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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Collecting

Collecting Robert Graves

Published on 07 Sept. 2015
In wider society, many today consider the Classics irrelevant, and very few children encounter them even in translations now, let alone in the original languages. This then is a far cry from the relentless Classical education Graves himself received, and it is in part at least his own doing. By knocking them off their pedestal, along with the moral authority of Christianity, Graves and his contemporaries simultaneously ensured a future interest in the Classics, and killed off their serious study, except from a historical perspective. In my opinion, if any trace of Greek and Roman literature survives 1000 years from now, it won't be Tacitus' Annals being read, but Robert Graves' novels.
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Collecting

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - On m’accuse?

Published on 06 July 2015
If you've been following my blog for a while, you will know that I am interested in the reception of Anglophone literature abroad, and of foreign literature in the English-speaking world. One figure in this area who cannot be ignored is Henry Vizetelly (1820–1894), publisher, journalist, and editor, whose defiance of censorship and policy of issuing cheap reprints exerted a considerable influence on British publishing, not least the demise of the three-decker.
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Collecting

Collecting - A Private Library in the Netherlands

Published on 01 July 2015
I've never been in the States, so I may be wrong, but I can't imagine collecting old and rare books over there the way I collect them here in the Netherlands. First of all, there probably is a big difference in the way we search for collectibles. Of course, I use the Internet (I even bought some books from the States that way), but the right stuff for me (and I imagine for others as well) is snooping around in beautiful little bookshops such as still abound here in the Netherlands, especially around me here in Amsterdam.
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Collecting

Book Collecting Basics - How to Identify First Editions by Grosset & Dunlap

Published on 03 March 2015
Although publishers Grosset & Dunlap focused primarily on reprints, they did produce first editions. For book collectors, first edition identification is a vital skill. More often than not, conventions for distinguishing first editions vary from publishing house to publishing house. Take a moment to learn more about the history of Grosset & Dunlap and find out how to identify their first editions.
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Collecting

Book Collecting Basics - A History of the Bastard Title

Published on 10 Feb. 2015
At last, it is time to read your new book. It is a crisp evening and you have made a cup of your favorite tea. You splurged and even made a fire. You sink into your chair and look at the book's cover, tracing the title with your fingertip. You sip your tea and open to the first page. Blank. You turn the page. Nearly blank, except for the title - again. With some impatience, you turn to the next page. Here the title is presented a third time but with the welcome addition of the author and publisher. Your tea nearly finished, you quickly flip past the table of contents, list of illustrations, author's note, preface, introduction, and dedication. As your fire burns out, you reach page one. As any reader knows, a book can offer a vast amount of information before the "first" page. But why, one wonders, do some books display the title no less than three times in succession? None will dispute the cover: printing the title there seems obvious and right. Even the title page, listing the title, author, and publisher, passes with little argument. But why this in-between page, this unneeded repetition between the two? Why, in the words of old-fashioned bookbinders, this bastard title?
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Collecting

„The Heart of Africa“ - Early Adventures and Expeditions. Second "Bibliophile Evening" at Dr. Paul Kainbacher Rare Books

Published on 09 Feb. 2015
Baden (Vienna), 14th March, 2015 - a must for book collectors who are interested in rare and fine books on travel and expedition. Dr. Paul Kainbacher, Austrian bookseller and specialist on rare travel accounts, natural history and early photographies from exotic places, invites customers and colleague to a Bibliophile Evening dedicated to the history and exploration of the "heart of Africa".
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Collecting

being a reader, again and still

Published on 07 Jan. 2015
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.
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Collecting

David A. Williamson II

Published on 10 Sept. 2014
Part two of our interview with David A. Williamson, one of the largest Stephen King collectors in the world. In 2009, he bought Betts Books and one of his greatest joys is helping other King collectors find that “special” collectible for their own collections. He lives in Fairfield, CT, is married and has three children.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Pop Up at the Oxford Book Fair on 23 April 2016

Nearly 100 British booksellers in Oxford harness the Power of 1,800 colleagues Worldwide on UNESCO's World Book and Copyright Day. On Saturday April 23 nearly 100 booksellers in Oxford will take part in a unique worldwide event. For 24 hours a worldwide chain of rare book events will occur. Starting on the East Coast of Australia running through Asia and Europe and ending on the West Coast of the United States, booksellers in 15 countries and nearly 30 locations will hold quick and often quirky events that celebrate rare books, autographs and manuscripts, maps and other paper items. Booksellers will show and talk some of the rarest and most interesting items they own while raising funds for literacy.
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Article

New Work On Irish Painter, Jack Yeats

"It was not easy to be Jack Butler Yeats. Beset with the dual burden of identity and fame, he wisely distanced himself from most of the Yeatses and proved more a Pollexfen (his mother's line) than a Yeats. In the second half of his career (circa 1920s-1950s), when he moved from commercial art to fine art, he proved more a European painter than an Irish one ..."
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: Eudora Welty

A well-known poet of our acquaintance used to refer to Eudora Welty as "Aunt Meatloaf." When queried about it, his justification was "Well, everyone likes meatloaf, don't they?"
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Article

Young Dealers / Old Books - Book Fairs, Hurricanes, Puppies, Oh My!

"On Tuesday, August 23rd I woke up late. I had set my alarm for 7 a.m., so that I could take a much needed shower and after hitting snooze for over an hour I abruptly woke up at 8:20, tied my hair up, threw on a dress and ran out the door. From that moment on it seemed as though all of Philadelphia was involved in a plot to keep me from my goal of an 8-hour work day. First the contretemps with my alarm, then loads of tourists crossing the street and finally the dreaded tour buses that haunt 5th and Market all summer long. I had just about given up when I finally reached the other side of the bridge. Five minutes to nine I get a phone call from Tom saying that Matt had gotten sick and did I want to go to Baltimore for the book fair?" Do you remember your first book fair? Ashley Wilde is the young cataloguing talent at Between the Covers. Her first book fair took place in - Baltimore.
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Article

Time Travel for Bibliophiles - 54th Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair, 23 to 25 January 2015

"It has become trendy to declare the book obsolete in this brave new world of digitalized data rubbish", book historian Reinhard Wittmann declares in the new "Handbook 2015/2016" published by the German Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (VDA). "It may have lost its general function and its social prestige, but it will survive as a historical and artistic object, far beyond its actual content, as a time machine for the aura of times long gone."The German Antiquarian Booksellers' Association would like to invite you on a bibliophilic time voyage on the occasion of the 54th Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair from 23rd to 25th January 2015. About 80 leading antiquarian booksellers from Germany, Italy, Great Britain, the USA, Switzerland and the Netherlands will present rare and precious manuscripts, books, autographs and prints from five centuries of book printing and book art. Beautifully illustrated manuscripts, scientific milestones, avant-garde book art, autographs and manuscripts of important scientists and artists, rare first editions of world literature, children's books, artists' books, maps, views, decorative prints and book objects: The fair fascinates by its diversity, from unique little objects to books worth millions, from the Middle Ages to the 21st century.
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