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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Collecting

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

Published on 08 June 2012
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 24 May 2012
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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Collecting

Collecting Rare Books - and Ephemera: Dandruff Piles

Published on 02 April 2012
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 02 April 2012
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 13 Oct. 2011
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 15 Sept. 2011
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 16 June 2011
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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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Paul Kainbacher, Die Erforschung Afrikas. Die Afrika-Literatur über Geographie und Reisen 1486 – 1945

Paul Kainbacher's bibliography is „the" standard work for dealers, collectors, and scientists who are specialised in geography, travel, ethnology and natural sciences. It comprises – almost completely – the whole German literature on Africa written between the years 1500 and 1945.
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Article

Bibliographies - Economics

Online: Rodet, Catalogue des livres de la bibliothèque d'économie politique - Sempere y Guarinos; Biblioteca española, 4 volumes
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Article

Opening of the Thomas Mann Villa in Los Angeles

On June 18, 2018, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier inaugurated the Thomas Mann House in Los Angeles. More than 250 guests from the worlds of culture, science, politics and the media gathered in the house on San Remo Drive in Pacific Palisades, a borough of Los Angeles. 
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Article

​The ABA apprenticeship scheme is changing

In contrast to an internship, which typically lasts for six weeks, the ABA scheme allows for a trainee bookseller to work for an ABA bookseller for two years. During that time, the trainee will gain valuable experience, while the ABA bookseller gets financial support from the Educational Trust. Trainees are paid for both their normal working hours and the time they spend training.
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Article

Algorithmic book pricing and its implications

I was recently asked to offer comments on the issue of algorithmic book pricing for the newsletter of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association. The issue where the comments appear has now just arrived in the mail. Since the ABA newsletter reaches only a limited audience and has no online version I thought I should reproduce the text here, in case it might be of interest to others. Comments from readers who have actually used these services will be eagerly received.
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Article

The Mimeo Revolution - Secret Location on the Upper East Side

As much as I hate to admit it, Kulchur is one of the great magazines of the Mimeo Revolution. The mag irks because it proves false my notion that good funding translates into a bad mag. On the contrary, Kulchur is great precisely because it is well-funded. It just looks money in terms of design (even if Lita Hornick did not get her money's worth with the printers) and the contents are a wealth of information on the New York art scene in all its facets from film, art, literature, and theater. Hornick got great reviews and chronicles from great writers because she paid for them. In this case, she got her money's worth.
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