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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Booksellers Worldwide

“You’ve got to keep rolling the dice”

Published on 24 Jan. 2012
"I didn't decide to become a bookseller; I fell into it by accident. In my early 20s I was determined to be an artist and that's what I was until I reached about 25. Then I started helping a friend with a stall outdoors on the Portobello Road on Saturdays and, after a while, I got my own pitch. I happened to do better with the stall than I was doing at painting and I enjoyed it more than painting to a point. Then I started having children and so needed money, and I realised that I was doing more bookselling and less painting and I was actually enjoying it. The day I realised that, I stopped painting and just started focusing on bookselling." - Shelf Fullfillment, the new blog of the ABA, starts with a very interesting series of interviews by Beatie Wolfe.
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Booksellers Worldwide

The President on Safari - Dublin’s Fair City

Published on 04 Nov. 2011
Laurence Worms, President of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (ABA), promised the ABA members that he would travel around the British Isles to see as many of his colleagues as possible. He publishes his travel accounts in his blog "The President on Safari". This is Laurence Worms' report about the legendary Irish hospitality and a very special trip to Dublin.
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Booksellers Worldwide

Vienna – Munich and Back

Published on 07 Sept. 2011
"Two Steinbach's at the same place would not have worked out": Michael Steinbach grew up in a rare bookselling family, but instead of taking over his father's business he moved from Vienna to Los Angeles, then to Munich, established his own firm, and travelled around the world. Now, after 40 years he has returned to his hometown, and he will certainly not hesitate to catch one of the next airplanes to Tokyo. Or Hong Kong? New York? Paris? Barcelona?
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Booksellers Worldwide

"Rare book dealers need more than 'Fingerspitzengefühl', they need a kind of sixth sense, paired with profound knowledge."

Published on 21 June 2011
It runs in the family: In 1993 both father and son sat at the conference table of the Presidents Meeting in Los Angeles. Anton Gerits as ILAB President, Arnoud Gerits joined the meeting as delegate of the Dutch Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (NVvA). "I have grown up in a rare book selling family. Books, reading, and the interest in history and politics were vital for us", says Arnoud Gerits. He studied history and Dutch language and literature at the University of Amsterdam. In the 1970s most professors held their lectures about the Middle Ages. As he has always been a passionate reader with a special interest in history, he knew most books, facts, persons and epochs they were referring to in their lectures - and got bored. He took his degrees and thought about his future career. Then, one evening in Amsterdam, a friend celebrated the opening of his bookshop, and at the opening Arnoud Gerits met the owner of Athenaeum, one of Holland's largest independent bookstores founded in 1966. The owner urged him to establish his own business. "Anioud suddenly I knew: I wanted to become a bookseller." The next day Arnoud Gerits called his father, who said: "If you want to work in a bookshop, why don't you work for me?" A conversation with ILAB President Arnoud Gerits.
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Booksellers Worldwide

Diana Parikian’s Swansong

Published on 15 June 2011
Diana Parikian, one of the most g ift, hardworking and highly regarded booksellers in the trade, recently announced her 'retirement', prompting the above remark in The Book Collector. Diana created whole fields of collecting interests and library trends, from emblem books to Wunderkammer, and many a rare book collector and librarian is indebted to her. Her finds include neo-Latin Renaissance literature, early theatre, opera libretti, documents of art history as well as forays into conjuring and cookery. Diana belongs to that small group of booksellers who actually read, or at least browse, the contents of obscure books, in Latin. Italian and French, to discover some unknown feature. She has published 80 catalogues over the last 45 years.
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Booksellers Worldwide

Kay and Muriel Craddock - 50 Years in Business

Published on 17 Feb. 2011
Congratulations to Kay Craddock and her mother Muriel Craddock who are celebrating 50 years in the rare book trade. "Immersed in the familiar hallmarks of "antique" and surrounded by up to 15,000 books, antiquarian bookseller Kay Craddock declares: "Books are good." The owner of the Collins Street landmark is well-positioned to know given her business is celebrating its 50th anniversary with one owner in the all-conquering digital age. Her store qualifies as an antiquity in its own right. So does her mother, Muriel Craddock, the 103-year-old matriarch who established the Essendon Treasure Chest on May 28, 1965, with her husband, Les ..." (The Age Newspaper)
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Book Collecting in the Press: Bibliomania: the strange history of compulsive book buying (Guardian UK, 26 Jan 2017)

The Guardian in the UK recently published an article on book collecting: "An essayist looks into the curious past of pathological collectors – and considers her own lifelong urge to hoard ever more volumes". This essay will resonate with many book collectors and we recommend to follow this link.
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Article

A Brief Guide to Collecting the Works of Eric Gill

Eric Gill was a sculptor and engraver who is now best known for his scandalous personal behavior alongside his spiritual art. Gill remains a controversial artist. As his biographer Fiona MacCarthy so aptly puts it, "Does consciousness of artists' reprehensible behaviour (Gill, [today,] would no doubt be in prison) put up a barrier between the viewer and the work? Or does knowledge of the artist's life, fallibilities included, amplify and enrich our understanding of the art?"* While that question may be one each individual must answer for him or herself, for those interested in the work of Eric Gill, what collectibles should you seek out?
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Admirable Artifice: John Napier’s Mirifici logarithmorum

John Napier discovered the logarithm — at least, he was one of several in the early seventeenth century to understand the principles behind logarithms, and the first to publish the fruits of his research in Mirifici logarithmorum.
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Article

Rare Books in the Press: This Is Why Your Used Bookstore Clerk Hates You

"Although bookstore workers love their customers, or are at least morally obligated to, sometimes the love is so great it turns murderous. Ever tried to finish all-you-can-eat coconut shrimp? That's the love we're dealing with here. Although your narrator worked at a used bookstore just outside of the city more than a decade ago, he shut his eyes tight, remembered three years of Fat Slice Pizza, and relived some moments of quiet desperation." Michael Leaverton knows: "This Is Why Your Used Bookstore Clerk Hates You"
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Article

Bibliographies - Orient

Online: Bodleian Library Special Collections - Dorn/Rost, Catalogue des manuscrits et xylographes orientaux - Tobler, Bibliographica geographica Palaestinae - Julius Theodor Zenker, Bibliotheca orientalis ... - Amari, Biblioteca arabo-sicula, 2 volumes - Enslin, Bibliotheca Philologica
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Article

A day out for the rare book trade - St. Bride

We're planning a really festive and utterly splendid day out for the book trade on Thursday 13th December – an afternoon of activity, followed by the legendary ABA Christmas Party (none of this restricted to ABA members). The venue is to be the St. Bride Foundation in Blackfriars – and what a fine choice it is. The First Lady and I were there the other day for a preview of what's in store, at the invitation of the Chief Executive of the Foundation, the very amiable Glyn Farrow. Most booksellers are in thrall with their work, of course, but how nice to meet someone else so enthusiastic, so energetic and so palpably in love with his.
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