It is not often that one discovers the work of an overlooked or forgotten genius, or a previously-unknown work of an established master. This is, of course, the hope which moves us to carefully examine all sorts of periodical publications and ephemera. So when Tom Congalton asked me to catalog two large folio volumes of the Philadelphia-based Saturday Evening Post, from 1827 and 1828, I was pleased to find the puzzle poem "Enigma" attributed to Edgar Allan Poe, and "Psalm 139th" by his brother Henry Poe. Perhaps the most interesting contributions to these volumes are not the Poeiana, but rather a whole series of botanical sketches and other contributions by an eccentric genius with the evocative name Rafinesque.
The fall of 1988 was a decisive time for the business. Our sales were good but needed to be better. I had to reach a decision on how to grow the business. Should I stay in the books about books field with its relatively limited number of expensive books, branch out into other fields which contained more expensive books, or capitalize on our reputation in this specialized field of books about books and increase the publishing program? History shows that I chose the latter.
It does not happen all that often that an old antiquarian bookseller sees a catalogue and thinks, a little enviously: "I wish that was one of mine." Paul Kainbacher's latest catalogue "Im Herzen Afrikas" is one of those. The presentation is generous, in a large quarto format. Nearly every item is illustrated in colour. The numbering, which often makes a catalogue lifeless, has been omitted. The text is set in single or double columns, which does not make reading hectic, rather it adds a component of surprise and dynamics. Well, these are externals, it is the content that counts. But still, a mood is set, the reader is curious and elated ...
One of my most favorite Children's writers of all time was born on the 27th of January, 1832. Scratch that – one of my most favorite writers, period, was born on the 27th of January, 1832. Many critics of great literature have commented on the fact that one of the most lasting kinds of literature is the kind that speaks to both children AND adults – writers whose works you can read when you are both 5 and 75 and learn something equally important at both of these starkly different ages. It is my super humble (though really awesome) opinion that the writer we honor today, on what would be his 184th birthday, is one of those writers. It is perhaps also appropriate that we honor his memory, as in less than a month there will be an ABAA Fair in Pasadena named after some of his most well-known work.
One of the most fascinating things about Japan is the harmonious blend of old and new. If you spend enough time there, seeing a thousand-year-old temple set among sky scrapers or watching as elegant ladies dressed in kimono rush past teens sporting the latest (and often bizarre) fashion trends will start to feel perfectly normal. Today, as I headed into Tokyo to attend the Pop-Up Book Fair put on by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) aboard a Shinkansen at more than 300km/h, I knew that I was about to experience one of those special paradoxes.
Thomas W. Lyster had been director of the National Library of Ireland since 1895. He was famous for his researches about Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and translated H. Düntzer's biography about the German poet into English. Lyster edited the anthology ‚English Poems for Young Students' – and became a key figure in the most important 20th century novel: "Ulysses", by James Joyce. In his article for the German "Literaturblatt", Rainer Pörzgen describes the library and its characters, and compares fiction with reality.