" 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').
I naturally like to regale the family over the supper table with all the latest news from the world of rare books. The family are slightly ambivalent about this: stifled yawns sometimes remain unstifled; eyes are exaggeratedly rolled; fathomless stupefactions of chronic boredom are elaborately mimed, and silent departures from the table to go and have a lie down are by no means unknown. Imagine then my surprise, my triumph, when I announced the concept of Pop-Up Bookfairs – and not just one or two, but a worldwide rolling twenty-four hour programme to celebrate a World Rare Book Day – fairs popping up all over the place, time-zone by time-zone, on a single day – right across the globe and all backed-up by the full might of social media. Tweet-pop, tweet-pop, from Australia to L.A. and beyond. Pictures, videos and reports on the web, YouTube, Instagram and wherever else anyone can think of. "That's brilliant. Absolutely brilliant", said Daughter No. 1. "Oh, you are soooo twenty-first century", said Daughter No. 2. "We've got a trestle table", said my dear wife, fondly imagining that the number of books in the house might actually decrease if I popped out for a pop-up. Incredible. I had managed to hold their attention for – oh – thirty or forty seconds. Well, twenty anyway.
"Oslo has Norway's greatest concentration of antiquarian bookstores, many within an easy walk of each other in the center of this city of 550,000. One of the largest and oldest is J. W. Cappelens Antikvariat." Erica Olsen visited the Norwegian antiquarian bookshops for the Fine Books & Collections magazine.
So much has been written about Kipling, and his books, but there is very little published about his popularity in Russia, which began in the 1890s and continued well into the Soviet era. As far as I can work out, his first appearance in Russian is a translation, by M. Korsh, of The Naulahka, issued at the end of the October 1892 number of Vsemirnaia biblioteka ('The World Library', a monthly which published serial translations of foreign literature, presumably for readers to then break up and bind as individual novels). It's only 35 pages, and although the final page reads 'to be continued', no more of the novel was in fact published at the time. A full Russian translation, published by Pyotr Soikin, appeared in 1896. The Naulahka, a Story of West and East was serialised in the Century Magazinefrom November 1891 to July 1892. It was written together with Wolcott Balestier (the only time Kipling ever collaborated), but the young American died of typhoid fever in December 1891 and Kipling was left to revise the book edition alone (1892).
What is really „rare"? Maria Popova asks the question which has always been essential for antiquarian booksellers, and which becomes more and more essential in our fully digitalized world where works are accessible by Google Books or The Library Archive which were buried in archives for centuries. In former times the antiquarian bookseller very often was the only one who brought these rare treasures to light. What now?