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ILAB Library - All You Need To Know About Rare Books and the Antiquarian Book Trade
Published since 23 Nov 2010
One of my principles in gathering books is to read a book perhaps in a paperback edition and having ‘assessed’ it, either put it back into stock, keep it on my shelves, ﬁnd a hardback edition to replace it, or, ultimate accolade, ﬁnd a ﬁrst or ﬁne edition. [André Gide summed it up when he said “Book collectors do not buy books to read - they buy books because they have read them]. Some twenty-ﬁve years ago in the Carnegie Bookshop in New York Dave Kirschenbaum showed us the ﬁnest pair of “Jungle Books” any of us had ever seen. Having bought them I said to my father - “You know where those are going don’t you? Home beside All The Mowgli Stories.” - And here is an interesting thing that serves to counter those who ask “Why spend money on a ﬁrst edition when it is available in paperback?” When I sat down to read, in the original 19th century edition, the stories I knew almost by heart, they were suddenly given a fresh ﬂavour - the ﬂavour of 19th century India and the British Raj, simply through reading them in the original edition.