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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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Booksellers Worldwide

"The best bookstore has one copy of everything in it" - A Wake For The Still Alive: Peter B. Howard, Part 4

Published on 09 Sept. 2010
The first time I met Peter Howard, he was being guided to my booth at the Boston Book Fair by Harvey Tucker. His mission was to get possession of a rare book I had brought: H. L. Mencken's first book, Ventures Into Verse. Yes, there was some patter but there was also a kind of bravado, even macho; you could see it in the attitude of his hat and in the sudden way that the patter stopped and Peter got down to business. The old world gentility simply was not his style. It was refreshing even if a bit intimidating at times. Peter was not shy about his intent. The best antiquarian bookstore in the world, he let us know long ago, has one copy of everything in it. And our responsibility as booksellers on the road is to look at every rare book. It all sounds quite Faustian now. But Peter's great curiosity, his own willingness to share and to learn has never been lost on me or anyone close to him. There is always something possible about the most seemingly impossible task. To deny it is to throw down the gauntlet. And you really do not want to find yourself in that position with Peter.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Four surviving Magna Carta copies to be displayed together at the British Library

For three days in 2015, the four surviving original copies of Magna Carta will be brought together for the first time, the British Library has announced.
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Article

Some Americans in Paris - Our Trip to the Paris Book Fair 2009

We went to the Grand Palais this June to enjoy the fair, buy some books and see old and new friends. The Grand Palais near the Arc de Triomphe is very spacious compared to the previous location of the fair at the Maison de la Mutualité in the Latin Quarter. There were many French dealers of course, but there seemed to be fewer dealers from other countries this year as compared to a few years before.
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Article

A Bibliophile of huge Ec(h)o

Fresh from his stint as Special Guest Curator at the Louvre (no less!), in September 2010 Umberto Eco will open the ILAB-LILA International Congress and Book Fair with the lecture The Vertigo of the List and of the Catalogue. "The subject of lists has been a theme of many writers from Homer onwards. My great challenge was to transfer it to painting and music and to see whether I could find equivalents in the Louvre, because frankly when I suggested the subject I had no idea how I would write about visual lists", he said at the Louvre.
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Article

Practice Makes (Nearly) Perfect - 36th Annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair

Sometimes the years seem to fly by like calendar leaves flapping off the wall in a corny movie. That was much the feeling at this year's 36th Annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair, held at the Hynes Convention Center. Old veterans of Bostons past walked the familiar aisles, nodding at one another – "Here we are again." Members of the excellent Brede staff, many of whom have been working with us for years, gave us a "Good to see you again" shoulder clap. And they meant it. We'd each survived another year and were back in the familiar, comfortable confines of the Hynes. I recall problems in the early years, mostly centering around the difficulties of moving in and out. But now staff and exhibitors alike know the drill, and if anyone unfamiliar with the procedure gets panicky, there are plenty of calmer heads to offer support. No more ugly, non-conforming booths, no fighting, no biting. The complainers will never go away, but even they seemed subdued this year.
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Article

In Memorian: Michael R. Thompson, Los Angeles

On Sunday, 25th August 2018, friends and colleagues gathered at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library in Los Angeles, to celebrate the life of Michael R. Thompson. A tribute by the library's Head Librarian Emeritus, Mr. Bruce Whiteman is published here with the permission of the author. Mr Thompson will be missed by many of his colleagues in the rare book trade.
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