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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
Type & Forme
Booksellers Worldwide

New to ILAB! Speaking to Anke Timmermann of Type & Forme and why rare books matter to a younger generation

Published on 30 May 2019
ILAB spoke to one of the newer members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association, Anke Timmermann who jointly owns and runs the business Type & Forme with her partner Mark James: "...the printed book and manuscripts have lost none of their allure in the new millennium, and antiquarian books are arguably even better appreciated in recent years ... Social media, especially Instagram, have brought forth a new generation of bibliophiles..."
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Booksellers Worldwide

Edinburgh Era – McNaughtan’s Bookshop

Published on 24 Aug. 2015
Away to Scotland for a rather special rare book trade occasion last week. A retirement party for our old friend Elizabeth Strong (McNaughtan's Bookshop) – not just a retirement party but also a welcome party for Derek and Anna Walker, who are taking over this much-loved bookshop on Haddington Place from Elizabeth. A big day for her, but perhaps an ever bigger one for them. The closing of one era, the opening of another – a passing on of the baton from one generation to the next. A time for celebration. A time for reflection. A goodish crowd of bookish folk. Edinburgh stalwart Ian Watson (John Updike Rare Books) was there. Cooper Hay had come over from Glasgow. Andrew Hunter (Blackwell's Rare Books) was up from Oxford. Family, friends, customers. A few choice words from our president, Oscar Graves-Johnston. A few words of farewell, welcome and introduction from Elizabeth. A few words of appreciation and anticipation from the Walkers.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: Cormac McCarthy

The front flap of McCarthy's 1965 first book proved to be very prophetic: "Confident of the acclaim The Orchard Keeper will ultimately receive, but hopeful that such recognition could come now rather than twenty years hence, the publishers sent a number of advance copies to well-known writers and editors, asking for comment and criticism..." Sure enough, McCarthy gained a fervent but very limited following among literary-minded readers, critics, and fellow authors. Outside this circle he was not very well known, even after the 1985 publication of his fifth novel, the violent tour-de-force Blood Meridian, which is now commonly ranked among the best novels of the past quarter century.
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Article

The Wonders of the Shore in Color

Long before Darwin's Origin was published in 1859 there was in Victorian society a strong popular interest in natural history. Not only did the microscope reveal previously hidden wonders, exposing for the first time the sexual life of plants, but advances in printing technology made it possible to reproduce and disseminate such images – in color – among the new and rapidly growing middle and working class populations. An excellent example of this historically unique intersection between science, technology and religion just appeared on my desk: the 1855 edition of Rev. Charles Kingsley's Glaucus, or the Wonders of the Shore.
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Article

Edmund Smyth - English Explorer (1823-1911)

The only existing account of his life beyond his travels is an obituary in the Royal Geographical Society, New Series 1882: Edmund Smyth travelled in the company of John Hanning Speke and Richard Burton, and he made a secret expedition to Tibet and the Brahmaputra with Robert Drummond and Thomas W. Webber. Webber's report "Forests of Upper India" was rejected by Sven Hedin, who "dismissed the account as worthless and riddled with inconsistencies, devoting six pages of his Southern Tibet to demolishing Webber's claims". Why? Hedin had recently returned from Tibet and claimed the discovery of the source of the Brahmaputra as his own.
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Booksellers

Speculating on the Book Trade - Rare Books as Investments?

The stock market appeals to the gambler in me. The first thing I do in the morning is switch on my computer and check stock prices. Unlike the price of rare books, they change every day. My earnings as a book dealer have always been either supplemented, or often superseded by, my earnings from the stock market. I can see a time when the book trade will be reduced to a handful of big businesses in London. There are not enough books to go round, and the present hierarchy of dealers operating at different levels will ultimately disappear. The internet has made the business a level playing field.
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Article

Derek Walker of McNaughtan's about the new Rare Books Edinburgh Festival

Rare Books Edinburgh is a new festival taking place from 20th to 30th March 2017, which brings together ten different institutions and organisations to celebrate book culture, collecting, and the history of the book.
The programme includes talks, workshops, and exhibitions, and incorporates the Edinburgh Book Fair, jointly run by the Antiquarian Booksellers Association and the Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association. The Edinburgh Book Fair is the largest antiquarian and collectable book fair in Scotland, this year featuring over forty specialist booksellers from around the UK. They will be offering for sale rare and collectable books and printed material of all kinds at a wide variety of price points. The fair will be opened by bestselling author and 'king of tartan noir' Ian Rankin OBE, creator of Inspector Rebus.
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Article

Rare Books in the Press - A Fond Farewell to Secondhand Bookshops

"'Is this a bookshop?' they would ask. Sometimes the tone was disinterestedly curious ('If it is, can I come in?') but occasionally it had an odd hostility to it. 'Is this a bookshop?'" Secondhand bookshops are a "disappearing species", says Rick Gekoski in The Guardian. Really?
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