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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Collecting

Collecting Rare Books - and Ephemera: Dandruff Piles

Published on 19 July 2018
Books sit squarely on shelves. They are discrete, replicable units. They have titles, authors, and places and dates of publication. They organize nicely into classes – "fiction" and "non-fiction," for example. There is agreed-upon language to describe condition, and there are bibliographical references that talk about the history and physical makeup of a book.
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Collecting

Open The Pod Bay Doors, Hal!

Published on 19 July 2018
If there's one thing you can guarantee it's that the minute you think you're being smart is the minute before you meet someone much smarter. One of the reasons I love my job so very, very much is that my minutes of being smart never last long enough to knock my self image out of whack. If I'm not meeting a customer whose breadth of knowledge and devotion has the least admirable parts of me reaching for a pitchfork and a torch then it's one of my colleagues who is making me wish I could eat their head and consume their wisdom entire.
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Collecting

Why You Collect? Why I Collect. Why I Oughta… A Day With Comic Art Collector Warren Bernard

Published on 19 July 2018
I'm curious to hear from readers about how, or whether, the concept of 'rarity' entered your lives, and how it has expressed itself. Have you become, like Warren, a passionate collector of some obscure and wonderful class of object? Or, like me, become a dealer - that is, someone with all of the instincts, but none of the patience, of a collector? Or were you that guy out in the Best Buy parking lot at 3 in the morning? And how have other circumstances in your life - relative wealth or poverty; marriage and children; career, religion, race, politics, sexual orientation - how do you reckon these have informed your collecting (or non-collecting) habits?
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Collecting

Book Collecting 101 at The Private Library

Published on 19 July 2018
Anyone who has spent much time exploring Internet sites devoted to book collecting can be excused for coming away with the feeling that such collecting is too expensive and/or too complicated for the average person. The focus at too many such sites continues to be on great rarities, or on well-heeled collectors, or on events that the average working stiff can't possibly take time off from work to attend. Here at The Private Library, though, we contend that anyone can collect the printed book!
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Collecting

The Literature of Collecting by Richard Wendorf

Published on 19 July 2018
Explorations into the world of books, libraries and the visual arts: Richard Wendorf, Stanford Calderwood Director and Librarian of the Boston Athenæum, provides a groundbreaking investigation of the relationship between the theoretical texts devoted to collecting and the fictional texts that also take collecting as their focus: not just John Fowles's "The Collector", but also Susan Sontag's "The Volcano Lover", Evan Connell's "The Connoisseur", Tibor Fischer's "The Collector Collector", Bruce Chatwin's "Utz", and Ian McEwan's early short story "Solid Geometry." Wendorf shows how the critical arguments posed by Benjamin, Baudrillard, Muensterberger and others play out in these modern literary texts and how, in turn, these fictional works complicate the ways in which we think about what it means to be a collector.
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Collecting

Vandérem et la bibliophilie nouvelle

Published on 19 July 2018
Le mérite de cet épisode emporté de l'histoire de la bibliophilie française revient tout entier à Fernand Vandérem. En 1922, Henri Leclerc, libraire-expert, propriétaire de la revue, lui en a confié la direction. Homme tout autre et venu d'un tout autre bord que Georges Vicaire, son prédécesseur, Vandérem n'est ni un érudit ni un bibliographe patenté. C'est un écrivain, romancier sans succès et chroniqueur littéraire apprécié, qui s'est taillé dans le petit monde spécialisé de la librairie ancienne la réputation d'un amateur fin et paradoxal. L'aplomb de ses oukases et la causticité de son esprit en ont fait une manière de personnage. À la tête du Bulletin, il va révéler et déployer tous les talents d'un incomparable animateur.
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Collecting

The A-Z of Celebrity Book Collecting - Bookride reveals the hidden secrets of the rare book trade

Published on 19 July 2018
The Who is Who of rare book collecting. Why does Charlie Woods never attend rare book auctions? What do Led Zeppelin and Crowley have in common? Who has bought a lock of Rupert Brooke's hair? And how much did it cost? Bookride reveals the "hidden" secrets of the antiquarian book trade and explains what is worth collecting in a glossary from A to Z: animals, Attenborough, auctions, Beatles, Boer War, Bloomsbury, Celine, Chesterton, colour printing, cookery, cricket, Crowley, design, Dracula, engineering, false books, flowers ...
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Collecting

How To Shop at a Used or Rare Book Store Without Being Murdered

Published on 19 July 2018
"One of the questionable compensations which used booksellers [the rare books, not the sellers] receive in return for devoting themselves to a precarious vocation is a constant exposure to all the varieties and extremes of human behaviour at its most eccentric." So begins The Protocols of Used Bookstores, a serio-comic tract written and recently published by Toronto fine and rare bookseller (the rare books and the seller) David Mason. Within, Mason lists forty-four Rules to be heeded by the used and rare book buyer when patronizing a brick and mortar shop if they wish the proprietor to give them the time of day and a piece of their expertise as opposed to a time of death and a piece of their mind. Mason has put forth these rules "to help make your quest for a book simpler."
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Collecting - The Father of California Viticulture’s Middle Child: Arpad Haraszthy & Wine Writing in California

In hindsight, we know Arpad Haraszthy was born to make wine. His father, Agoston Haraszthy (also known as "The Father of California Viticulture"), founded the Buena Vista Vinicultural Society in California after the 1857 establishment of his Buena Vista vineyard in Sonoma. Hungarian-American wine maker, writer and world traveler, Agoston Haraszthy moved to the United States in 1842 (when his son Arpad was only 2 years old), first settling in Wisconsin, there founding the first Wisconsin vineyards. A challenging endeavor, he gave up his attempts to grow grapes in the mid-west and moved his family to San Diego, California. Though he was active in political town-goings-on in San Diego, Agoston found he was once again disappointed in the local viticulture possibilities, and the family once more relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area, settling (this time for good) in Sonoma. To make a long (& mobile) story short, Agoston finally found what he was looking for in the Sonoma Valley. He and his family settled down. So Arpad Haraszthy grew up surrounded by wine aficionados (for example, Charles Krug was employed at the winery) – it seemed merely a matter of time before he himself entered the profession.
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Article

You Cataracts and Hurricanoes! - A Treatise on Meteorology: From the Encyclopedia Metropolitana

I focus not on a reference book but on a single entry today — still, it's large enough to be published as a substantial book in its own right. This is George Harvey's entry on meteorology for the Encyclopedia Metropolitana — what Tom McArthur calls "the grand but ill-fated Encyclopaedia Metropolitana." Samuel Taylor Coleridge was involved in the planning, though he backed out as soon as it began appearing in 1818, as did most of the others who started it. A total of thirty quarto volumes, stretching to more than 22,000 pages and 565 plates, appeared over the next twenty-eight years.
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Article

Rare Books, Book Illustration, and the DADA movement: Hannah Höch - Brushflurlets and Beer Bellies

Rare books, book illustration, book art and the DADA movement – Hannah Höch was born in Gotha, Germany. From 1912 to 1914 she studied at the College of Arts and Crafts in Berlin under the guidance of Harold Bergen. In 1915, Höch began an influential friendship with Raoul Hausmann, since then she was involved in the Berlin Dada movement. She designed dress and embroidery patterns for Die Dame and Die Praktische Berlinerin, published by Ullstein. From 1926 to 1929 she lived and worked in the Netherlands. She was one of the leading DADA artists, and a pioneer of the photomontage. Her collages, photographs and illustrations were statements about life and art in the Dada movement – and are well-known to art and rare book collectors. Snippets …
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Booksellers

Antiquarian Booksellers in Exile – Lucien Goldschmidt (1912-1992)

“Lucien Goldschmidt was a citizen of the world”, Nicholas Barker once wrote in The Independent. “He would have liked to be called that, but it would be more true to say that the world of which he was a citizen was one that he had largely created. His life was divided between books and the world of art. Booksellers and art dealers normally lead rather separate careers, but Goldschmidt combined both, giving to each his own individual, highly independent, taste. Words and images combined to form an outlook on the world that was, in one word, civilised.”
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Article

Tracing Copenhagen's literary heritage

Copenhagen will host the 2017 Presidents' Meeting of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers. Presidents from 22 national associations gather at these annual meetings and besides the formal meetings, get a chance to see some of the city's bibliophile treasures and cultural highlights. Below is a list of some of the less known places anyone who is interested in literature, books in general and Denmark's history should explore.
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