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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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Rare Book Trade

New Trends in the International Antiquarian Book Trade

Published on 25 Aug. 2011
We all blame the internet for dramatic changes in the rare book trade. But have our problems really changed within the last decades? Reading Anthony Rota's lecture given in Tokyo in 1990 you could be inclined to say: No! He writes: "Booksellers, like the collectors and librarians they serve, are conservative creatures. By their very nature they are resistant to change; yet they are caught up in the changes that beset us today, and if they do not welcome them they must at least learn to adapt to them if they are to flourish. The antiquarian book trade has managed to cope with changes over a number of centuries now, and I do not doubt for a moment that it will continue to do so."
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Rare Book Trade

"Tempora mutantur ..." Veränderung und Wandel im antiquarischen Handel

Published on 04 July 2011
Eberhard Köstler, President of the German Antiquarian Booksellers' Association, has been an antiquarian bookseller and an autograph specialist for more than 30 years. He began his career in 1975, when he worked for Dr. Hans Schneider (Tutzing) during his summer holidays while studying classical Latin and Greek at the University of Munich. "At that time the German rare book trade was dominated by large companies with many employees and long traditions dating back to the 19th and early 20th century, such as Ackermann and Woelfle in Munich, Kistner in Nuremberg, Steinkopf, Neidhardt, Eggert and Kocher-Benzing in Stuttgart, Stenderhoff in Münster, Koch in Berlin or the "Hamburger Bücherkabinett" of Dr. Maria Conradt. The "golden age" of the antiquarian book trade seemed to be stable and successful. Radical changes were unthinkable." From 1988 to 2000, Eberhard Köstler had worked as an auctioneer at the Munich auction house Zisska, Schauer & Co., before he established is own business in 2000 and became VDA President in 2006. Within these years the rare book trade experienced a revolution which was totally unexpected by the elder generations of antiquarian booksellers.
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Rare Book Trade

Does the “Book Dust Disease” Threaten the Rare Book Trade? A 19th Century Study Rediscovered

Published on 23 June 2011
Dust on the shelves. Collectors consider it romantic: the dusty corners of antiquarian bookshops where scarce volumes have been hidden under the dust for centuries waiting to be discovered and to be bought by book lovers for a few cents. (The legends say that these books exist.) Dealers live with it or, most of the time, don't do anything against it: the dust in the corners where boxes with hundreds (thousands) of books are stored waiting to be described, priced and put into the showcases or into the internet. Scienstists warn: dust may be unhealthy. As early as 1900 Eduard Fischer von Röslerstamm published an empirical analysis on the life expentancy of antiquarian booksellers, librarians and book collectors. His question was: Did they suffer from dust in the lungs? Was the "book dust disease" an occupational disease that threatened the rare book trade?
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Rare Book Trade

Do Rare Books Appreciate in Value?

Published on 25 May 2011
I was recently asked by a reporter to comment on this question, and I offered some specific examples. As is often the case, my comments in the article, as well as an explanation of the examples, were very much cut for space (no hard feelings, I understand how these things go). But I thought I would provide the examples here, as well as a fuller answer to this question of how much rare books appreciate in value.
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Rare Book Trade

The Importance of Open Shop Antiquarian Bookstores

Published on 31 March 2011
Michael F. Suarez is Director of Rare Book School (RBS), Professor of English, University Professor, and Honorary Curator of Special Collections at the University of Virginia. He holds four masters degrees (two each in English and theology) and a D.Phil. in English from Oxford. Together with H. R. Woudhuysen he edited the monumental two volume "Oxford Companion to the Book" in 2010. Nigel Beale met Michael Suarez for an interview in Boston:
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Rare Book Trade

Rare Books in the Press: This Is Why Your Used Bookstore Clerk Hates You

Published on 01 March 2011
"Although bookstore workers love their customers, or are at least morally obligated to, sometimes the love is so great it turns murderous. Ever tried to finish all-you-can-eat coconut shrimp? That's the love we're dealing with here. Although your narrator worked at a used bookstore just outside of the city more than a decade ago, he shut his eyes tight, remembered three years of Fat Slice Pizza, and relived some moments of quiet desperation." Michael Leaverton knows: "This Is Why Your Used Bookstore Clerk Hates You"
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Recently Published – The Official Book of the International Rare Booksellers Football Championship

Bologna, September 23rd, 2010: The ILAB Rest of the World team shot 2 goals against Italy in a dramatic match at Bologna Football Stadium, hugely and loudly supported by the ILAB cheerleaders. Goalkeeper Salvatore "Dieter" Quasimodo frightened the Italian team with his powerful appearance. Finally, Canadian football artist Cameron Treleaven took his place to prevent the worst. Bernard "the brain" Shapero controlled the defense together with Robert Frew. Both are likely to sign a contract at FC Chelsea. ILAB President Arnoud Gerits, the Flying Dutchman, did his best as one of six attackers led by Austrian "Rambo" Michael Sulzmann who (sometimes) put the Italian goalkeeper under pressure. Heroes of the hour were Rodolphe Chamonaldinho and Matthias "Messi" Donhofer ... Paolo Tonini has published a marvellous picture story about the big event.
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Booksellers

The Art of Collecting – An Interview with David Mason

David Mason discovered his love of literature in a bathtub at age eleven, at fifteen he was expelled from school. For the next decade and a half, he worked odd jobs, bought books more often than food, and floated around Europe. He helped gild a volume in white morocco for Pope John XXIII. And then, at the age of 30, after returning home to Canada and apprenticing with Joseph Patrick Books, he found his calling. A few weeks ago Canadian author and rare book dealer David Mason published his memoirs The Pope's Bookbinder. In his brilliant book he tells the most exciting stories of his legendary international career. An interview with David Mason about his career and the art of collecting.
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Article

BUDAPEST 2016 - ILAB CONGRESS & INTERNATIONAL ANTIQUARIAN BOOK FAIR

In two weeks time, booksellers from all over the world will gather in Budapest at the 42nd ILAB Congress and the 26th ILAB International Antiquarian Book Fair.
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Article

ILAB Internships – Out of the Classroom, into the World

We're happy to introduce ILAB's new intern Julia Kulyamzina. She's spending four weeks in the United States with Tom Congalton, current ILAB President and owner of Between the Covers. Read her first report!
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Article

Michael Trenkle, Fachbegriffe im Antiquariat

From „A" for „Abklatsch" to „Z" for „Zinkdruck". Michael Trenkle has compiled a glossary of terms commonly used in the antiquarian book business.
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Article

The London Antiquarian Book Fair Season 2012

With the 55th London International Antiquarian Book Fair the oldest and one of the biggest and most important fairs worldwide will open its doors to visitors from 24th to 26th May 2012. This years Fair at the National Hall (Olympia) will be the best yet; with more exhibitors, more books, maps, prints, ephemera and manuscripts in a bigger and better hall providing more space on stands, wider aisles, ample space to sit and relax in three different cafes. Nearly 200 exhibitors from the UK and all over the world will offer highlights of the trade, from a hand-written account of Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens to a very rare signed limited issue of Ian Fleming's On Her Majesty's Secret Service to a signed expense account for The Sex Pistols. Whatever you collect, whatever your subject, curiosity or indulgence, you will find something to capture your imagination and interest at the Olympia Fair - and not only there. The 55th International Antiquarian Book Fair - organised by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (ABA) - is the most outstanding in a series of book fairs held in London at the end of May. This is a short summary of all the fairs, with links to the official websites.
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