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ILAB Library - All You Need To Know About Rare Books and the Antiquarian Book Trade
[+] More Fifty First Editions, Annotated by their Authors – Sotheby's Charity Auction in Support of the English PEN
Published since 17 May 2013
“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.”
Published since 02 May 2013April 13th marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of Ian Fleming's first James Bond novel, Casino Royale. The book would be the first of twelve Bond novels and two short-story collections that Fleming wrote himself, and the first in a long line of Bond novels by multiple other authors like John Gardner and Raymond Benson.
Published since 22 Feb 2012
While browsing through Ralph Sipper‘s booth at this past weekend’s Los Angeles Antiquarian Book Fair, I came upon an interesting copy of book that at first seemed a little out of place at the fair: John Sanford’s Every Island Fled Away. It’s a 1964 novel that, these days, is typically a $30 – $40 book in collectible condition, and not that much more when signed or inscribed. Usually the booths at the three fairs sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (there’s also a New York show in April and a Boston show in November) are full of the best antiquarian books for sale in the country and the world (read highest quality, and consequently highest priced). Dealers usually trot out their top material, and Ralph’s booth was full of many stunning copies of notable literary first editions. Some of them, like his beautiful copy of William Faulkner’s first novel, Soldiers’ Pay, are genuinely rare in such condition. By comparison, the John Sanford book seemed to be a grade schooler lost at the senior prom.
Published since 31 Oct 2011
Have you chosen a costume? Stocked up on candy? Planned that trick-or-treating route? That’s right…Halloween is almost here. The myths and tales of Halloween have long captured our imagination, making the holiday a perfect match for book collectors. Classic spine tingling reads are consistent book collecting favorites.
Published since 23 Sep 2011
“A novel is balanced between a few true impressions and the multitude of false ones that make up most of what we call life.” So spoke Saul Bellow, one of the greatest American authors of the twentieth century. Rare book collectors have consistently been interested in Bellow’s works, and that interest will only grow as his books get more scarce over time.
Published since 05 Sep 2011
“Dear Bibliodeviant, I miss you terribly. I long for those sultry evenings we spent in your simple, rustic lakeside retreat sipping Chateau Mouton-Rothschild and eating sweetmeats. Most of all I miss curling up on your ethically sourced Kilim rug in front of a roaring log fire while you told me those gloriously witty stories about how the printers misspelled “Wade” for “Wabe” in the first edition of Through The Looking Glass, or how bookdealers in the past have charged high prices for copies of the Time Machine that didn’t have Hall Caine’s The Manxman on the first page of advertisments. I yearn for you, and your thrilling tales of the swashbuckling world of the rare book trade. Return to me immediately, and talk to me of fine bindings! Monica”
Published since 07 Sep 2010
White produced rare and collectible books in a number of fields - his early books of humor with a decidedly New Yorker flavor - The Lady is Cold (1929, poetry, as "E.B.W.") and Is Sex Necessary? (1930, with James Thurber). His serious essays, written for The New Yorker and Harper's, such as One Man's Meat (1942, and a scarce title in fine condition because of its wartime vintage), and his children's books, particularly Charlotte's Web (1952) and Stuart Little (1945, the jacket for this title was apparently unchanged except for the price over the first few printings, so unprice-clipped jackets command a premium, and should).
Published since 27 May 2010
A truly fine copy of To Kill A Mockingbird (1960) is a rare bird indeed. The black portions of the jacket rub easily to white (and are prime areas for "touchup" by booksellers who should have their magic markers confiscated by the book police), the brown portions fade, and the book itself tends to "cock " or slant from the spine.
Published since 06 May 2010
In the case of titles published before 1900, the key to first-edition identification is often the date on the title page. The vast majority of first editions published before 1900 had the year of publication on the title page (this is true for fiction and non-fiction titles). The presence of a date on the title page alone may identify books published prior to the mid-1800s as first editions. A matching date on the copyright page (or the back of the title page) often identifies a book published in the mid - to late 1800s as a first edition. After 1900, a number of publishers did not or currently do not put the date on the title page of their first editions.
Published since 09 Apr 2010
First-edition collectors are by nature very hard to please. They would like each of their first editions to look new, and they will pay for such copies. The reverse is also true - a book in poor condition is very difficult to sell. Books valued at $100 in fine condition are practically valueless in very poor condition. If the book is rare, it will of course have some value whatever its condition, but only a fraction of what it would be worth if it were a fine to mint copy.