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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

Booksellers

In Memoriam Mitsuo Nitta, ILAB Member of Honour

I was deeply saddened to learn that Mitsuo Nitta, President of Honor of the ABAJ, Member of Honor of ILAB, CEO at Yushodo Ltd., former Chair of the ILAB-Breslauer Prize for Bibliography, legendary bookseller and friend to so many of us, has passed away on October 27 of 2015. Mitsuo Nitta played a leading role in developing antiquarian bookselling not only in Japan but also in the surrounding countries like Korea and China, and he had been teacher and friend for generations of younger booksellers. His role in spreading out ILAB's device "Amor Librorum nos unit" in East-Asia cannot be underestimated. Since my first meeting with Mitsuo Nitta back in 1988 during the Congress in Paris, we had been in constant contact, and I will always remember countless discussions about ILAB with him, the last one – alas - only earlier this year in Tokyo.
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Article

Collecting Antarctica

Antarctica was the last continent to be discovered and explored, although its existence had been conjectured from ancient times. Captain James Cook was possibly the first to sight Antarctica, on his second voyage with the ships Resolution and Adventure in 1774, but the first recorded landing on the continent did not occur until over 120 years later, on Borchgrevink's British Antarctic Expedition. Captain Scott's two expeditions, and those of Shackleton, Amundsen, Mawson and others, soon followed in the early twentieth century and the spaces on the map were gradually filled in, and scientific work done, in the succeeding decades ...
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Article

ILAB Internships – Out of the Classroom, into the World

I have already spent two and a half weeks in Australia. First 10 days I spent in Sidney with Paul Feain. Paul is the owner of Cornstalk Bookshop and Sidney Rare Book Auctions. It is a great chance for me to work with him, because I work in an auction house in Moscow and it is really interesting to get new information about the auction business. Now, after 35 years, Paul is selling his real estate and going to close the shop in April, but he is pushing ahead with the auctions. The next auction was on Saturday, February 22nd and I participated in the preparation of this auction. I made some book descriptions for the auction catalogue, but principally, I worked with Paul's reference library. This library is great! I really enjoyed working with it.
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Booksellers

Peter B. Howard

“I'm agnostic, but if there is a heaven, I imagine it's just like Serendipity Books” - A Wake For The Still Alive: Peter B. Howard
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Article

Collecting - The Clark Nova Express: Horror Fanzines, the Mimeo Revolution and William Burroughs

One of the perks about working on Reality Studio is the opportunity to get in contact with some very interesting people. Johnny Strike, Gary-Lee Nova, Jim and Roy Pennington. All have amazing stories and fantastic tales to tell. And then there is Graham Rae - a polarizing figure for some as a look back at old forum posts proves. Yet all polarizing figures have one thing in common: energy. Graham has chutzpah in spades. I am firmly in Graham's camp because I recognize and admire a follow obsessive. He wears his passions on his sleeve and his enthusiasm is contagious. In addition, he consistently brings interesting items to the Big Table, or Reality Studio, as the case may be.
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