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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Collecting

Collector Spotlight: Acquiring an Authoritative Stephen King Collection

Published on 10 Sept. 2014
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 10 Sept. 2014
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

Larry McMurtry, a Collected Book Collector

Published on 12 June 2014
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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Collecting

Rare Book Collector Spotlight: Modern First Editions of Moshe Prigan

Published on 27 May 2014
Moshe Prigan is an accomplished book collector, freelance writer, and retired teacher of art and history. He lives in Haifa, Israel but searches globally to make new acquisitions for his collection. While mainly interested in English and Italian volumes of Umberto Eco, he also collects other authors including Alice Munro and Margaret Atwood. Moshe has generously shared his collecting insights with us in the following interview.
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Collecting

Collecting - The Rembrandt Connection

Published on 26 March 2014
A wonderful story of a young collector who became an antiquarian bookseller: "I saw the documentary about its ten year renovation on television. I watched the opening ceremony on television too and I have heard from people who have been there that the museum is very beautiful. I am deliberately delaying my visit. I am feeling a bit uneasy because I know that they are still there, but not exactly where. I know that they will look at me, just as they did the first time. They will remind me of my promise and I will feel guilty, fall silent and won't have a proper answer ..."
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Collecting

How I Became a Bibliophile and Other Diverse Matters

Published on 24 March 2014
It is a pleasure to be talking to you this evening. When Dianne and Kay generously invited me to speak to the Society, many different topics came to mind. I will attempt to cover several of them: how I became a bibliophile; some highpoints of my bibliophilia, with a focus on two books of special importance to me, both of them published anonymously; how I came to write Rare; some points about Rare; and a few final remarks about the future of books. Covering all these topics in 25 minutes might be difficult. We will soon see whether I can fit all these clowns into one Volkswagen. - Transcript of a talk given by Stuart Kells at a gathering of the Redmond Barry Society at Kay Craddock Antiquarian Bookseller in Collins Street, Melbourne
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Collecting

Bibliophile Societies Worldwide 1 - Bookplate Societies in Australia

Published on 18 March 2014
A bookplate (or ex libris) is a label placed inside a book to mark ownership. The rise of bookplates occurred concurrently with the advent of printing from moveable type, whilst the collecting of bookplates arose in Britain in the early nineteenth-century as an offshoot of the genteel pastime of collecting coats of arms into albums. The Ex Libris Society was formed in London in 1891 and lasted into the early years of the twentieth-century. In Australia, bookplate collecting and owning a bookplate became the height of fashion among the cultured between the World Wars. In recent years, there has again been increasing interest in bookplates among book lovers and artists, and societies have been formed in Melbourne and Sydney.
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Collecting

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - The Original “Big Book”

Published on 18 Oct. 2013
In the "random" (this week's nomination for a word that's been misused to death) way typical of buying trips, last week's journey through Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia yielded some interesting and unexpected finds. But the biggest purchase, and I mean biggest, was John Scott Russell's Modern System of Naval Architecture. The book, in three large folio volumes, measures 20 ½ x 27 ½ inches and weighs in at well over 120 pounds. I've sold three or four copies over the years. Once I had to mail one. Took me all day to wrap it.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Seattle – Is there a better place to show cool books on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day, 23 April 2015?

Here in Seattle, Washington local ABAA/ILAB booksellers Ed Smith, Taylor Bowie, John Lang, and many others, as well as at least one representative from the Northwest Copyright Society of the USA, will be on hand to present a display and sale of antiquarian books, maps, and prints, as well as ephemera. Recognizing the important place that books hold in the dissemination of knowledge, they will continue the work of their colleagues around the world to fill a "virtual bookcase" as participants and visitors donate money to buy books for schools in South Sudan. Informal "pop-up" talks on the items on displace will fill the evening, starting at 4 pm, at the beautiful Sorrento Hotel, a Seattle icon, that offers personalized service, Italianate architecture and a warm, welcoming feel that makes you want to stay even longer.
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Article

New EU Anti-Terror Import Regulations Will Target Bibliophiles

If proposed new EU regulations are approved, European book collectors and dealers may be in for an annoying surprise when they make their first imported purchases in 2019.
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Article

Beach Reading - The Yongle Encyclopedia

The worst insult you can hurl at academics is to say they haven't even read the books they presume to comment on. A confession: Not only do I have to admit that there are reference books in here that I haven't read through; in fact, there are very few works that I have read from cover to cover - or, since many are in multiple volumes, from cover to cover to cover to cover to cover.... One work I haven't read is the Yongle Encyclopedia. I think I have pretty good reasons, though, for not reading it: viz., 1. It's very long; 2. It's in a language I don't read; and 3. It doesn't actually exist.
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Article

24th ILAB International Antiquarian Book Fair - 27th to 30th September 2012

The World's Best Booksellers Meet in Switzerland! The 24th International Antiquarian Book Fair presents the best of the trade. From manuscripts and incunabula to avant-garde, from Erasmus, Philipp Melanchthon and Charles Darwin to Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, DADA and the Bauhaus artists – together with the Fine Art Zurich, this most important event, supported by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), will change Zurich into the international market place for everything rare, extravagant and beautiful.
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Article

50th Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair 2011

"Rare Booksellers are generally regarded as highly individual and are not easy to move to participate in joint ventures", wrote former VDA President Günther Mecklenburg in his foreword to Catalogue 1 of the 1st Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair in 1962. A rather pessimistic statement – that soon turned out to be the contrary. In 1962, the Stuttgart Antiquarian Book Fair was the initial spark. It triggered a boom that invigorated and changed the antiquarian book market in Germany as only the Internet has done since then. As the oldest antiquarian book fair in Germany and the second oldest fair in Europe (after the London International Antiquarian Book Fair), it has resisted all economic crisis. Rare book dealers and collectors from all over the world have made the Stuttgart Fair one of their annual meeting places to buy and sell what is unusual, rare and beautiful.
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