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Collecting Literary Treasures - The Wall Street Journal about Book Collecting in Modern Times

Collecting Literary Treasures -  The Wall Street Journal about Book Collecting in Modern Times

“Collecting books is about passion, not words. "There is nothing at all like the frisson one gets opening a book catalog and paging through, looking for treasures," says Annette Campbell-White, a prominent book collector and venture capitalist from New Zealand.”

Snippets from an excellent article by Goran Mijuk in The Wall Street Journal, mentioning the ILAB site as one of the best places for book collecting in modern times.

„Collecting books dates back to antiquity and is continuing to kindle hearts in our day even as we are witnessing the impact of the digital age on the centuries-old printing trade. Electronic publishing is crippling book prices, but provides collectors with a new channel to find their treasures more easily. The desire to obtain wisdom in paper form - which Italian writer and collector Umberto Eco calls "vegetable memory" - builds the noble root of bibliophilism. But for a collector, first and rare editions are valuable and significant because they put a work in its exact historical context, giving them a romantic meaning that goes beyond the words printed on the page. For many collectors, it is as if history is becoming alive and they are able to travel to the past.”

“Much more successful was U.S. financier J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913), who had the financial prowess to spend nearly $1 billion in today's terms on art and books during his life. The Morgan Library & Museum in New York includes highlights such as the circa 1450-55 Gutenberg Bible, the first printed book from movable type in the West; the sole surviving manuscript copy of John Milton's "Paradise Lost"; the 1843 manuscript of Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Carol"; and Henry David Thoreau's journal that the writer started in 1845, part of which would later inspire his famous novel "Walden." Morgan's drive to collect enriched the U.S. cultural scene and many contemporary collectors are equally keen to publicize their private treasures and share the knowledge and wisdom that often took years to build, requiring money, patience and a meticulous study of the subject matter and the book market.”

Read the whole article:

>>> Collecting Literary Treasures - For bibliophiles, creating a library of first-edition books is about more than just the written word, by Goran Mijuk in The Wall Street Journal

Published since 10 Dec 2010