" Books, glorious books — confessions of a bibliomaniac"
As a Radio 4 documentary about book collectors airs, the Times deputy literary editor, James Marriott, who lives in a room full of volumes, admits to his problem.
Sandra Hindman is owner and founder of "Les Enluminures" with galleries in Chicago, Paris and New York specialising in manuscripts and miniatures from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the gallery also handles rings and jewelry from the same periods.
In this podcast Sandra has invited collector Benjamin Zucker and looks at their roles and relationship as dealer and collector. While this podcast focusses on the current "Diamonds" exhibition, it also reveals the fascination to collect, the handling of manuscripts and the knowledge needed to deal in historical items.
Indeed, “Books don’t just furnish a room,” Michael Dirda writes in Browsings. “. . . Digital texts are all well and good, but books on shelves are a presence in your life. As such, they become a part of your day-to-day existence, reminding you, chastising you, calling to you. Plus, book collecting is, hands down, the greatest pastime in the world.”
The Paris Review, 7th September 2018: In 2017, Honey & Wax Booksellers established an annual prize for American women book collectors, aged 30 years and younger. The idea took shape when Heather O’Donnell and Rebecca Romney, the bookstore’s owners, observed that “the women who regularly buy books from us are less likely to call themselves 'collectors' than the men, even when those women have spent years passionately collecting books."
The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA), member association of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, ILAB has just announced a new book collecting prize for young collectors, recognizing the next generation of bibliophiles! Deadline: 1 December 2018!
“I belong to that class of unfortunate beings who are addicted to a habit which it is not easy to break off. This sounds alarming, but let me assure you that neither drug nor dram is the cause of my undoing, and that I have no intention of following in the foot-steps of the English Opium-Eater. The truth is that I am a bibliophile, and I suffer a complaint common to the tribe, namely a feverish appetite which can only be assuaged by choice tit-bits in the form of ancient quartos and duodecimos”.
The 2017-18 Colin Franklin Prize for book-collecting has been awarded to Ekaterina Shatalova (Keble College), for her collection of works by and about Edward Lear (1812-1888), the poet and illustrator famous for limericks in "A Book of Nonsense", and for poems recounting the nautical adventures of "The Owl and the Pussycat" and the "Jumblies" ('who went to sea in a sieve').
There's a story my parents used to tell of me as a child and how much I loved to read. Reading was what my family did in the evenings; we sat in the room we referred to as the study and read. One evening I was so deeply engrossed in my book that I had no idea they were talking to me; this was entertaining enough that they were both watching me to see how long it would be before I responded. It was long enough that it became a tale they told, part of how they understood who I was.
Message from the ILAB President:The recent destruction by Australian authorities of plant samples entering Australia (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/may/08/australian-biosecurity-officials-destroy-plant-samples-from-19th-century-france) leads us to remind all affiliates of the need to check the laws pertaining to any shipment before sending to another country.
Samuel F Haven, former librarian for the American Antiquarian Society, presided over one of the largest collections of broadsides in the world. Historians and rare book collectors alike cherish broadsides because they offer snapshots of moments in time, helping us to understand the zeitgeist of that era. Broadsides make ideal complements to a rare book collection, granting the collection greater depth and context.
The hugely popular 22nd Chelsea Antiquarian Book Fair opens on Friday, November 2 and Saturday, November 3, 2012 in the stunning Chelsea Old Town Hall, King's Road (opposite Sydney Street). Over 80 exhibitors will be taking part, both local and from around the UK and abroad, who specialise in all types of books, manuscripts, maps and ephemera.
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.
Earlier in the week, the Australian history radio programme, "The History Listen" spoke to Melbourne bookseller Douglas Stewart and the magic of Ida Rentoul Outhwaite's illustrations and paintings which brought fairies to life for generations of Australian children.