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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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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Booksellers Worldwide

Poul Jan Poulsen, Honorary Member of the Danish Antiquarian Booksellers Association (ABF)

Published on 26 Nov. 2010
Congratuliations! For his outstanding efforts and commitment to the antiquarian book trade, Poul Jan Poulsen - ILAB Treasurer for more than two decades - has been elected honorary member of the Danish Antiquarian Booksellers Association (ABF), as the only still active bookseller ever, and as the third in the entire history of ABF, which was founded in 1920. During the 90 years that ABF has been in existence, Poul has done more for the association than any other member. For many, many years, he has formed the back-bone of ABF, which would hardly be imaginable without him.
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Booksellers Worldwide

Keith Fletcher

Published on 23 Nov. 2010
I am a bookseller – a third generation bookseller and brought up on all kinds of old-fashioned ideas of Town and Gown, Gentlemen and Players, Society and Trade. Many years ago when we visited America regularly my father was invited to join that august New York Club, the Grolier. He declined on the grounds that it was not the right place for a tradesman. Consequently I feel that it is my duty tonight to present to you my credentials as a collector.
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Booksellers Worldwide

Cornstalk Bookshop Celebrates 30 Years

Published on 28 Oct. 2010
Congratulations! Cornstalk Bookshop celebrates its 30th anniversary. Paul Feain, ILAB General Secretary and owner of Cornstalk looks back to the beginnings: "Over the years I have been supported by many wonderful staff members, some of whom have gone on to operate their own rare bookshops. Some are professors and academics, some have had their books published. I owe a great debt to everyone on my staff and former staff members. These people are my friends and often I have drawn on their wisdom and the business would not have survived without their enthusiasm and support."
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Booksellers Worldwide

Antiquarian Books Do Have a Future! - An Interview with Alain Marchiset

Published on 22 Oct. 2010
Our trade has known in recent years very deep changes. We are hearing more and more often of the e-book, and it is not difficult to understand that in a few years the paper book will no longer be the cultural reference. I had also anticipated that fact in 2002 in another article "What future for rare books", in which I explained that rare and antiquarian books would probably be safe from the breakdown of the new book market, because rare books will remain collectibles. As I said then, "as the gap widens between books for consumer purposes and rare books, there will be greater distinction between them, and that such books will acquire greater value for collection purposes ". There will therefore always be demanding amateurs for fine leather bindings, beautifully illustrated books on fine paper, original manuscripts, etc… Can one really compare these beautiful artefacts to an e-book? Antiquarian books do have a future!
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Booksellers Worldwide

A Working Life: The Rare-Book Dealer - Ed Maggs

Published on 13 Oct. 2010
"For someone who loves old and rare books, buys and sells them, Ed Maggs hardly comes across as bookish, more of an energetic sporting type. But then, Maggs, 51, had ambitions of becoming a reggae superstar – not quite what his parents had in mind after an expensive private education at Westminster. Maggs played in a band called Talkover, worked as a DJ in various minor clubs and in department store stockrooms and other undemanding jobs, before fetching up like a prodigal son in the family business he initially wanted to avoid."
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Booksellers Worldwide

"He knows rare books. He knows how to sell rare books" - A Wake For The Still Alive: Peter B. Howard, Part 5

Published on 09 Sept. 2010
It was 1967 and I was just three months an employee of Jake Zeitlin's "Big Red Barn" bookstore, Zeitlin and Ver Brugge, and knew nothing. I guess that we received a list or catalogue offering rare books for sale (computers and the internet hadn't been thought of, at least not in the book business) and I had ordered (for all of $40 if memory serves correctly) an Advance Proof Copy of Bertrand Russell's Satan in the Suburbs. I was just beginning to collect Russell and, of course, had no idea what an Advance Proof Copy of anything looked like! It turned out to be not unlike an ordinary small paperback, but it was an Advance Proof Copy, and it impressed me beyond measure!
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Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Isaac Asimov, Legendary Author of Science Fiction

Isaac Asimov, legendary author of science fiction, celebrated his birthday on January 2. Born Isaak Yudovich Osimov in Petrovichi, Russia around January 2, 1920, Asimov immigrated to Brooklyn, New York with his family. Asimov would always retain a strong New York accent, a feature just as distinctive as his legendary mutton chops. The author is less well known for his flying phobia and using the nom de plume Paul French.
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“Books NOT Books” – An Exhibition at the London International Antiquarian Book Fair in June 2013

The ABA (Antiquarian Booksellers' Association) will be hosting what is thought to be the first ever "Books NOT Books" exhibition at the London International Antiquarian Book Fair in June 2013. The oldest, and with 180 exhibitors one of the biggest antiquarian book fairs worldwide, will open on Thursday June 13th and run until Saturday June 15th, 2013, at the National Exhibition Hall at Olympia, West London.
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Article

Rare Books in the Press: Bibliophilia for Beginners

"You may think that no gift could be safer or tamer than a book. Rare books, however, are a different beast—if you're planning to buy one for a friend, or to treat yourself, remember the advice that is always given about dogs: They are not just for Christmas. In Arturo Pérez-Reverte's thriller "The Dumas Club," the satanic book dealer Varo Borja declares: "Becoming a book collector is like joining a religion: It's for life." All collecting is a disease, but lusting after rare books often strikes those without the bug as deranged. Unlike paintings or fine furniture, say, books are intrinsically mass-produced objects. What's more, you can look at a watercolor or a piece of porcelain without doing it any damage, but—according to the memoirs of the writer and collector John Baxter—a rare book loses $5 in value every time you open it."
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Article

Girolamini and De Caro – A Letter to the Presidents of ILAB's Member Associations

Dear Fellow-Presidents, I am very sorry to be the bearer of bad news which are related to the thefts at the Girolamini-Library at Naples and Marino Massimo de Caro. Christian Westergaard, from Denmark, was arrested some days ago - and later released - for supposedly handling stolen Italian books. The books in question had no immediate Italian provenance (some came from the Macclesfield Library) but were on an Italian list of stolen books, presumably those known to have been stolen by De Caro and his accomplices. Because Christian and other dealers openly list their stock online, it seems that the Italian investigators just matched authors and titles, without reading the detailed notes, or examining the photos on the web, which would have demonstrated that these were not the copies in question. It is also more than curious that all of the eleven books that were confiscated by the Danish Police were titles that had appeared in auction 59 at Zisska & Schauer, Munich, in May of 2012. All of the then withdrawn books– totaling up to 540 – are still kept under lock by the Bavarian Police and that factor was forgotten by the Italian investigators! It may therefore even be that they do not fully understand that these books exist in multiple copies.
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Article

The American Gift Book, Part 2

If the bindings, illustrations, novelty of the formats, or the social causes connected with gift books were not enough to entice buyers, perhaps the textual content could. These were, after all, books. Gift books were carefully calculated not to risk offense, prompting Walt Whitman (DEMOCRATIC VISTAS, 1888, p. 65) to recall them as "those highly‑refined imported and gilt‑edged themes... causing tender spasms in the coteries, and warranted not to chafe the sensitive cuticle of the most exquisitely artificial gossamer delicacy." Whitman was correct, of course, and his comment was directed toward the bad poetry, most of it by women, as previously discussed. But there was also good poetry, including many early first appearances by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, John Greenleaf Whittier, Edgar Allan Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, James Russell Lowell, and even Henry David Thoreau.
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