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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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Booksellers Worldwide

Suburban - The Bookshop of Anthony C. Hall

Published on 26 March 2012
A visit today to one of the most threatened of all species – something in fact not so far encountered on my travels – a genuine suburban bookshop. Those of us who are themselves suburban will no doubt remember how many there used to be. To Twickenham – familiar enough terrain for me, my school was within walking distance of the famous rugby stadium. One of the school's most charming customs (now I bring it to mind, probably its only one) was that the older boys were allowed the afternoon off each year to go to the 'Varsity Match.
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Booksellers Worldwide

The Right Book - Derek McDonnell

Published on 31 Jan. 2012
Derek McDonnell has, over the course of 25 years at Hordern House, established himself as a pre-eminent dealer in Australiana and the history of Pacific exploration. He and his partner Anne McCormick have produced a series of beautiful and scholarly catalogues, which have established a new bibliographical standard for their subjects, as well as publishing a series of essential bibliographies. He enjoys a global circle of colleague friends and is one of the most admired figures in the 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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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

The Collector and The Collected: Two Typophiles From New York

"There are two typophiles from New York in my library: the Collector and the Collected. One was born in Rochester in 1918. The other died in Rochester in 1991. One sold printing equipment and supplies. The other ran two printing firms, one of which belonged to his father. One collected printing presses and books about printing. The other wrote a bibliography of books about printing. One was a witness in a hearing of the Committee on Un-American Activities in the 1950s (he sold printing equipment to the Communist Party). The other was Director of the Printing and Publishing Division of the Department of Commerce in the 1950s. One sold his antique press collection to the Canadian National Museum of Science and Technology in the early 1970s. The other sold his printing equipment company in 1966, and became a graphics arts consultant. One moved to California in the early 1970s. The other moved back to Rochester after he retired. One was a member of the Roxburghe Club and the Book Club of California. The other was a member of the Typophiles, the Goudy Society, and the Grolier Club. Who is the Collector? And who is the Collected?"
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Moving Pictures

In the century before cinema and television changed our lives forever, there were other ways of creating moving pictures. One such inventive Victorian method was the zoetrope (from the Greek zoe, 'life', and tropos, 'turning'), 'a mechanical toy or optical instrument consisting of a cylinder open at the top, with a series of slits in the circumference, and a series of figures representing successive positions of a moving object arranged along the inner surface, which when viewed through the slits while the cylinder is in rapid rotation produce the impression of actual movement of the object' (OED). You can watch a modern version of one here.
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Article

Sheila Markham - A Book of Booksellers

It's hard to know where to start with a book like this. Perhaps this way. I saw it listed in a catalogue and bought a single copy to see if I liked it. I wasn't twenty pages in before I ordered another 20 copies most of which I gave to friends and clients. I'm now on my second lot of 20 copies. If anybody wants to know what Antiquarian booksellers are really like you can find out in this wonderful book, a book which exists almost by accident.
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Article

Books about Books: A History of Oak Knoll Press, Part 12: Marketing Experiments

Another example of this synergy between the publishing and antiquarian businesses was brought about by an interesting request for bookbinding titles that we received from Marianne Tidcombe, noted English author (though American-born). Marianne told me that she was working on a project to honor Bernard Middleton, the pre-imminent English bookbinder. Important bookbinders around the world would be asked to contribute a gold-tooled binding on a copy of Middleton's memoirs that had been printed by hand by Henry Morris at his Bird & Bull Press. Twenty-five binders would be chosen and they would be paid for their work when (or if) the collection of bindings would be sold. I was asked to help find the binders, plan an Oak Knoll Press title describing this project which would be accompanied by full color plates of the bindings produced, and then sell the collection as a whole if possible, or piecemeal if it could not be sold as a collection. What a combination of antiquarian, new book, and publishing goals!
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

If you've ever attended or exhibited at a book fair in Florida, you'll know that MKR is a "home girl," probably trailing only Ernest Hemingway and John D. MacDonald in popularity as collected Florida authors, and neck and neck with Zora Neale Hurston for third place.
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