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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

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Collecting - Postwar Germany in the Works of W.G. Sebald

Whose role is it to write postwar German fiction? Since World War II ended, numerous writers of great acclaim have come out of West Germany and the GDR, and later from reunified Germany. For instance, you might be familiar with the works of the West German novelists Heinrich Böll and Günter Grass, or with the GDR literature of Christa Wolf. While many writers of the immediate postwar period returned to the rise of Nazi Germany and its aftermath in their works, W.G. Sebald is a bit of an interesting case.
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The Worth of Rare Books - An Interview with ILAB President Arnoud Gerits in the Hong Kong Economic Times

The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers does not encourage collecting books for investment purposes. We can tell what the price of a book was in the past, how that price has developed, we can tell what it will cost now to own a copy, but we cannot predict what its future price will be. Our advice is always: buy what you like, what pleases you, what interests you, what fits within your areas of collecting or interest, buy the best copy available (and affordable to you) at the moment you want to buy the book. The reason for collecting is love and interest in the subject, the author, the period, what the book represents, the love and desire to own the original or best edition of a particular book. Books may have an added value through an important dedication or provenance, or because of an exceptional binding, or because it has the signature of an important previous owner. But while one man may think a 1.000 US$ for a particular book is very expensive, the collector who has been looking for that same book for a long time may feel the 1.000 US$ is a bargain, if it fills an important gap in his library or collection. If, and I say if, it is an investment, than it is a long-term investment, a savings account, and you use money that you're sure you won't be needing for a long, long time, and nobody guarantees you anything. If you're looking for a quick return on investment, forget it. The bottom-line is: don't buy them as an investment: it is the wrong angle to look at books. Buy them because you love books, you love a subject, a historical figure, a period. Build a collection and become the expert on the subject. ... It is the voyage that will give you incomparable pleasure, not the arrival at the destination. If you must invest, invest in yourself: enrich yourself: not your bank account.
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Popping Up In VERY Unexpected Places on UNESCO World Book & Copyright Day, 23 April 2016

I thought back to the discussions Barbara and I first had about how ILAB should celebrate UNESCO's World Book and Copyright Day. We were charged with the brief of raising awareness of the antiquarian bookselling trade and decided that the best way to do this was to leave our "natural habitat" and show rare books to people who might not even realise that they exist. So why not go to a really unexpected place?
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Rudimentum Novitiorum Sells For $1,150,000 At California International Antiquarian Book Fair

A scarce copy of Rudimentum Novitiorum, the first printed history of the world, published in 1475, and the first printed book to feature maps, sold for $1,150,000 at the 45th California International Antiquarian Book Fair this past weekend in Pasadena, CA, as did "The World's Worst Copy of Gatsby," a first edition, first printing train wreck with a significant remnant of the $175,000 dust jacket pasted within, for $500. Some thought it was worth twice that, a true silk purse stitched from a sow's ear.
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The times they are a-changin' in the rare book trade

Moved by this conference in Lucca, I had the chance of dealing with some incunabula belonging to Martini, whose library is considered one of the richest private collections of Italian literature in the world. Reconsidering them one year after Norbert's presentation at Lucca, invites me to consider how our profession has been changing. As there has been enough talking of stolen books, forgeries, laws and export licenses, I would like to reflect on the evolution of the booksellers' job along the 20th century.
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ILAB congratulates Dr. Ina Kok - Winner of the 17th ILAB Breslauer Prize

On Friday, 25th May during the ABA Rare Book Fair London - the ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography with an endowment of US$ 10,000 was officially awarded to Dutch scholar Ina Kok for her masterpiece of bibliographical research "Woodcuts in Incunabula Printed in the Low Countries" - followed up on Saturday with a presentation of the book at the fair.
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