In mid-April the Austrian antiquarian bookseller Norbert Donhofer was elected ILAB President. In an interview with Bettina Führer he talks about recent challenges of the international antiquarian book trade and his plans for the upcoming two years of his presidency.
"The Milan conference saw the publication and distribution of A Compendium of Usages and Customs of the Trade (today: The ILAB Code of Ethics). This useful volume defined the customary practices of the rare book trade (as William Kundig had once proposed) for use in disputes, litigation, or legal difficulties … This being Italy, the venue for the farewell dinner could hardly have been more romantic. Coaches were hired to drive us all to Lake Como, where we dined in the ballroom of the Grand Hotel Villa de'Este, the honeymoon choice of many a British bride and bridegroom in pre-war days. After the dinner and not-to-be-avoided speeches, we danced until two in the morning on the cool mosaic floor, ending the evening with Ingelese Blaizot singing French love songs and Percy responding with English ones." (Barbara Kaye Muir)
Plutonian beauties, women from outer space, female survivors in urban jungles, satanistic feminism or the teen-age mafia: a very special collecting tip by L.D. Mitchell: "Good Girls, Bad Girls, and The Private Library"
On 23 April - the World Book and Copyright Day celebrated under the auspices of UNESCO - ILAB booksellers will hold Pop Up Fairs all across the world from Sydney to Tokyo to Cape Town, Moscow, London and all the major European capitals to New York, Washington, Chicago, Seattle and Portland at the Northwest Pacific coast. In woolsheds, on central stations, on boats, in museums, libraries, streets, cocktail clubs, brew pubs and skyscrapers ILAB booksellers will bring the books to the people by popping up on four continents and in every imaginable places, putting a stunning selection of rare books on display and raising money for a UNESCO project to buy books for schools in South Sudan. ALAI and the Italian booksellers strongly support this worldwide initiative from the first day of the Milan Antiquarian Book Fair, 27 March, up to UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day, 23 April.
Hunayn ibn Ishaq, Al-Kindi, Al-Razi, Al-Farabi, Ibn Sina, Al-Ghazali, Muhammud ibn 'Abdun, 'Abd'l-Rahman ibn Ismail, Ibn Bajjah, Ibn Rushd, these are all names that most of the West are unfamiliar with, but are some of the ones to which we owe a great deal. They were responsible for safeguarding and spreading the knowledge that came from the Greeks, but which had been lost, due to lack of interest by the West.