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ILAB Library - All You Need To Know About Rare Books and the Antiquarian Book Trade

  • [+] More Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Mysterious Waters 

    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Mysterious Waters
    Published since 08 Jun 2015

    We know of course that there are earlier fictions with claims to priority as tales of detection – stories in Chinese, in Arabic, Voltaire’s Memnon (1747 – better known as Zadig, ou, La Destinée), William Godwin’s Things As They Are, or, The Adventures of Caleb Williams (1794), the anonymous Richmond; or, Scenes in the Life of a Bow Street Officer (1827) and above all, of course, the three stories published in the USA by Edgar Allan Poe and featuring the amateur sleuth C. Auguste Dupin – The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841), The Mystery of Marie Rogêt (1842) and The Purloined Letter (1844).  All honour to them, they make their own case, but deep in our English hearts we know there is only one proper sort of detective – the Man from the Yard – and it is only with these modest tales in Chambers that we reach the real thing – the first professional detective in English fiction.

  • [+] More Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Rex Stout created detective Nero Wolfe 

    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Rex Stout created detective Nero Wolfe
    Published since 25 Feb 2015

    Rex Stout (1886) is the creator of one of the most brilliant fictional detectives of all time, Nero Wolfe. Stout produced Nero Wolfe books for four decades, until his death in 1975. Stout wrote 47 novels and 40 novellas in the Wolfe series. His last two books, Death Times Three (novella collection) and Assault on a Brownstone (novella) were published in 1985.

  • [+] More Book Collecting Basics: Pirated Editions 

    Book Collecting Basics: Pirated Editions
    Published since 16 Jan 2015

    In July 2007, JK Rowling fans around the world anxiously awaited the publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final book in Rowling's beloved Harry Potterseries. The official release of the English-language version was scheduled to take place on July 21, 2007. But readers in China got their hands on the novel a full ten days earlier, when the book unexpectedly popped up in book stores. Thousands bought the early editions...unaware that the copies in their hands had virtually nothing in common with the authorized edition actually written by JK Rowling.

    This new pirated edition was certainly not the first unauthorized Harry Potter book published in China. On the contrary, the popular series had fostered an entire cottage industry of book piracy. In some cases, people would scan and republish exact replicas of the authorized editions. In others, they would mimic the genuine article. One pirated edition, for instance, was called Harry Potter and the Half-Blooded Relative Prince. People also would write their own titles, which had little or no connection to Rowling's books. For years, one could easily find titles like Harry Potter and the Hiking Dragon or Harry Potter and the Big Funnel. Rowling's publisher waged a war against those responsible for the pirated editions, a difficult task given that even large Chinese publishers partook in the practice--then denied any knowledge of it.

  • [+] More Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Three Men in a Boat encounter Russian pirates 

    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Three Men in a Boat encounter Russian pirates
    Published since 18 Sep 2014

    This year is the 125th anniversary of the first appearance of Three Men in a Boat, published by J. W. Arrowsmith in Bristol (who, three years later, was to bring out that other classic comic novel, George and Weedon Grossmith’s The Diary of a Nobody).  Although slated by some critics at the time, the book  sold in huge numbers, leading Arrowsmith to comment: ‘I pay Jerome so much in royalties, I cannot imagine what becomes of all the copies of that book I issue.  I often think the public must eat them.’  It has never been out of print since.

  • [+] More How to Identify First Editions - St. Martin's Press 

    How to Identify First Editions - St. Martin's Press
    Published since 23 Aug 2013

    Macmillen Publishers of UK founded St. Martin's in 1952, naming it for St. Martin's Lane in London. The house was privately owned until the late 1990's, when it was sold to Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC. This group of publishers, held by Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck, is a family concern that also owns publishing houses Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Holt Publishers, and Tor-Forge Books.

  • [+] More Fifty First Editions, Annotated by their Authors – Sotheby's Charity Auction in Support of the English PEN 

    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.”

  • [+] More Sixty Years of Ian Fleming's James Bond 

    Sixty Years of Ian Fleming's James Bond
    Published since 02 May 2013
    April 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.
  • [+] More Why Are Some Dustjackets Clipped but Not Price-Clipped? 

    Why Are Some Dustjackets Clipped but Not Price-Clipped?
    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.

  • [+] More Spooky Reads for Halloween 

    Spooky Reads for Halloween
    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.

  • [+] More Collectors’ Favorite Authors: Saul Bellow 

    Collectors’ Favorite Authors: Saul Bellow
    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.