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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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Booksellers Worldwide

Like "the library labyrinthe in Eco’s “The Name of the Rose" - A Wake For The Still Alive: Peter B. Howard, Part 3

Published on 09 Sept. 2010
Peter B. Howard bears a remarkable resemblance to the crotchety old bookseller in Michael Ende's The Never Ending Story - "Your books, are safe, my books are real" - and his premises are probably the closest I've seen to those in the library labyrinthe in the filmed version of Umberto Eco's "The Name of the Rose," although I have yet to encounter any arsenic-laced incunabula except, perhaps, from the tongue of the proprietor. And Serendipity is the operative word for both the premises; in their vast inventories and ever changing denizens. The minotaur himself and his long suffering assistant, Nancy Kosenka, are the only two constants in this ever evolving and serendipitous landscape. And those premises are a bit like the various lands of Oz, although not nearly as neatly ordered and likely full of a lot more surprises.
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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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46 - 54 / 58

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

Maps and the 20th Century : Drawing the Line

For some reason, I didn't get my customary invitation to the press preview of the latest British Library exhibition, "Maps and the 20th Century : Drawing the Line", when it opened towards the last year – perhaps it was something I said. No matter, it's still on for another six weeks or so – and I finally found some time to visit it a few days ago.
I found it challenging, which is a good thing.
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Booksellers

Heinrich Eisemann (1890-1972) – Antiquarian Booksellers in Exile –

He was one of the great antiquarian booksellers and widely known as “Mister Ten Per Cent”.
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Article

BUDAPEST 2016 - ILAB CONGRESS & INTERNATIONAL ANTIQUARIAN BOOK FAIR

There are numerous places in Budapest - lovely, exciting, relaxing, inspiring places. The Hungarian antiquarian booksellers and organizers of the 42nd ILAB Congress and 26th International Antiquarian Book Fair in Budapest, Hungary, from 21 to 25 September 2016 are recommending some of the best hotels in several price categories. Register now for the ILAB Congress in Budapest 2016!
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Article

SLAM Bibliography Prize 2013

The SLAM Bibliography Prize 2013 goes to: Catalogues régionaux des incunables des bibliothèques publiques de France. Volume XVIII. Bibliothèque de l'École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts. Édité par Dominique Coq. Collection Histoire et civilisation du livre. École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE). Genève, Librairie Droz, 2012. 334 p., ill.
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Article

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Three Men in a Boat encounter Russian pirates

This year is the 125th anniversary of the first appearance of Three Men in a Boat, published by J. W. Arrowsmith in Bristol (who, three years later, was to bring out that other classic comic novel, George and Weedon Grossmith's The Diary of a Nobody). Although slated by some critics at the time, the book sold in huge numbers, leading Arrowsmith to comment: 'I pay Jerome so much in royalties, I cannot imagine what becomes of all the copies of that book I issue. I often think the public must eat them.' It has never been out of print since.
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Article

Law Books: History & Connoisseurship - Summer Course, Rare Book School at the University of Virginia

Greetings from Rare Book School at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia! This summer Rare Book School is excited to offer a course designed specifically for law librarians and scholars and collectors interested in law books. Law Books: History & Connoisseurship surveys printed and manuscript legal materials in Anglo-American, European, and Latin American Law. Taught by Mike Widener, Rare Book Librarian at the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School, this course introduces students to legal bibliography and curation and instructs students on how focused, useful collections of law books are built. Students will explore the production and distribution of law books, the philosophy and techniques of collecting, and will develop bibliographical tools through hands-on laboratory sessions. This course will be taught in New Haven, Connecticut during the week of July 28–August 1.
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