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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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The ABA and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers

Published on 27 March 2018
The ABA and ILAB look back at a long history. The ABA is relaunching its flagship fair in London this year, the oldest antiquarian book fair in the world, under the auspices of ILAB. This text by the late Anthony Rota, ABA bookseller and ILAB President of Honour, was published in 2008 in the ABA Directory.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

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Why Are Some Dustjackets Clipped but Not Price-Clipped?

While browsing through Ralph Sipper's booth at this past weekend's Los Angeles Antiquarian Book Fair, I came upon an interesting copy of book that at first seemed a little out of place at the fair: John Sanford's Every Island Fled Away. It's a 1964 novel that, these days, is typically a $30 – $40 book in collectible condition, and not that much more when signed or inscribed. Usually the booths at the three fairs sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (there's also a New York show in April and a Boston show in November) are full of the best antiquarian books for sale in the country and the world (read highest quality, and consequently highest priced). Dealers usually trot out their top material, and Ralph's booth was full of many stunning copies of notable literary first editions. Some of them, like his beautiful copy of William Faulkner's first novel, Soldiers' Pay, are genuinely rare in such condition. By comparison, the John Sanford book seemed to be a grade schooler lost at the senior prom.
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Article

Let's get going! ILAB Pop-UP-Fairs Worldwide on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day, April 2015

I naturally like to regale the family over the supper table with all the latest news from the world of rare books. The family are slightly ambivalent about this: stifled yawns sometimes remain unstifled; eyes are exaggeratedly rolled; fathomless stupefactions of chronic boredom are elaborately mimed, and silent departures from the table to go and have a lie down are by no means unknown. Imagine then my surprise, my triumph, when I announced the concept of Pop-Up Bookfairs – and not just one or two, but a worldwide rolling twenty-four hour programme to celebrate a World Rare Book Day – fairs popping up all over the place, time-zone by time-zone, on a single day – right across the globe and all backed-up by the full might of social media. Tweet-pop, tweet-pop, from Australia to L.A. and beyond. Pictures, videos and reports on the web, YouTube, Instagram and wherever else anyone can think of. "That's brilliant. Absolutely brilliant", said Daughter No. 1. "Oh, you are soooo twenty-first century", said Daughter No. 2. "We've got a trestle table", said my dear wife, fondly imagining that the number of books in the house might actually decrease if I popped out for a pop-up. Incredible. I had managed to hold their attention for – oh – thirty or forty seconds. Well, twenty anyway.
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Armed Services Editions

It is the middle of World War II. Soldiers are on their way to the front lines of both the Pacific and European Theaters. Other soldiers are already there. Still others have been there and are now receiving medical treatment at military hospitals. There is a break in whatever action faces them. What are all of them doing? Reading!
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The ILAB Stolen Book Database – A Report at the IFLA Conference

A year ago Gonzalo Fernández Pontes was elected a member of the ILAB Committee. As Security Chair he is responsible for the ILAB Stolen Book Database, and he coordinates all efforts of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers to prevent thefts and to catch book thieves, both at national and international level. At the IFLA Conference in The Hague he gave a talk about this important work of the League.
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