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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Collecting

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

Published on 19 July 2018
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 19 July 2018
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 19 July 2018
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 19 July 2018
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 19 July 2018
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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Collecting

Collector Spotlight: Acquiring an Authoritative Stephen King Collection

Published on 19 July 2018
David A. Williamson began collecting Stephen King novels and memorabilia in the 1980s and has amassed a collection that ranks as one of the largest 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. He has generously shared his collecting experience and expertise with Books Tell You Why in the following interview.
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Collecting

David A. Williamson

Published on 19 July 2018
David A. Williamson began collecting Stephen King novels and memorabilia in the 1980s and has amassed a collection that ranks as one of the largest 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. He has generously shared his collecting experience and expertise with Books Tell You Why in the following interview.
[…] Read More
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Collecting

Larry McMurtry, a Collected Book Collector

Published on 19 July 2018
Although renowned as a novelist and screenwriter, Pulitzer Prize-winner Larry McMurtry is above all a passionate book collector. A bookseller for over fifty years, McMurtry began writing as a way to fund his book purchases. He has acquired quite a few - his own personal collection contains over thirty thousand volumes and his bookstore holds another 200,000. He says, "The tradition I was born into was essentially nomadic, a herdsmen tradition, following animals across the earth. The bookshops are a form of ranching; instead of herding cattle, I herd books."
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

The Deaths of the Bronte Family

Marie Bronte died of tuberculosis or cancer in 1821 at the age of 38. She left behind the most remarkable English/Irish writing family known to the world.
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Article

Books Missing from the Biblioteca del Seminario vescovile di Pontremoli

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.
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Article

From Clay to Clouds – The Evolution of the Catalogue (2000 BC – 21st Century)

Since the beginnings in the second millennium BC, the catalogue has accompanied the history and development of our written heritage. With its complex and at the same time precise concept and structure, the catalogue represents a fundamental ambition which is the origin of science and culture: to name, to describe and to classify the universe. Catalogues allow us to find taxonomies for the elements and all aspects of nature, nomenclatures to identify the stars, and devices to find access to our written heritage, to education and learning as well as to trade and economics and to the printing of books.
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Article

Book Review: 'The Prague Cemetery' by Umberto Eco

"Bookish digressions and odd cultural details are two reasons why we read Umberto Eco. He takes great pleasure in showing readers the monastic care of books in "The Name of the Rose," the kabbalah in "Foucault's Pendulum" and day-to-day life in Mussolini's Italy in "The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana." Without such layers, without his plunging into the minutiae of other eras, it just wouldn't be an Eco novel."
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Article

Sheila Markham - A Book of Booksellers

It's hard to know where to start with a book like this. Perhaps this way. I saw it listed in a catalogue and bought a single copy to see if I liked it. I wasn't twenty pages in before I ordered another 20 copies most of which I gave to friends and clients. I'm now on my second lot of 20 copies. If anybody wants to know what Antiquarian booksellers are really like you can find out in this wonderful book, a book which exists almost by accident.
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Article

Vom "Autogramm" zum "Autograph". Zur Kultivierung einer Liebhaberei

"In unserer schnelllebigen Zeit steht der bloße Namenszug des vom Scheinwerferlicht des Tages umfluteten Zeitgenossen - das Autogramm - im Vordergrund des Interesses." Günther Preuß-Tantzen about the history of autograph collecting.
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