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Rare Books and the Rare Book Trade
 
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ILAB

CANCELLED: ILAB Congress 2020 Amsterdam

Published on 27 May 2020
ILAB is very sorry to announce that the 44th ILAB Congress in Amsterdam, planned for 29 September - 1 October and the 40th Amsterdam International Antiquarian Book Fair, planned for 2 & 3 October have both been cancelled.
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1 - 8 / 2067

From the Vault

A sneak peek in our archives

Article

The Genetics of Book Price Design - Amazon’s Special Offer: $23,698,655.93 for a Book about Flies

Amazon's Special Offer: $23,698,655.93 for a book about flies. The story was posted by Michael Eisen (it is NOT junk) on April 22, 2011, a CNN report by John D. Sutter followed on April 25, 2011. Exciting! Or not? "Welcome to the world of algorithmic book pricing", says Dan Gregory of Between the Covers Rare Books.
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Article

No Deal and Hard Brexit Advice for Rare Bookdealers

In politically uncertain times, the British Antiquarian Booksellers Association has put together some very useful guidelines on the import & export of books.
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Booksellers

In Memoriam: Bob de Graaf, Antiquarian Bookdealer, Publisher and Bibliographer (1927-2011)

When antiquarian bookdealers, talking among themselves, call a colleague a "great dealer", they don't always mean the same thing. Some mean a dealer with many staff, a large turn over and great profits. Others mean a dealer who masters the art of really studying a book, a dealer who is able to discover something in or about the book that suddenly makes it interesting for all readers, not just the obvious specialists. When Bob de Graaf once said: "I have not become a great dealer", he hastened to add: "No, that is not false modesty." And he repeated, with meaning: "I have not become a great dealer, but I have never aspired to be one." With great sadness ILAB announces the death of Bob de Graaf on February 10, 2011. An obituary by Anton Gerits.
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Article

Field of Booksellers

"This time in 2006, I had been a book dealer for only two years. I had come to bookselling, not exactly by accident (I had been worked in bookstores off and on for the better part of ten years), but rather as a way to fill some time while I stayed at home with my then-four-year-old daughter. The business (such as it was) was very much a part-time venture. I had about 1000 books that I'd managed to scare up from library fundraisers, thrift stores, Craigslist, and garage and estate sales. I kept them in banker's boxes crammed into several closets around the house. I didn't really know any other booksellers and had little in way of a reference library. I sold only online. Most of my books were either modern firsts or university press titles, and every day or so one or two sold via ABE or Amazon. I dutifully packed up in salvaged boxes or homemade ad-hoc packages. I made a little spending money, no more really." "Cultivating the trade for future generations" - Brian Cassidy explains why Rare Book Schools or the Colorade Antiquarian Book Seminar are inevitable for young booksellers.
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Article

Don't Wipe Your Nose With This Map

The Travelling Handkerchief has come to town, Fairburn's Map of the Country Twelve Miles Round London by E. Bourne, printed on calico, 590 x 540 mm, in 1831, a scarce, early handkerchief map. The map is circular, and reaches Teddington in the south west, clockside to Norwood, Harrow on the Hill, Chipping Barnet, Dagenham, Purley and Kingsston, wherever they are. I'm in Los Angeles, clockside to Westwood, harrowing on Barrington, Pico and Sepulveda; what do I know? This cartographical Kleenex™ is decorated by vignette views of Chelsea and Greenwich Hospitals in the bottom corners, and a banner heralding the title is held aloft in an eagle's beak.
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Article

CABS – or seeing the book trade with clarity

A week at the Colorado Rare Book Seminar is a week like no other I know. It is a highly practical week, it is an inspiring week and it is one of those weeks when, at least metaphorically, you feel you can see for miles. I felt as though I was standing, together with everyone else who attended, on a hill above the plain of bookselling. This hill on which we stood together had a view so good that the trade was fully revealed and clarified. The strengths and weaknesses of the trade were shown with coherence something that is very difficult, if not impossible to achieve in the day to day, month to month rush of the ordinary bookselling business.
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