" 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').
Hundreds of books – incunables and early printings – and historical sketches have been announced missing from the Biblioteca del Seminario vescovile di Pontremoli and the Archivio storico della cattedrale di Massa. The attached list contains pictures of the library stamps and ex-libris as well as book descriptions.
Remember: At the ILAB Pop Up Book Fairs on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day a donation of 3 US $ will send one book to a child in South Sudan, 15 US $ purchase a set of 12 school books for a classroom, and 500 US $ provide 45 school book collections for a rural community in Africa. Support UNESCO's work by filling the "empty bookcase" with symbolic books which will be turned into real books for schools in Africa! The ABAJ blog and these pictures show - in Japanese - how to fill the bookcases and to donate money to the UNESCO project in South Sudan:
"Dear Colleagues, We have the honour to give you herewith full details about the First International Antiquarian Bookfair. We cordially invite all members of national associations affiliated with the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers to take part in this manifestation." With these words Nico Israel and Bob de Graaf, Chairman and Secretary of the Dutch Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (NVvA) announced the first ILAB International Antiquarian Book Fair. At the Ravenna Congress 1964 the Dutch proposal to organize a fair under the auspices of the League was unanimously carried. A year later, from October 5 to 9, 1965, ILAB dealers met at the Arti et Amicitiae in the centre of Amsterdam for their first joint fair in the history of the League. W. R. Fletcher was among the exhibitors.
Sometimes I think that the bookshop has; become a spectator sport for tourists in Edinburgh. Some visitors behave as if the shop is a museum. "Isn't it wonderful?" they say, "I could spend all day in here", and then promptly walk out. They like the look of the shop, but it would never occur to them to buy a book. Nowadays people turn to computers in the way that they would have turned to books for a lot of their needs. Quite apart from their effect on our trade, I believe that computers are actually changing the way in which people think. Everything is highly focused toward a specific goal, instead of reading around a subject and taking a more wide-ranging approach. We have to keep trying to get young people to look at books and aspire to own them. This is a role for book fairs and shops - just being there on the high street helps to remind people that books can be bought, and that we are not libraries or museums.
York Antiquarian Book Seminar provides an opportunity for leading specialists to share their expertise and experience with booksellers, librarians and collectors in a comprehensive survey of the out-of-print, antiquarian, rare and used book markets. Basic procedures and problems are discussed both formally and informally through a series of lectures, discussions, demonstrations and practical hands-on workshops with emphasis on cataloguing, pricing, and bookselling in the electronic age.
The seminar is designed for people of all levels of expertise, from beginners to those with years of experience who want to hone their skills in this rapidly changing field.
It is with great sadness that both the Dutch Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (NVvA) and ILAB have to report the death of Bob de Graaf (1927-2011). He served the NVvA as Secretary (1963-1969) and as its President (1971-1974). In 1973 he joined the ILAB Committee, and accepted both the position as editor of ILAB's Newsletter and as Secretary. From 1979 to 1982 he served as ILAB President, in 1985 he was made, and deservedly so, ILAB President of Honour.