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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
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Autographs

Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: The Letters of B. Traven

Published on 20 July 2018
One of the great things about working for a bookseller is you get to see some very cool items. One of the best in recent days is a collection of letters from the writer B. Traven - best known for his novel The Treasure of Sierra Madre - sent to the model and actress Ruth Ford. If you're only familiar with the classic movie starring Humphrey Bogart, you've been missing out because B. Traven was a man of mystery worthy a movie all his own.
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Autographs

When Kerouac Met Dostoyevsky

Published on 20 July 2018
Sometime during March-April, 1949, John-not-yet-Jack Kerouac, 27 years old and living with his parents as "The Wizard of Ozone Park" (Queens, NYC), as his Beat friends referred to him, bought a cheap reprint edition of short stories by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. He annotated the book, and entered his ownership signature. Dostoyevsky was an important influence on Kerouac; his novel,The Subterraneans, was consciously modeled on Dostoyevsky's Notes from Underground, one of his favorite books, and there are many references to the Russian author in Kerouac's novels and letters.
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Autographs

Fraktur and The Private Library

Published on 20 July 2018
In Germany books written in "Fraktur" are hard to sell, because especially young people are not used to read it. Often called "old German typography" the typical "Fraktur" is found in German books of the late 19th and early 20th century, mostly common literature and popular non-fiction, printed in a large number of copies. From L.D. Mitchell we learn that there is another kind of "Fraktur", very rare and worth collecting.
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From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

A Bibliophile of huge Ec(h)o

Fresh from his stint as Special Guest Curator at the Louvre (no less!), in September 2010 Umberto Eco will open the ILAB-LILA International Congress and Book Fair with the lecture The Vertigo of the List and of the Catalogue. "The subject of lists has been a theme of many writers from Homer onwards. My great challenge was to transfer it to painting and music and to see whether I could find equivalents in the Louvre, because frankly when I suggested the subject I had no idea how I would write about visual lists", he said at the Louvre.
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Article

Field of Booksellers

"This time in 2006, I had been a book dealer for only two years. I had come to bookselling, not exactly by accident (I had been worked in bookstores off and on for the better part of ten years), but rather as a way to fill some time while I stayed at home with my then-four-year-old daughter. The business (such as it was) was very much a part-time venture. I had about 1000 books that I'd managed to scare up from library fundraisers, thrift stores, Craigslist, and garage and estate sales. I kept them in banker's boxes crammed into several closets around the house. I didn't really know any other booksellers and had little in way of a reference library. I sold only online. Most of my books were either modern firsts or university press titles, and every day or so one or two sold via ABE or Amazon. I dutifully packed up in salvaged boxes or homemade ad-hoc packages. I made a little spending money, no more really." "Cultivating the trade for future generations" - Brian Cassidy explains why Rare Book Schools or the Colorade Antiquarian Book Seminar are inevitable for young booksellers.
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Article

In the Press - The Secret Libraries of History

"Beneath the streets of a suburb of Damascus, rows of shelves hold books that have been rescued from bombed-out buildings. Over the past four years, during the siege of Darayya, volunteers have collected 14,000 books from shell-damaged homes. They are held in a location kept secret amid fears that it would be targeted by government and pro-Assad forces, and visitors have to dodge shells and bullets to reach the underground reading space.It's been called Syria's secret library, and many view it as a vital resource."
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Article

Celebrating 50 years of selling the finest - The 50th California International Antiquarian Book Fair

The first major antiquarian book fair of the year in America, the California International Antiquarian Book Fair will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2017!50 years of seeing, learning about, and purchasing the finest in rare and valuable books, manuscripts, autographs, graphics, photographs, print and ephemera.
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Article

Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger died aged 91

"JD Salinger, who has died aged 91, was the reclusive author of The Catcher in the Rye (1951), one of the most beloved novels in the English language since the second world war ..."
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Article

3rd Milan International Antiquarian Book Fair, 27-29 March 2015

For the third time antiquarian booksellers and collectors will meet at the Palazzo Mezzanotte in Milan from Friday 27 March to Sunday 29 March to celebrate the Milan International Antiquarian Book Fair. The fair will be officially opened on Friday 5.30 pm in the presence of the great bibliophile, author and scholar Umberto Eco. Organized by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of Italy (ALAI) and supported by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) this high class event will attract bibliophiles, traders, journalists, collectors, intellectuals and many curious to come to Milan and to enjoy three wonderful days of browsing the shelves and exploring the fascinating world of the rare book. All the variety which has been brought up through five centuries of printing will be showcased: from incunabula and milestones of 16th and 17th century printing to modern artists books, from mediaval manuscripts to handwritten letters and documents by famous authors, artists and scientists, from children's books to natural history works to modern first editions to avant-garde.
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