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Blog posts by Rich Rennicks

Content creator and publicist for the ABAA. 


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: plate from "The Monuments & Art of Roman Italy - With 166 Engravings, by Jean Barbault (1718-1762) offered by Liber Antiquus, from their latest catalog, RBMS 2018. " (Philadelphia): Moore College of Art, 1984, found in Brian Cassidy, Bookseller's new catalog Graffiti and Street Art. 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 -... [more]


Books of the Week

By Rich Rennicks

Five books caught the eye among this week's crop of new listings -- along with one unusual piece of jewelry! -- which proves you never know what you'll find in a rare book shop! Winne-the-Pooh (First Edition) London: Methuen, 1926. Shepard, Ernest H.. First edition. Limited to 350 copies printed on handmade paper and signed by Milne and Shepard. With all of the well-known and well-loved illustrations and a fold-out map of Pooh's and Christopher Robin's territory, which appeared in the ordinary edition as endpapers. Bound in quarter dark-blue cloth with light-blue paper over boards. Corners slightly bumped and minute soiling to upper cover, else near fine in original dust wrapper, which shows expected toning. Housed in a red-cloth chemise inside a matching slipcase. Bookplate of former owner. Offered by Bromer Booksellers. Autograph Letter... [more]

The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America is 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 universi... [more]


Books of the Week

By Rich Rennicks

Which books and pieces of ephemera caught the eye among this week's crop of new listings? First editions of The Lord of the Rings, a medieval manuscript in a 15th-Century binding complete with library chain, and a contemporary fine-art binding of Sinclair Lewis' classic, It Can't Happen Here, among others... THE LORD OF THE RINGS comprising THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, THE TWO TOWERS & THE RETURN OF THE KING (First Editions) by TOLKIEN, J. R. R. "One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all And in the darkness bind them"THE LORD OF THE RINGS comprising THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, THE TWO TOWERS & THE RETURN OF THE KING, Allen & Unwin, 1954, 1954 & 1955 respectively, each in first edition, (first printing), all 3 volumes vg+ or better in vg dust-wrappers save for some light fading and wear and tear to the dus... [more]


Books of the Week

By Rich Rennicks

Which books and pieces of ephemera caught the eye among this week's crop of new listings? A very early biography of Stalin, a protest poster from 1969, and a first edition of an influential poetry volume from the Harlem Renaissance, among others... Stalin: The Career of a Fanatic (First Edition) by Essad-Bey (Pseudonym for Lew Nussimbaum) New York: The Viking Press. Near Fine in Very Good dj. 1932 (c.1931). First American Edition. Hardcover. . (B&W photographs) First published in Germany, this was one of the earliest books about Joseph Stalin. Although probably unreliable as history (the New York Times reviewer characterized the first part of the book, dealing with Stalin's early life, as "rather fictional"), it still painted a persuasive portrait of the dictator's personality and gave a compelling account of his rise to power. The author... [more]


Books of the Week

By Rich Rennicks

What caught the eye among this week's crop of new listings? Why a signed letter from P.T. Barnum, a bound set of the Harvard Law Review (1984-2004), and a signed Christmas card from (arguably) the most-famous Royal couple of the last century, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, among many other things... Princess Diana and Prince Charles Signed Christmas Card Royal Christmas card embossed with the Prince of Wales' feathers, Order of the Garter motto and the Spencer family arms with an affixed color photo of Diana and Charles seated and posing with young Prince Harry and Prince William, and their dog Murphy. Boldly inscribed in fountain pen, "To you both--from Charles and" and "Diana." In fine condition. Double matted and framed. The card measures 10.25 inches by 7.25 inches. The entire piece measures 15.75 inches by 13 inches. Rare and des... [more]

Pioneering screenwriter Anita Loos was born on April 26, 1889. After learning her trade acting and writing one-act plays for her father's somewhat-disreputable theater troupe, Loos began submitting unsolicited scripts to film companies. D.W. Griffith directed The New York Hat, a film based on her screenplay, starring Mary Pickford and Lionel Barrymore in 1912. In 1915 Loos became the first “staff writer” for a film production company, when she signed on with Griffith's studio. She wrote hundreds of scripts during the silent era of cinema, most of which went unproduced, but the films that were made were noted for their wit and humor — all the more remarkable for being silent! Her collaboration with director (and future husband John Emerson) began by working on several romantic comedies which made Douglas Fairbanks a star. In later ye... [more]

ABAA-member Kenneth Karmiole has endowed a new research fellowship at his alma mater, the University of California Santa Barbara. This is the second endowment Karmiole has established at UCSB, the first supports the purchase of rare books. Karmiole says that university libraries are becoming increasingly valuable resources, because “Old bookstores are closing left and right, so universities are the great repositories of printed history." A press release from UCSB details how the UCSB library was an important part of setting Karmiole on his career path: As a history major at UCSB in the 1960s, Kenneth Karmiole liked to hang out in used bookstores. He often found scholarly books from the 19th century that sold for $1, and wondered why they weren't worth more. To learn about the academic book business, he sought out UCSB Library's head of ... [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 Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells London: William Heinemann, 1896. Pictorial ochre cloth, stamped in black and red. Frontis. Rear inner hinge cracked (but sound), some rubbing to cloth and small offset spots to lower cover, some shallow splashmarks along the top edge of the front free endsheet and pastedown, a bit of foxing to the tissue-guard, otherwise a very good copy. First UK edition, in the preferred state of the binding, with the blindstamped logo in the lower corner of the lower cover. The terminal catalogue is the 32pp. form beginning with THE MANXMAN and concluding with OUT OF DUE SEASON. Among Wells's most important works, functioning as both an imaginative entertainment, and as a cautionary tale about scientific progress unc... [more]

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]