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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Collecting

You don’t by any chance know the way through this labyrinth, do you?

Published on 19 July 2018
Having thought about it though, it did occur to me that the real problem with that Treasure Detectives malarkey was not even the fact that they had no clue what they were on about … more the fact that to someone "normal" it would be really hard to tell. If I were wandering the earth all besotted with books and suddenly had a windfall from a mysterious Romanian Great Uncle I'd never previously heard of, and I wanted to start collecting books … how would I go about it? First … there are rules. They are for you, and like all of the best rules, they are rules that don't just apply to book collecting.
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Collecting

How to Prevent Ghosting and Shadowing in Rare Books

Published on 19 July 2018
When it comes to rare books, condition is everything. Any kind of damage, discoloration, or flaws can significantly impact a book's value. One of the most common flaws we see in rare and antiquarian books is a condition called ghosting or shadowing. This condition occurs when a page fades unevenly, leaving a visible outline on the page.
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Collecting

Hard-Boiled Detective Fiction and The Private Library

Published on 19 July 2018
One of the most popular components of a private library is the mystery genre, which comprises a vast array of sub-genres such as detective fiction. The genesis of the detective fiction sub-genre may be traced to a short story penned by Edgar Allan Poe in 1841 titled The Murders in the Rue Morgue. All the elements of what we today recognize as the essential characteristics of the sub-genre are found in this short story: a brutal murder; baffled police; an independent investigator that solves the case through superior intelligence, humbling the police in the process.
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Collecting

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Guiding Lights

Published on 19 July 2018
I've ranted before about lighthouses being one of those subject areas from which collectors have mysteriously vanished. People scrabbling and clawing in the most fearsome way for lighthouse literature and then one day, more or less out of the blue, they don't want any at all. Not even the rarest material. I suspect that in this case, eBay and print-on-demand technology killed the market. The field was largely information driven, and once people got access to cheap reprints or bargain copies of scarce texts, the game was over for dealers like me.
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Collecting

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Why I Bothered

Published on 19 July 2018
"If you keep an open mind in this business, you learn something new every day." Greg Gibson on collecting the unusual: "Fire insurance mapping began in London in the 1700s, but it had never been applied with a systematic approach. In 1867 Daniel Alfred Sanborn, a surveyor from Massachusetts, saw the need for such a service, and quickly occupied that niche. By the late 1800s he had offices spanning the continent, sending out thousands of surveyors to record the footprints and construction details of buildings in American cities. Insurance companies could then use this information to write accurate policies, based on potential fire risk as documented by Sanborn's company."
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Collecting

Papier Mâché and The Private Library

Published on 19 July 2018
"One of the most unusual bindings one is likely to encounter among books purchased at yard sales, garage sales, friends-of-the-library book sales and the like is papier mâché." L.D. Mitchell on Papier Mâché and The Private Library.
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Collecting

A New Edition of A Gentle Madness - Catching up with Nick Basbanes

Published on 19 July 2018
Ask any book collector about his favorite classic of collecting, and Nick Basbanes' Gentle Madness, first published in 1995, is undoubtedly at the top of the list. Now an updated edition of this book about the "Eternal Passion for Books" has been published. Rebecca Rego Barry asked Nick Basbanes about the book, how it affected his career, and what he's currently working on. Some snippets:
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Collecting

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - OenoLit and The Private Library

Published on 19 July 2018
Given that the first book printed from moveable type in Western Europe, the Gutenberg Bible, contains numerous references to wine, and given that the technology for printing that first book may itself have been modeled upon the screw press used to extract wine from grapes, this writer has always found it puzzling that the cultivation, processing, distribution and consumption of wine is rarely a major thematic element in works of fiction.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Joint Catalogue – 80th Anniversary of the Dutch Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (NVvA)

A "Fair-Less" Year: For the last ten years, this catalogue was issued on the occasion of the Antiquarian Book Fair at the Passenger Terminal in Amsterdam. Members of the Dutch Antiquarian Booksellers Association presented their treasures through the catalogue but also referred to the Fair, where one could view and touch books and prints in tangible form.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: James A. Michener

Michener is best known for his first work of fiction Tales of the South Pacific, a collection on interconnected stories that won the Pulitzer Prize, and which was the basis for his play South Pacific: A Musical Play which also won the prize, and for the film South Pacific.
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Article

Bibliographies - Philosophy

Online: The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP) - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) - Immanuel Kant - "Warda" online
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Article

Catch-Penny-Prints and Chapbooks in Lund – Schoolbooks for South Sudan

For this year's UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day Pierre Dethorey will organize a special exhibition of this beautiful, funny, colourful and extremely rare bibliophile treasure. Right now he is preparing an exhibition of the highlights from his collection which he will show in his shop on 23 April 2016. While browsing the wonderful catch-penny-prints and enjoying the unique chapbooks displayed at Akarps Antikvariat, visitors will be invited to help buy another – highly important – sort of books for the children in South Sudan. For each symbolic "book" bought to fill an "empty bookcase" poster visitors are making a donation to the UNESCO and Forest Whitaker literacy projects in South Sudan.
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Article

How Thieves Target Rare Books

The "Tome Raider" in the BCC News: "A book thief who served a four-year jail sentence should have turned over a new leaf. Instead, he has been sent back to prison after targeting one of Britain's most distinguished libraries. The case highlights a little known, but widespread crime."
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