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ILAB Rare Booksellers on Video: Peter Howard

"He was standing in one of the aisles around twenty-five yards away from my vantage point and looked like an aged, unkempt and unshaven derelict marooned far too long, surviving on a diet far too short on calories. He was wearing a sarong-like thing wrapped around his waist, sandals, a rumpled shirt and a knit cap with earflaps. It seemed as if he had just come off a three day binge on arrack, the liquor made from coconut sap. It was Peter Howard, proprietor of the legendary Serendipity Books in Berkeley, California, who appeared to be shipwrecked on Book Island."

Stephen J. Gertz

"Peter Howard stands out as an original even in a trade known for being one of the last holdouts of the rugged individual."

Mary Cooper Gilliam

"Peter Howard is by any standard one of the giants of the trade in our time. He exemplifies one of the principal reasons I have always found the trade so appealing: you can get to do it your way.  And Peter certainly does do it his way.  Any ordinary mortal would be dwarfed sitting among the tall shelves and piles of books at Serendipity.  But Peter is no ordinary mortal and the solitary figure sitting at the desk in that vast sea of books was, it was immediately obvious to anyone entering his premises, emperor of his realm."

Ed Glaser

"One of the icons of the book trade ..."


Peter B. Howard passed away on March 31, 2011. The rare book world will never forget him.

An interview by Michael Ginsberg with Peter B. Howard of Serendipity Books. A conversation about rare books and the trade during the 44th California International Book Fair in February 2011.

>>> A Wake For The Still Alive – The tribute to Peter B. Howard of Serendipity Books

>>> Serendipity Books

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