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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade

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Booksellers

Past Presidents of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association - Alan Gradon Thomas (1911-1992)

This week – revisiting the past again with another in the occasional series on past presidents of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association. Alan Gradon Thomas was born in Hampstead, North London, on the 19th October 1911 – the son of Albert Edward Thomas, a local newsagent and stationer, and his wife Evelyn Gradon, originally from Durham, who had married the previous year.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Red Jack

'Until the 1950's, Jack London was by far the most popular American author in Soviet Russia. Over thirteen million copies of his works have been printed since the Revolution. Even today [i.e. 1962] he continues as a popular classic, and it is probable that over the Soviet period as a whole he has been read more widely than any other non-Russian author.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Writers of the Spanish Civil War

Between the World Wars, a "little world war," as Time Magazine described it, took place from 1936-1939. The Spanish Civil War pitted the Republicans, backed by international leftist allies, against the Nationalists and soon-to-be-tyrant General Francisco Franco. You might know a little bit about the history of the Spanish Civil War and its significance in Europe. Both Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany supported the dictator, turning the relatively localized war into a prescient event for the megalomania and political atrocities that have come to define World War II. As the Associated Press described it, the "conflict became a battlefield of ideologies . . . fascism against elected socialists and communists." How much do you know about the novelists and poets who not only depicted battles through language, but also fought alongside the Republicans in various regions of the country? From Pablo Neruda to Ernest Hemingway to George Orwell, let's take a relatively quick guided tour through the literary history of the brutal war in Spain.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Space Travel and The Private Library

In 1813, British mathematician William Moore published Treatise on the Motion of Rockets, the first exposition of rocket mechanics based on Newton's Third Law of Motion. But it was not until the early 20th century that this literature really can be said to have properly begun. It has its roots in the work of three men: Hermann Oberth, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and Robert Goddard. Each of these pioneers of astronautics appear to have independently developed similar theories about the possibility of rockets escaping earth's gravitational pull, and their earliest expositions of such theories are the core of any private library purporting to cover space travel.
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Article

"By any standard one of the giants of the rare book trade" - A Wake For The Still Alive: Peter B. Howard, Part 2

As my career in journalism fizzled out, my interest in antiquarian books and the rare book business grew, and by 1979 I was actively seeking a job somewhere, anywhere, in any position, in the Bay Area book trade. I told every friendly bookseller of my desire, but no job offer was forthcoming. Then one evening in early December the phone rang at home. It was Peter. The conversation went something very close to this: P: John, it's Peter Howard. Are you still looking for a job in the rare book trade?
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Booksellers

Living With - And From - Books, Part 4

The Discoveries of the Book Dealer: The role of the rare book dealer is not limited to purchasing and selling: his attention is not confined to the wholeness of a copy, its preservation, and the beauty of its cover. The charm of a book lies, besides in the text, in its publishing adventures, and in the changes of ownership that it has lived through the centuries. The curiosity in intensifying its study at times brings the antiquarian to notice some details that up to now had been ignored, leading him to some true bibliographic, historical and literary discoveries.
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