“Amor Librorum Nos Unit” is the motto of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, ILAB, the international trade body for the rare book trade uniting booksellers across 36 countries. The motto has been quoted many times over the last few days and particularly the last few hours following an agreement with AbeBooks to reverse its decision to withdraw from a number of international markets.
By 6th November 2018, over 550 booksellers had sent their books "on vacation", pausing their listing on AbeBooks. The protest by rare booksellers worldwide resulted in an unprecedented echo in the media.
In response to AbeBooks' recent announcement to withdraw from several markets and the closure of booksellers' accounts by 30 November 2018, the Antiquarian Booksellers Association declines a sponsorship deal with the London Rare Book Fair "Firsts" in 2019.
"The Dance of Death" arouses everyone's curiosity. The name alone is responsible for the initial interest, and widespread use in many artistic arenas confirms its magnetism. But what exactly is the Dance of Death? From where does it come, what does it mean and why is it important? These are the principal questions addressed below.
The International Rare Book & Autograph Fair at the Grand Palais in Paris, now in its 28th year, is one of the most prestigious fairs in the world, attracting nearly 200 exhibitors and over 20.000 visitors who enjoy the opportunity to browse, buy and admire more than 100.000 historical documents, rare books, manuscripts, autographs, prints and ephemera from all centuries. In 2016, this international high-class event becomes even greater as the French antiquarian booksellers will join in ILAB's celebrations on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day by granting FREE ENTRY TO THE FAIR ON SATURDAY 23 April.
As you may already have realised, I like books which have a story to tell. By this I mean not just the book's own internal narrative, but a copy of the book with its own individual history. Not necessarily a fine and obviously important provenance (although that's always very welcome), but just a tale of its own career in the world. I'm not deterred by a book with a previous owner's inscription, far from it – this can lead into that narrative and document some evidence of the book's initial audience and reception. Who bought this book when it first came out? Where did the book fit into that world rather than ours?