In France the first gift book may have been ALMANACH DES MUSES, first published in 1765. This format was copied in Germany in 1770 with the publication of MUSEN-ALMANACH. In the 1790s some anthologies appeared in England that were clearly intended to be given as gifts, like ANGELICA'S LADIES LIBRARY, OR PARENTS AND GUARDIANS PRESENT (1794), which was followed by THE ANNUAL ANTHOLOGY (1799, 1800), edited by Robert Southey, and including twenty-seven poems and epigrams by Coleridge, plus contributions by Charles Lamb and Southey himself. A third volume was planned, but never appeared. These proto-gift books did not start a trend, and I know of no similar anthologies published in England during the next two decades. In the early years of the nineteenth century in Germany, some gift books (taschenbuch) were being issued in glazed paper boards, and in 1822 Rudolph Ackerman used those as his model when he published the first English gift book, the FORGET ME NOT, which he would publish without interruption for the next twenty-five years. Gift books like Ackerman's, which were issued year after year, became known as gift annuals, literary annuals, or simply "annuals." Since not all "annuals" were exclusively literary in their content, I will use the term "gift annual" to describe them as a subset of the broader family of gift books.
Herman Henrik Julius Lynge (November 13, 1822 - May 12, 1897) was a Danish antiquarian bookseller. He continued and owned the first antiquarian bookshop in Scandinavia, now "Herman H. J. Lynge & Søn A/S". Lynge was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, as the son of a bookbinder. At a very young age, before he was even confirmed, he began his apprenticeship as a bookseller, and the shop in which he took his education was carefully chosen by his father, Henrik Berndt Lynge. His master was Christian Tønder Sæbye (1789-1844), who had started his bookshop, initially a second-hand shop focusing on books, in 1821 on Gothersgade 26. After his apprenticeship, Lynge continued to work in the company, and when Sæbye died in 1844, the young man, only aged twenty-two, took over as manager of the bookshop, which was still owned by the Sæbye family. In 1853 Lynge was able to buy the shop from the family at the price of 1,000 rix-dollars, and at the same time he took out a trade licence as a bookseller. In the first years the cholera was harrying Copenhagen, and Lynge is said to have done great business at the time due to the large number of private libraries offered for sale; he was the only proper "antiquarian bookseller" in Denmark, and he often spited the danger of infection and personally collected the large number of books in the homes of the ill.
The other things that stopped coming in the door (besides annoying retail time wasters and desperately needed cash), were books. I'd gotten quite used to the steady flow of material that drifted in over the transom, and the house calls that resulted from having a used book shop on a busy street. Indeed, one of the primary functions of my several shops had been to serve as billboards for people who had books to sell. When that was gone, so were they. Rare books are called "rare" because there aren't many of them. Consequently, house calls for rare books generally consist of long journeys to heft and haggle over a single ancient tome, or maybe two or three – hardly ever more than a couple of boxes.
The mission of the Grolier Club is "to foster the study, collecting, and appreciation of books and works on paper, their art, history, production, and commerce". To this purpose numerous books and exhibition catalogues are published or sponsored, and a series of book-related events is regularly being held at the Grolier. The fall season of Grolier events starts in September with a Seamus Heaney exhibition followed by other amazing lectures, exhibitions and meetings until December 2014, including the first "Grolier Club Hundred Exhibition" in twenty years. An overview: