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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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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Collecting Artists' Books - Corrugations: Some Speculations on Australian Tin

The artist's book is a thriving art form in Australia. While books most typically convey ideas through their text, artists' books express meaning through a combination of illustrations, typography, and the form of the book itself. In Corrugations, Australian artist Katie Clemson worked in collaboration with the poet Anne Bell to capture the essence of the land where she grew up and create a tribute to a material that has become a characteristic part of Australia's architectural landscape: corrugated iron.
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Article

The Library: Three Jeremiads

„When I look back at the plight of American research libraries in 2010, I feel inclined to break into a jeremiad. In fact, I want to deliver three jeremiads, because research libraries are facing crises on three fronts; but instead of prophesying doom, I hope to arrive at a happy ending." Robert Darnton analyses the present – and future – situation of University Libraries.
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Article

Weimar, September 2011 - ILAB Presidents' Meeting

On Saturday we start to earn our keep. A day-long meeting of the presidents, with the ILAB Committee and its tireless staff. Here's not the place for a full report, but we discussed, among many other things, the circuit of international book fairs, the major upcoming events in Switzerland (2012) and France (2014), the sharing of new ideas to promote our activities, the preparation of an international guide to book-collecting in its various forms, the ever-expanding ILAB website, the international directory of members, and the wider geographical spread of associated booksellers around the world. All in all, a highly congenial and really rather impressive example of international co-operation.
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