The rare book trade lost one of its most active members earlier this year. Besides his achievements as a remarkable bookseller of Americana material and the respect he gained in the bookselling community, William Reese is also remembered for his series of essays on the rare book market and Americana which were published in 2018. In a tribute to Mr Reese, ILAB will publish two chapters of his book over the next few weeks on this website with the permission of William Reese & Co.
The opportunity to travel to distant lands opens up new worlds for anyone. I am no exception. This particular adventure to attend the International League of Antiquarian Bookseller's Congress in Budapest was so much more meaningful to me on a larger scale.
The differences between paper and digital catalogs are obvious, but some of the results of those differences continue to surprise me. For example, in the old days orders from my paper catalogs would dribble in over a period of weeks. I used to mail them all first class, in three staggered mailings, hoping to achieve some kind of evenness in delivery, but customers were always complaining that their catalogs arrived late, and demanding exclusive previews. Others, more laid back, would wait for moments of leisure to read their catalogs, and some overworked acquisitions librarians required days or weeks to claw through the pile of incoming mail to discover where my list of treasures was buried. Digital catalogs, on the other hand, play out in an eyeblink. Everyone gets their catalog announcement via a Mail Chimp email blast within the same hour or so. Those who are highly motivated know that they must read it and respond immediately. Consequently, most of the orders arrive by email within the first few hours of the catalog's life. Maritime List 238 was posted Sunday night. By Wednesday even the laid back orders had arrived.
Hard to believe, for me anyway, but we've just shot past the sixth anniversary of Bookman's Log. Yes, I should have written this entry after the fifth anniversary, and I don't know why I didn't. The post dated June 8, 2015 is about my dimwitted attempt to sell rare maritime books through an eBay store. (Results for the 6 months I tried it were one sale and two offers, both for less that 50% of what I had listed the book for.)
Moved by this conference in Lucca, I had the chance of dealing with some incunabula belonging to Martini, whose library is considered one of the richest private collections of Italian literature in the world. Reconsidering them one year after Norbert's presentation at Lucca, invites me to consider how our profession has been changing. As there has been enough talking of stolen books, forgeries, laws and export licenses, I would like to reflect on the evolution of the booksellers' job along the 20th century.
A "Fair-Less" Year: For the last ten years, this catalogue was issued on the occasion of the Antiquarian Book Fair at the Passenger Terminal in Amsterdam. Members of the Dutch Antiquarian Booksellers Association presented their treasures through the catalogue but also referred to the Fair, where one could view and touch books and prints in tangible form.
Imagine - you live in an area where no flooding has taken place for 38 years and your stock is held in a professional storage area surrounded by some 200 other units. Sounds a good bet? . . . Read on. Here is one dealer's first-hand experience. Bon Summers was hit by a flash flood and it took her 20 day's solid hard work in temperatures exceeding 90°F with high humidity to recover the remaining stock. This is her account.
The Swedish Antiquarian Booksellers Association (SVAF) has now announced the dates for the 2017 Stockholm Antiquarian Book Fair. The fair will take place from the 4th to the 5th of March at Stockholm’s beautiful Royal Academy of Arts.
"It's like discovering a herd of unicorns", says Rick Gekoski. "For a time, when you see them together, you think they must be quite common. But when you buy your unicorn and take it home to your little smallholding, then your neighbours will fall over with astonishment. That's what's going to happen with these books. After a year or two passes, each one is going to look like a little marvel and the prices will seem reasonable, even cheap, in retrospect."
This article was first published on the website of Archives Fine Books in Australia, member of ANZAAB and affiliated to ILAB. It is published here with the permission of the author Dawn Albinger and shows the integrity of our trade. Taking our book sleuthing to a new level in 2017…
How we cracked the cold case of a book missing from the rare books department of a major institution.
24 hours of ILAB Pop Up Fairs across the world on April 23, 2015 – this is ILAB's contribution to the UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day! As the earth turns, book fairs will "pop up" in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. The day will start with an ILAB Pop Up Fair celebrating Shakespeare's birthday at the State Library of New South Wales followed up by antiquarian booksellers showing amazing books, prints and manuscripts in the most unusual and unexpected locations: in woolsheds, restaurants, museums, libraries, a synagogue, in the streets of New York, in Groningen's Folkingestraat or on a boat cruising the canals in Amsterdam. Join us in Portland, Oregon for the END OF THE DAY pop up fair to celebrate the book and to raise funds for UNESCO's literacy program in Africa!
Millions of rare books have been thrown from the shelves by an earthquake in New Zealand early this week. Among them a collection of Greek and Roman antiquities worth millions of dollars that has been damaged at the University of Canterbury. "The James Logie Memorial Collection of Greek and Roman antiquities is one such example of a collection that has suffered significant damage. The collection, established in the 1950s in memory of university registrar James Logie, is valued at several million dollars and includes nearly 250 items. Dr Alison Griffith, head of the classics programme, said staff were heartbroken at the extent of the damage."
It's a well-told story: a man is hitchhiking his way across Europe, has a few too many pints at the pub, lies down in a field, looks up at the stars, and thinks, "Hey, someone should write a guide to hitchhiking across space!" The British writer Douglas Adams (1952-2001) admitted that he'd told the story so many times, he wasn't completely sure which parts were true and which were embellished.