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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Booksellers Worldwide

"There will never be another antiquarian bookseller like Peter Howard" - A Wake For The Still Alive: Peter B. Howard, Part 1

Published on 09 Sept. 2010
It wasn't long before I determined to pay Serendipity Books a visit. In those days the store was located on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley. In the company of my wife, I paid the first of many visits to Mr. Howard's antiquarian book shop and, in short order, became familiar with the controlled chaos which is the hallmark of this remarkable destination. My first impression of Mr. Howard was that of a keenly focused, and earnest individual who, when engaged by someone in matters pertaining to rare books would speak directly to the issue, often imparting some insight or acerbic observation. He could also be dismissive if so inclined. Before introducing myself, I took ample time to study this tall, self assured person who was clearly the nexus of authority in the establishment. This tentative approach has served me best in all my dealings with Peter over the ensuing years.
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Booksellers Worldwide

If there is a heaven for rare books, it's like Serendipity Books - A Wake For The Still Alive: Peter B. Howard

Published on 09 Sept. 2010
"There are rare books all the way up to the ceiling, so absurdly far up (like 27 feet or something) that they are almost guaranteed to never come down. In addition to the shelves, both fixed and (apparently) movable, there are piles of books. Everywhere. There are paper bags and paper bags and paper bags filled with books, on the floor and in the aisles, and there are cabinets filled with prints and folios and ephemera and beetles and god knows what else..." "This is the single most amazing place I have ever been! When I dream about getting lost in a maze of forgotten books... this is what it looks like."
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Booksellers Worldwide

The Los Angeles Book Fair's New Dealers

Published on 09 July 2010
The February 2010 Los Angeles Book Fair was a lovely fair with a chance for all of us to see old friends and colleagues. What was different this year was that there were quite a few new dealers. Impossible, people say ... the antiquarian book trade is dying with us old folks. If you think that, then you didn't come to the Los Angeles Book Fair where I got to talk to quite a few new dealers while Gordon took some pictures. I chatted with dealers who were very positive about being in the book trade and about being at the Los Angeles fair at the Century Plaza, an historic hotel located in Los Angeles' wealthy west side. I was also interested in hearing from the new dealers about how the "old" dealers treated them and everyone I spoke with (with some exceptions not chronicled here) thought they were very welcomed by the experienced dealers. I wanted the new dealers to speak for themselves and so some of the comments here are from questions I asked and some are in answer to how they felt about the Los Angeles fair.
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Booksellers Worldwide

John Marrin - 18 Ford Village, Northumberland

Published on 01 July 2010
This is a report from what has been a little bit like Ice Station Zebra since 23rd December. Today is 13th January and we have had our first postal delivery at home for ten days. I was impressed by our postman, Rob, who said he felt the mail was starting to pile up (snow-like) at the sorting office, so went well out of his way, slithering on ice, to bring us the backlog.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Book Collecting 101 at The Private Library

Anyone who has spent much time exploring Internet sites devoted to book collecting can be excused for coming away with the feeling that such collecting is too expensive and/or too complicated for the average person. The focus at too many such sites continues to be on great rarities, or on well-heeled collectors, or on events that the average working stiff can't possibly take time off from work to attend. Here at The Private Library, though, we contend that anyone can collect the printed book!
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Matching the Right Wine to the Right Rare Book

"Of the debacle at the ILAB Congress in Madrid, where I denounced all Riojas as swill not suitable to even gargle with and to be accompanied only with cheap reprints of Lorca on a bad day, and of the subsequent riot outside the U.S. embassy and then nationwide strike, I shall say no more." A BOOKTRYST wine tasting in several lessons ...
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How Many Ways?

How many ways are there to do this business? Here is my old friend Adrian Connolly of Connolly's Book Shop, Cork City,Ireland ... Adrian once told me he buys his books by the pallet load from a jobber in London. Like bales of rags. He then prices them at € 3 - € 10 and shelves them. All day people wandering through the busy Paul Street square, or shopping at the adjacent Tesco supermarket drift into his shop, spot a book they've never seen before, and purchase it. There are many books on Adrian's shelves that people have never seen before, because most of them expired and disappeared very soon after publication.
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Reclam Museum opens in Leipzig

Reclam publisher's paperbacks are the symbols of German culture — and they now have their own museum.
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Books stolen from the Cappuccini Library in Florence

A number of books has been stolen from the Cappuccini Library in Florence (Italy), among them are rare incunabula and 16th century printed books. The attached list contains book descriptions as well as pictures of the library stamps and other provenances. If you come across of one or more of the items listed in the pdf file, please contact Fabrizio Govi, President of ALAI, or Susanna Vannocci.
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BUDAPEST 2016 - THE MEETING PLACE FOR ANTIQUARIAN BOOKSELLERS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD

After Paris, Lucerne, Bologna and Madrid book dealers and book collectors will meet in Budapest for the 42nd ILAB Congress and 26th International Antiquarian Book Fair from 21 to 25 September 2016. The Hungarian Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (MAE) and its President Ádám Bősze are organizing an exciting congress programme that will show the delegates from across the world that Budapest is a city with many faces: the old Hungarian capital full of books and music, history and tradition and at the same time a lively and busy Eastern European centre full of young and amazing cultural concepts.
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