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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

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Do you know Bouba & Zaza?

Bouba and Zaza are the heroes of a series of children's books initiated by UNESCO and conceived to help children in South Sudan develop life and socialization skills. The Bouba and Zaza series cover subjects affecting the lives of African families that parents are sometimes reluctant to address. These include various topics such as war and conflict, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the issue of water resources and environmental protection. #WBCD2015
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23 Aprile 2015 - ALAI con l'UNESCO per la giornata mondiale del libro

ALAI and ILAB for UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day - For weeks, the Italian antiquarian booksellers have been highly active in supporting ILAB's worldwide initiatives on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 2015. From the first day of the Milan Antiquarian Book Fair, 27 March, up to UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day, 23 April, people have the possibility to donate money to the UNESCO literacy projects in South Sudan via www.alai.it - go to the ALAI website and click the donate button! And on 23 April 2015 - UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day - the Italian booksellers join the worldwide series of more than 30 ILAB Pop Up Fairs within 24 hours with two exciting Pop Ups in Lucca at Corte del Biancone and in Milan at Biblioteca Chiesa Rossa. What a powerful campaign to support literacy and to promote the power of books!
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Book Collecting 101 at The Private Library

Anyone who has spent much time exploring Internet sites devoted to book collecting can be excused for coming away with the feeling that such collecting is too expensive and/or too complicated for the average person. The focus at too many such sites continues to be on great rarities, or on well-heeled collectors, or on events that the average working stiff can't possibly take time off from work to attend. Here at The Private Library, though, we contend that anyone can collect the printed book!
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You Can Quote Me On That

My catalogs are shorter, each consisting a single item, and they are even more "special" since they only go to one person each – with photographs, but digitally. They are called "quotes" and they're what little guys like me – specialist dealers – do instead of accumulating 350,000 books and hiring a prodigy like Dan Gregory to sell them. I suspect the act of "quoting" books has been around since 1455. In the old days we used carrier pigeons. Later, we graduated to postcards. Kevin Johnson of Royal Books is a terrific bookseller. He makes the point that people actually like being contacted by dealers, especially if we're offering material that stimulates their interest. He prefers telephone, but I'm too shy. I use email instead. Still, it amounts to the same thing – we put the book in the person's hand and say, "Look at this! Isn't it cool? I'm really excited about it."
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