" Books, glorious books — confessions of a bibliomaniac"
As a Radio 4 documentary about book collectors airs, the Times deputy literary editor, James Marriott, who lives in a room full of volumes, admits to his problem.
Sandra Hindman is owner and founder of "Les Enluminures" with galleries in Chicago, Paris and New York specialising in manuscripts and miniatures from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the gallery also handles rings and jewelry from the same periods.
In this podcast Sandra has invited collector Benjamin Zucker and looks at their roles and relationship as dealer and collector. While this podcast focusses on the current "Diamonds" exhibition, it also reveals the fascination to collect, the handling of manuscripts and the knowledge needed to deal in historical items.
Indeed, “Books don’t just furnish a room,” Michael Dirda writes in Browsings. “. . . Digital texts are all well and good, but books on shelves are a presence in your life. As such, they become a part of your day-to-day existence, reminding you, chastising you, calling to you. Plus, book collecting is, hands down, the greatest pastime in the world.”
The Paris Review, 7th September 2018: In 2017, Honey & Wax Booksellers established an annual prize for American women book collectors, aged 30 years and younger. The idea took shape when Heather O’Donnell and Rebecca Romney, the bookstore’s owners, observed that “the women who regularly buy books from us are less likely to call themselves 'collectors' than the men, even when those women have spent years passionately collecting books."
The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA), member association of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, ILAB has just announced a new book collecting prize for young collectors, recognizing the next generation of bibliophiles! Deadline: 1 December 2018!
“I belong to that class of unfortunate beings who are addicted to a habit which it is not easy to break off. This sounds alarming, but let me assure you that neither drug nor dram is the cause of my undoing, and that I have no intention of following in the foot-steps of the English Opium-Eater. The truth is that I am a bibliophile, and I suffer a complaint common to the tribe, namely a feverish appetite which can only be assuaged by choice tit-bits in the form of ancient quartos and duodecimos”.
The 2017-18 Colin Franklin Prize for book-collecting has been awarded to Ekaterina Shatalova (Keble College), for her collection of works by and about Edward Lear (1812-1888), the poet and illustrator famous for limericks in "A Book of Nonsense", and for poems recounting the nautical adventures of "The Owl and the Pussycat" and the "Jumblies" ('who went to sea in a sieve').
In the year 1927 a library of Baroque literature was auctioned in Munich at Karl & Faber. Nowadays, the catalogue of this auction belongs to the main reference works which are quoted by antiquarian booksellers, bibliographers and auctioneers when it comes to cataloguing literature of that period. Owner of the library was the German Jewish bibliophile Victor Manheimer.
Michael Silverman, the leading UK dealer in Autograph Letters and Manuscripts, died on Thursday 12 May: he had suffered a cerebral haemorrhage the previous day. He was 61 years old. An obituary by ABA Secretary John Critchley.
Booksellers and collectors from across the globe mourn the loss of William Reese, antiquarian bookseller of New Haven, CT, and owner of the William Reese Company. A titan of the rare book trade who will be deeply missed.
The Erya (or Erh Ya) - the name means "approaching what is correct, proper, refined," though it's sometimes translated as The Ready Guide - is the oldest dictionary of the Chinese language. The author is a mystery, and the traditional attribution to the Duke of Chou isn't taken seriously. The date, too, is a puzzler, though "scholars generally agree that it was written by Confucian scholars sometime between the Spring and Autumn period and early Han Dynasty (8th through 2nd centuries B.C.)" (Xue, p. 152). The third century BCE is a pretty good guess.
"Charles Dickens is arguably the nation's greatest novelist – as well as the most collectable. A signed copy of A Tale Of Two Cities was last month put up for sale for a record-breaking £275,000. The previous top price paid for the Victorian author's work was $290,000 (£174,000) for a pre-publication copy of A Christmas Carol in 2009. The signed copy of A Tale Of Two Cities is special as it is inscribed to fellow writer George Eliot – real name Mary Ann Evans. But Brian Lake, president of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association, says the key appeal of Dickens is that there is a wide range of books and ephemera to suit all pockets ..."
I have never been able to fully embrace the work of Lew Welch. He has been suggested to me numerous times over the years as a poet whose work I would enjoy, and thus I dutifully track down a copy of Ring of Bone or more recently his potluck How I Work As A Poet. And each time I come to the conclusion that he is not for me. That said, I greatly enjoy coming across anything by Donald Allen's Grey Fox Press, which kept Welch before a reading public after Welch walked away from poetry in 1971 never to be seen again. If not for Allen's efforts, Welch might very well have disappeared without a trace altogether.