On Saturday 17th March, the 2018 edition of the annual Stockholm Antiquarian Book Fair will open its doors! We spoke to Mats Peterson, owner of Stockholm's Centralantikvariatet in Stockholm and President of the Swedish association SVAF.
"The Milan conference saw the publication and distribution of A Compendium of Usages and Customs of the Trade (today: The ILAB Code of Ethics). This useful volume defined the customary practices of the rare book trade (as William Kundig had once proposed) for use in disputes, litigation, or legal difficulties … This being Italy, the venue for the farewell dinner could hardly have been more romantic. Coaches were hired to drive us all to Lake Como, where we dined in the ballroom of the Grand Hotel Villa de'Este, the honeymoon choice of many a British bride and bridegroom in pre-war days. After the dinner and not-to-be-avoided speeches, we danced until two in the morning on the cool mosaic floor, ending the evening with Ingelese Blaizot singing French love songs and Percy responding with English ones." (Barbara Kaye Muir)
Travel lies are as old as literature itself, or perhaps even older. Sailors, the quintessential travellers, are well known for their sailor's yarns. And how better to impress the stay-at-homes than with stories of sea serpents, dwarfs, giants, headless or dog-faced people in faraway places? This was much more satisfying than telling of hard work, bad food and low pay.
The Italian Antiquarian Booksellers' Association (ALAI) is pleased to announce that the new ALAI website, entirely renewed in graphics and content, is now online. You are invited to have a look at all the new features it contains. The site's homepage includes a section dedicated to the associated booksellers' catalogs. The material that each member will upload (news, catalogs, photographs, videos, events), will then remain filed in the page dedicated to him, which can be regarded as a sort of small website reserved to a single member.
So, why and how do they do it? Booksellers are a rare breed. A friend once said that it was a "gentleman's trade". But it is much, much more than this. A book selling is as much about the books as about the friendships made along the way.
This week (apart from stitching together a final report on this summer's successful internship scheme – more on that in a week or two), I have been putting the finishing touches to the 2015-2016 programme of the monthly 'Second Tuesday' Seminars on Book Collecting which we put on in collaboration with the Institute of English Studies (IES) at London University.