I was ten years old when I first heard the name of York. I was reading Robinson Crusoe, and as everybody knows he began his journey from York. I have kept my bibliophilia alive since, and studied Turkish language and literature. Master’s degree has followed it. While I was struggling with choosing my Ph.D. subject, I read This Is Not the End of the Book by Eco and Carrière. Then I realized that I could study the history of books as well. It was around the sametime when I established my social media account “kitapvkutuphane” where I post information about books and do interviews with bibliophiles. Meanwhile I had started to work at a rare bookstore too.
One day I saw an announcement tweet about a seminar on books, and an offer for a scholarship... I was excited. I wrote my cover letter and sent it. I did not have much hope to be honest but still, I wanted to try my luck. One month later, while packing books for an order, I received an e-mail starting with:
“ILAB is very pleased to advise you that you have been selected for the award of the scholarship to the York Antiquarian Book Seminar...”
Yes, it was a good thing I tried my luck.
2 months later I landed in York. That was the first time I was with that many bibliophiles in one event. Despite the diversity of the participants, one thing was in common: a passion for books. The seminar took 4 days. It sounds like a short time, and yet it was the biggest enlightenment of my “book career”. In my opinion, the best part of the seminar was meeting with antiquarian book dealers, librarians, and bibliophiles at the same time, in the same place. Because, you could ask and learn about any sort of topic during the speeches and workshops. I was not planning to be a solo rare book dealer, but the seminar has encouraged me to do that. Now I am planning to establish my own business.
I appreciate ILAB and YABS for giving me this opportunity.
Amor librorum nos unit.
Oğuz Selim Başar
Istanbul - November 2022
The York Antiquarian Book Seminar, YABS
YABS, coordinated by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association ABA (UK), offers an opportunity for leading booksellers and librarians to share their expertise and experience with would-be and fledgling booksellers, librarians and collectors in a comprehensive survey of the second-hand, antiquarian and rare book markets. Basic procedures and problems are discussed both formally and informally through a series of lectures, discussions, and practical hands-on workshops with emphasis on cataloguing, pricing and bookselling in the wake of the pandemic. The seminar is designed for people of all levels of expertise, from beginners to those with years of experience who want to hone their skills in this rapidly changing field.
Dates for the upcoming course in November 2023 will be announced in a couple of months and scholarship opportunities will be communicated by ILAB in due course.
For any particular questions, please contact the ILAB Secretariat: [email protected] or the YABS Coordinator at the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association: [email protected].