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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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Rare Book Trade

Tante Trude and the E-Book

Published on 06 March 2013
"Well, yes", she answered, "but still, you know, real books … remember that time in London when I was allowed to touch that prayer book? THAT was a book, this is a reading machine." - A great day for all her fans. Tante Trude is back! Healthy, in good shape, reading Kindle and eating Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte.
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Rare Book Trade

Some Thoughts on the Antiquarian Book Trade

Published on 15 Feb. 2013
"At first glance the rare book trade is often believed to be solid, but complacent, backward and immune to changes. However, the world of antiquarian bookselling changes as rapidly as the fashion industry, and the tastes of book collectors change as quickly as the tastes for movies, plants or pets." Dieter Tausch, President of the Austrian Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (VAO), shares with us some thoughts on the past and the future of the antiquarian book trade.
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Rare Book Trade

Yushodo - A Case for a Decisive Transition from the Past to Future

Published on 04 Feb. 2013
One harsh reality for booksellers in Japan is that the total sales of books is declining every year. The decline itself would not be of much concern if we were seeing an increase in the sales of eBooks. But unfortunately this is not the case. If we define books as a means by which one acquires information, Google already has the upper hand over all of us. Would "real" printed books survive this rapid development of information technologies? If so, what would the eBooks-to-printed books ratio look like in the future?
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Rare Book Trade

A Bibliophile Journey to the Netherlands

Published on 08 Oct. 2012
The Netherlands is a country with a long tradition in the international antiquarian book trade. It was the idea of the Dutch bookseller Menno Hertzberger to found the International League of Antiquarian booksellers in 1947. Let's make a trip to the important places of the bookish Holland. We will visit Anton Gerits, ILAB President of Honour, who began to travel to the USSR in 1960s in order to buy rare books. He and his son Arnoud Gerits, ILAB Immediate Past President, sold a huge collection "The two Russian revolutions. The libraries of Leon Bernstein and Boris Souvarine". Then we will go to Amsterdam to visit Ton Kok, President of Nederlandsche Vereeniging van Antiquaren (NVvA). His bookshop impresses with its size. Finally, we will visit the auction house "Bubb Kuyper" in Haarlem, the book town Bredevort and the book Museum Meermanno in The Hague.
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Rare Book Trade

The Best Lack All Conviction. Part 3

Published on 02 Oct. 2012
We've established that some people don't view books as valuable because they're a little difficult to get your head around. To civilians the reasoning behind why one hundred year old book can be verging on priceless and another hovering just this side of worthless can be obscure, seemingly arbitrary and maddeningly opaque. Even when the rationale is explained it often doesn't help. Often what the rare book trade does is take an object with a clearly identifiable function and then deny the object the exercise of its function as a result of financial value. One of the things I hear most often is "If I owned that book I'd be afraid to touch it." I usually respond to this by pointing out that the book in question is four hundred years old, has survived untold wars, plagues and natural disasters in its journey to our hands and is probably a lot tougher than me … not to mention prettier and more useful. This strikes people as strange.
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Rare Book Trade

Il mestiere del libraio antiquario

Published on 01 Aug. 2012
La natura internazionale dell'Associazione sta alla base delle regole di comportamento fissate nella Raccolta di Usi e Consuetudini a cui devono fare riferimento i diversi statuti delle associazioni nazionali. Più che del rispetto di codici e codicilli si tratta di un habitus mentale: il libraio antiquario è tenuto a comportarsi in modo irreprensibile dal punto di vista professionale e a cercare sempre, nell'eventualità di dispute, un accordo ragionevole, un gentlemen agreement. L'I.L.A.B. conta oggi circa 2000 membri, di cui circa 120 sono i librai italiani iscitti all'A.L.A.I.
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Rare Book Trade

Sales higher in bookshops with cafés

Published on 06 July 2012
Sales higher in bookshops with cafés: This is the astonishing insight taken from a statistical analysis by the Booksellers' Association. What shall we make out of it? Antiquarian bookshops offering tea and coffee with (on) leather bindings? First editions with red wine? Japanese block books with sushi?
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Rare Book Trade

Six Days On The Road & I’m Gonna Make It Home Tonight: Part 1 of a 3 Part Series

Published on 12 June 2012
"For a few years now, there's been a crisis* brewing in the rare book industry.** Small, regional book fairs all over the country are disappearing at a rate matched only by that of the (not coincidental) disappearance of brick-and-mortar used bookshops. Why or whether we should be concerned about either phenomenon is a matter of open debate among antiquarian booksellers." Are bookshops, and book fairs, silent victims of the Internet terror? There are many articles on this subject, this article by Lorne Bair is excellent.
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Rare Book Trade

How the trade in rare books has changed

Published on 11 April 2012
"The business of dealing in books in not compatible with quick profits on turnover. The most successful dealers are not those who buy books which they know they can sell straight away, but those who hold stocks." A universal truth when it comes to rare bookselling? What Lord Parmoor (Quaritch) wrote in the early 1950s was a general rule at that time. Today, there seem to be as many views on the worth of books and the future of the trade as there are booksellers. Has the market changed?
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28 - 36 / 80

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

The National Library of Ireland - James Joyce and Oliver St. John Gogarty

Thomas W. Lyster had been director of the National Library of Ireland since 1895. He was famous for his researches about Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and translated H. Düntzer's biography about the German poet into English. Lyster edited the anthology ‚English Poems for Young Students' – and became a key figure in the most important 20th century novel: "Ulysses", by James Joyce. In his article for the German "Literaturblatt", Rainer Pörzgen describes the library and its characters, and compares fiction with reality.
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Article

Letters & Wine - The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers encounters the Beauty of Georgia

“I felt strong enough to lift a mountain” declared Alexandre Dumas after a visit to Georgia in 1858.
Presidents of ILAB’s member associations certainly felt equally inspired after a week of meetings in the capital, Tbilisi.
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Article

Rare Book School Summer Courses 2012

RARE BOOK SCHOOL (RBS) provides continuing-education opportunities for students from all disciplines and levels to study the history of written, printed, and born-digital materials with leading scholars and professionals in the field. Highlights of the Summer Courses:
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Article

Four surviving Magna Carta copies to be displayed together at the British Library

For three days in 2015, the four surviving original copies of Magna Carta will be brought together for the first time, the British Library has announced.
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Article

Finest Handmade Papers in the World

In 1952, Stevens-Nelson Paper Corporation published what it called "a catalogue of the finest printing and art papers in the world." It was less boast than just a simple statement of fact. Indeed, the company had enlisted the help of small handmade paper shops across the globe.
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