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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

Children's Lit

The following is based on a lecture delivered at the Kerlan Collection of Children?s Literature at the University of Minnesota in the summer of 1995. I had been asked to speak about juveniles and children's literature, a subject about which I know little. Pressed for an appropriate topic, I spoke instead on the books I experienced as a child and adolescent, my personal children's literature.
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Article

Five Young Women With Prize-Winning Book Collections

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."
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

If you've ever attended or exhibited at a book fair in Florida, you'll know that MKR is a "home girl," probably trailing only Ernest Hemingway and John D. MacDonald in popularity as collected Florida authors, and neck and neck with Zora Neale Hurston for third place.
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Article

Bookselling in Hard Times: “Will work for rare books”

Priding myself, as I do, on a majestic ignorance of bookselling history, I regret that I am unlikely to be able to provide you today with much of an historic overview of bookselling in hard times, beyond my own very personal experiences and observations. In early 1987, I cast all fate to the wind and declared myself a fulltime bookseller, after many years as a relatively low-level book collector and book scout. With the foresight and intuition for which I've now become famous, I did this pretty much immediately before the infamous Black Monday stock market crash of that October, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost nearly a third of its value in the course of a single week.
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