A text is a text, not a book. With Kindles and iPhones proliferating with Comic Sans, what do practitioners of fine book-making see as the great challenges to making beautiful books in the 21st century?
"Through the association the trade has organized themselves as managers and intermediaries of the cultural heritage of books. While the books are waiting for their new owners, it is the antiquarians that take care of them. It is they who bring about the material remains of our literary heritage to new readers, to collectors and institutions. Thus they secure great cultural values for the future, and they distinguish between the valuable and the worthless, between the inalienable and waste paper. Hence the antiquarians contribute, not only to preserve the cultural heritage; they also to a large extent, contribute to define it."
Message from Sally Burdon, ILAB President:
41 years of supporting and educating booksellers is a long and proud record. This summer, just like the 40 before that, the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar (CABS) guided and supported another 50 would-be booksellers, more experienced booksellers, librarians and collectors through the intricacies of the antiquarian trade.
Nigel Beale met Adrian Harrington in October 2010 at the Toronto Antiquarian Bookfair to talk about the challenges that face the antiquarian book trade. A brilliant audio interview with ILAB Immediate Past President Adrian Harrington, published by Nota Bene Books.
My first scent of the world of antiquarian books had also come when I was still at school. Saturday afternoons would be spent in the many-storeyed dusty rooms of Thornton’s in Oxford -not looking for anything in particular, but taking great pleasure in handling an eighteenth century book, as a physical object as much as anything else.