Admitting this is probably one of those phenomenally bad ideas I continuously have despite how much older I get, but I am one of those wicked people who pretended to know, well … something about this American literary star for many years. People would mention his name and I would be all, "Oh yes, Carl Sandburg, wow … it went for how much? Woah!" While casually hoping the conversation would change because as far as I knew I could not remember reading anything by this author and continually neglected to read up on him when I got to a quiet corner away from prying eyes. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I know it is a shocker but I am not omniscient (though I'm sure it seems that way most of the time. Eh-hem). So now, just in case any of you out there are like me and think you can continue fooling people into thinking you know about this magnificent man … think again!
January 29 is the birthday of early American political activist Thomas Paine (1737), whose pamphlet Common Sense (1776) credited with inspiring American colonists to embrace the idea of independence from Great Britain. The American Revolution had already started but the work served to spur volunteers for the Continental Army. It was widely distributed throughout the colonies, read aloud in taverns, and unabashedly pirated. Some scholars say it was the first American bestseller.
In the 1920s, dreamers and schemers descended on the Sunshine State bent on making a fortune in the burgeoning real estate market. In the earliest days of the Florida Land Boom, it seemed that one had but to imagine great wealth for it to be so. Parcels were bought and sold, sometimes within hours, at huge profits. The real estate bubble didn't last long - a scant five years or so - and when the end came some would-be real estate tycoons were stuck with land bought at inflated prices and no money. But there were developers who, though they had prospered during the boom, were cautious and had not been caught up in the buying frenzy. C. Perry Snell, for instance, had been in St. Petersburg for a couple of decades before the hubbub began. He had successfully developed residential projects that eventually became known as Old Northeast. He owned land bought many years before that he had not yet developed.
In 1878, when Chief Thunderwater was 13 years old and not yet a chief, his uncle gave him an extraordinary book, titled The Life and Adventures of Black Hawk: With Sketches of Keokuk, the Sac and Fox Indians, and the Late Black Hawk War.
How to identify a rare book? "I got stumped last week, trying to catalog a book I'd recently purchased. It was the first full length biography of the American naval hero James Lawrence, and it was supposed to be 244 pages long. However, my copy seemed complete at page 240, which ended with the word "finis." I must've spent an hour pouring through my reference books trying to reconcile the discrepancy. I had a dim recollection of the pagination issue being explained to me by the gentleman from whom I'd purchased the book. But I couldn't remember the details, and I couldn't piece it together from the bibliographies ..."
Today we celebrate the birthday of legendary author John Steinbeck. Born on February 27, 1902 in Salinas, California, Steinbeck would become one of American's most notable authors. Steinbeck established himself as an author in an era when accomplished authors held considerable clout. Thus he one day found himself in a unique position: he held the upcoming United States presidential election in his hands.
Needless to say, few strikes in American history have generated as much literature, music or folklore as did Lawrence. Given our interest in the art and literature of social movements, we're unavoidably drawn to this material, as are our customers – it tends to come and go with some regularity. Here are a few recent acquisitions that are still with us, each interesting for its own reasons.
"I love working in book shops", Jen Campbell says. "They attract especially strange comments and requests." Over the years she has written down all these strange questions customers ask when they drop in. The best of them have recently been published by Constable & Robinson with wonderful illustrations by The Brothers McLeod. An awesome and unbelievably witty book on the eccentricities which make bookselling one of the most fascinating professions on earth. A must for booklovers!
The World's Best Booksellers Meet in Switzerland! The 24th International Antiquarian Book Fair presents the best of the trade. From manuscripts and incunabula to avant-garde, from Erasmus, Philipp Melanchthon and Charles Darwin to Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, DADA and the Bauhaus artists – together with the Fine Art Zurich, this most important event, supported by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), will change Zurich into the international market place for everything rare, extravagant and beautiful.
Since its inception in 1838, G.P. Putnam's Sons have grown into one of the most respected - and controversial - publishing houses in the United States. In 1996, the publishing house became an imprint of the Penguin Group and continues to publish the works of outstanding authors of both fiction and non-fiction.
Probably the most notorious seventeenth-century sex manual bore the strange title Aristotle's Masterpiece. This book bears a fake author's name — the Greek philosopher had nothing to do with it — in order to give the work some measure of respectability. The ruse didn't work; Aristotle's Masterpiece was banned in Britain until the 1960s. But the prohibition didn't keep it from circulating: it was one of the most notorious, and widely distributed, sex books in the English language.
The former director of the Anna Amalia Library in Weimar and ILAB Patron of Honour recently wrote in the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper about digitisation, book restoration and the state of Germany's libraries.
"In Good Order But Poor Condition" is an interesting read about the importance of digitisation, but also about the need for research material not only to be available in digitised format.
From 17th to 20th May, 2012, members of the German Antiquarian Booksellers' Association met in Cologne for their 42th annual seminar. In a series of lectures the problem of provenances and the restitution of looted art and books was discussed with librarians, lawyers and specialists. The history of fate of famous collections were reconstructed, such as the libraries of Victor Manheimer and Elise and Helene Richter. Other lectures centred around the history of typography, the making of artists' books, and the identification of the age and the provenances of books through the paper on which of they were printed. Highlights of the weekend were excursions to some famous libraries situation in Cologne: the Dom- und Diözesanbibliothek with its numerous treasures of medieval manuscripts, Ungers-Archiv für Architekturwissenschaften and the Petrarca and Proust collections of Professor Dr. Reiner Speck. Read the report (in German) by Meinhard Knigge.