we owe to those who taught us to read and to the early books we read from is incalcuable. We are indebted to AbeBooks for getting behind the ILAB booksellers and UNESCO in their work towards a more literate world."
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Article

La photographie ancienne

The history of photography is closely connected with the history of rare book selling in the 20th century. The books and the covers that are illustrated by famous photographers like Laszlo Moholy-Nagy have become works of art - and attractive objects of the high end antiquarian book market. Serge Plantureux looks back in history.
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Article

Are Rare Book Dealers "Collectors in Disguise"?

From December 3-5, 2010, rare book dealers from Australia, Asia, Europe and the United States will showcase rare and beautiful books and prints at the 4th Hong Kong Antiquarian Book Fair, among them booksellers from Japan, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The fair, which took place for the first time in 2007, is organized by Paul Feain of Cornstalk Bookshop in Sydney (Australia), Mitsuo Nitta of Yushodo in Tokyo (Japan), and Christopher Li of Swindons Books in Hong Kong. In an interview for the China Daily Paul Feain, antiquarian bookseller for 30 years and a long-time ILAB Committee member, talks about the importance of printed books in the history of mankind, the great works of 20th century literature, art, politics and philosophy, about the passion of book collecting and Hong Kong as an attractive market place for rare books and manuscripts, arts and antiques. His credo: A good dealer is a collector in disguise. Collect with passion in a field that you are passionate about. Collect books that you want to read. You will soon become an expert, and if you collect like this for a number of years you may even become THE expert.
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Article

The Inside and Outside of the Book – Two Publications of The Legacy Press

The Legacy Press, established in 1997 and located in Ann Arbor (Michigan), publishes finely designed and crafted letterpress and offset printed books concerning all aspects of printing, paper, and bookbinding. Two recent publications cover the inside and the outside of The Book: Cathleen A. Baker: From the Hand to the Machine. Nineteenth-Century American Paper and Mediums: Technologies, Materials, and Conservation. Julia Miller: Books Will Speak Plain: A Handbook for Identifying and Describing Historical Bindings.
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Article

Booksellers show unprecedented act of solidarity and send their books “on vacation”

“I have decided to put my books on (permanent) vacation on ABE in solidarity with fellow booksellers in the Czech Republic, Hungary, South Korea and Russia. I hope you might like to follow suit.” 
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