Blog posts by Rich Rennicks

Content creator and publicist for the ABAA. 

Why is it that we love tales of book heists? Two new films set in the world of rare books, both crime thrillers, are coming in 2018. The first trailer for "Can You Ever Forgive Me?", based on Lee Israel's career as a forger of literary letters was released this week, and the trailer for "American Animals" based on a 2004 robbery of the Special Collections Library of Transylvania University, in Lexington, Kentucky has been playing for a short time. The proximity of these two films may simply be coincidence, but the source material for these tales -- magazine articles about book thieves and true-crime accounts of heists succesful and unsuccessful -- are abundant. Perhaps it's simply an extension of the idea that everyone has a book in them -- which makes so many people think they could be an author "if they had the time" -- that draws peopl... [more]

Rare Book News

By Rich Rennicks

Our monthly roundup of the stories bibliophiles are reading, sharing, and discussing. Kenneth Karmiole Establishes Research Fellowship at UCSB ABAA_member Kenneth Karmiole has established the Kenneth Karmiole Endowed Research Fellowship, which will support scholars working with primary resource materials and rare books in the University of California Santa Barbara Library. How a rare Revolutionary War-era document ended up in Utah “Who knows what's in anybody's garage, right?” Read more... 2018 Pulitzer Prizes Andrew Sean Greer won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel Less; Caroline Fraser won the Biography Price for her biography of Laura Ingalls WIlder, Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder; and Frank Bidart won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his volume of Collected Poems, Half-light. Read about ... [more]

ABAA-member Raymond Smith has an exhibition of his black-and-white photography, "In Time We Shall Know Ourselves" running at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT through June 3, 2018. Inspired by the photographs taken in the American South in the 1930s by Walker Evans, a teacher and mentor of Smith at Yale University, as well as by Robert Frank's The Americans (1958), in the summer of 1974 Smith embarked on a photographic expedition of his own. Smith traveled with his Australian friend Suzanne Boyd in an aging Volkswagen from New England through the South and into the Midwest, photographing the people and places he encountered during the three-month journey. Lecture/Reception The Bruce Museum will host a reception and artist talk for the exhibition on Sunday, April 15, 3–5 pm. At 3:30 pm, Raymond Smith will present a lecture titled, “I A... [more]

Browse the latest catalogs, newsletters, and e-lists of rare books, fine bindings, incunabula, print ephemera, much more from the members of the ABAA. Image above from Caliban Book Shop's new electronic catalog, "Adventures of a Young Man in France, 1918-1919." Please note, this list is updated weekly, usually on Wednesdays. *New* indicates any catalogs added this week. We aim to include the most-recent catalog (or catalogs if appropriate) from members, because not every member issues new catalogs every week -- and not every collector can browse this list weekly. AARDVARK BOOKS/EZRA THE BOOKFINDER Recent Acquisitions CHARLES AGVENT Spring Miscellany 2018 -- Contains 46 select items, all new arrivals, in a variety of fields. Summer Miscellany 2017 ANDERSON BUTLER RARE BOOKS Short E-list #9: Miscellany Short E-list #8: The Occult NICK ARETA... [more]

New ABAA Members

By Rich Rennicks

Meet the latest members of the ABAA. Andrea Peacock, Elk River Books Andrea Peacock is an author and former newspaper journalist who took up bookselling when she and her husband built a new house and didn't have enough room for all their books. She teamed up with Marc Beaudin and in 2011 launched Elk River Books, an open shop in the small town of Livingston, Montana, which sits along the big bend of the Yellowstone River. After a few years, she tired of selling $7 paperbacks to tourists, and attended CABS on a friend's recommendation. That changed everything. They moved from their tiny storefront into an enormous building in Livingston's arts district, and refocused on antiquarian and collectible books. She took classes at Rare Book School, and began specializing in works by the Montana Gang and “outdoor literature”—a catchall that ... [more]

Books of the Week

By Rich Rennicks

A selection of rare books and print ephemera newly listed or catalogued by members of the ABAA. The Sun Also Rises (First Edition) by Ernest Hemingway New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1926. First edition, first issue of the first printing, with the misprint ("stoppped") on page 181 line 26. Octavo, original black cloth. In good condition with some rubbing to the extremities, name to the endpaper. The Sun Also Rises was published by Scribner's in 1926, and a year later in the United Kingdom by Jonathan Cape under the title Fiesta. Though it initially received mixed reviews, it is now "recognized as Hemingway's greatest work" (Meyers, 1985). The fictional plot depicts a love story between war-wounded and impotent Jake Barnes and the promiscuous divorcée Lady Brett Ashley, but the novel is a roman à clef; the characters are based on real... [more]

Rare Book News

By Rich Rennicks

The 2018 New York International Antiquarian Book Fair is behind us, and the reviews have been very positive. Several magazines ran previews focusing on dealer's highlights in the weeks before the fair, and many carried enthusiastic reports after the fact. Here are a few highlights of the media coverage for the fair: The Paris Review focused on some "unexpected highlights" from the fair... (But, if they didn't expect to find rare books at the fair, just what were they expecting?) ABAA-member Jonathan A. Hill was interviewed by Bloomberg (audio)... Barron's (naturally) focused on the most-expensive item exhibited at the fair: "Rare Book By Astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus Being Sold for $2M" Atlas Obscura covered the other end of the spectrum, interviewing ABAA-member Sunday Steinkirchner (B&B Rare Books) about appraising books during "Discov... [more]

The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America are pleased to announce the 2018 National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest! Established in 2005 by Fine Books & Collections Magazine to recognize outstanding book collecting efforts by college and university students, the contest aims to encourage young collectors to become accomplished bibliophiles. The magazine conducted the annual competition program for three years before turning over leadership to a collaboration of institutional partners (The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA), the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies (FABS), and the Center for the Book and the Rare Books and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress, with major support from the Jay I. Kislak Foundation. Competitions are held at more than three dozen colleges and univers... [more]

Many ABAA members are exhibiting at the New York Antiquarian Book Fair (March 8-11, 2018) -- after all, it is the largest rare-book fair in the US! -- and are publishing catalogs of the fantastic items they will be bringing. We shall list these catalogs below as they are announced. (Please note, several members are publishing multiple catalogs and lists for the event!) Athena Rare Books Booth D-19 Boreas Fine Art Booth A-11 David Brass Rare Books Booth E-28 Bromer Booksellers Booth E-33 Buddenbrooks (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3) (Part 4) (Part 5) (Part 6) (Part 7) (Part 8) (Part 9) (Part 10) (Part 11) (Part 12) (Part 13) (Part 14) Booth C-20 James Cummins Booksellers Booth A-3 Eclectibles Booth B-8 Donald A. Heald Booth C-1 Jonathan A. Hill, Bookseller (Western List) (Asian List) Booth B-15 Kaaterskill Books Booth D-6 The Lawbook Exchange (P... [more]

ABAA members provide a few pointers for beginning collectors who might be considering attending an antiquarian book fair for the first time. Members Lorne Bair, Michael Hackenberg, John Schulman, and John Windle provide some advice gleaned from decades of book fair attendance. Ask Questions/Develop Relationships with the Dealers Veteran bookseller John Windle notes that "a good, close, trusting connection to a dealer will yield the best possible results," so book fairs present a valuable opportunity to get to know many dealers, and let them get to know you and your interests as a collector. Lorne Bair agrees, adding that his "number one piece of advice to beginning collectors attending their first book fair is to ask questions! Antiquarian booksellers as a rule get very few opportunities to talk about their books with people who are genui... [more]