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Blog posts by Rich Rennicks

Content creator and publicist for the ABAA. 



Collecting Film Scripts

By Rich Rennicks

Note: We're reposting this article on collecting film scripts in light of the growing difficulty in acquiring copies of classic mid-century films and movie studio's reluctance to make classics available for exhibition. It was originally published in August 2019. According to a great many people, the film (or movie, if you prefer) was the great art form of the 20th century, so it shouldn't be any great surprise that there is a large number of collectors — individual and institutional — focused on the movie business; but it might surprise many to learn that there's great interest in collecting the seemingly least-glamorous part of the entire filmmaking process — the scripts themselves. Collecting scripts is different from collecting many other forms of printed matter, as scripts were not mass-produced (excepting the relatively recent ... [more Collecting Film Scripts]

One phrase you might hear at a rare-book fair is mapbacks. No, that's not some sort of tattoo favored by rare map dealers; a "mapback" is the informal name for a series of pulp paperback books published by Dell between 1943 and 1950. Initially, the back cover of these books featured bland art, but starting with the fifth book in the series, Four Frightened Women by George Harmon Coxe, Dell added an illustration showing the locale where the book's events took place. (Note: the previous book in the series, The American Gun Mystery by Ellery Queen, was later reprinted with a map on the back cover, but it was the fifth book in the series that was the first to feature a map.) The “maps” were not all conventional maps by any means, with cut-away illustrations of buildings being a frequent option the various artists used when the action was ... [more Collecting Dell Mapbacks]

Wouldn't you like to automate the process of searching our members' listings for the books or other items you desire? Well, you can easily let us do the searching for you! WANT LISTS Customers can set up “Want Lists” — saved searches for the books or items you are actively hunting for — which alert you (by email) anytime a new copy is listed or an existing listing changes substantially (new price, image added, etc.). You can tailor the frequency of these emails to suit your needs: Daily emails let you know within hours of any change or new copy being listed. Weekly or monthly emails will send you a digest of all new titles listed in the preceding week or month (and not sold by the time the email is sent). The default setting is for daily emails (as that's what ABAA members prefer). If you're actively trying to collect a popular ni... [more Let Us Do the Rare Book Searching for You!]

The ABAA is accepting entries for the 2020 National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest, which is jointly administered by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA), the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies (FABS), the Grolier Club, and the Center for the Book and the Rare Books and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress. The National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest is open to all prizewinners of college book-collecting contests, whether or not first prize, as well as to interested students whose institutions do not offer formal contests or whose contests may have been canceled this year. (More information can be found here.) All entries should be submitted at apply.abaa.org. All entries for the 2020 competition must be submitted by June 16, 2020. For more information on the contest, please visi... [more 2020 National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest]

Update: The Booksellers begins a series of virtual cinema screenings on Friday, April 17, as release plans have obviously had to change because of shelter-in-place orders. Visit this page for information on which art-house cinemas are sponsoring virtual screenings in different cities from April 17. --- The hotly anticipated documentary about the rare-book world, The Booksellers, opens in New York City this week, just as the rare-book world itself descends on the city for the 60th annual New York International Antiquarian Book Fair. Described by The Hollywood Reporter as “a treat for anyone who appreciates the printed word,” the filmmakers interviewed book collectors, dealers, librarians, and bibliophiles over several years to capture a picture of the rare-book world at this point in time. Directed by D.W. Young, executive produced by ... [more The Booksellers Documentary Opens]


New Members

By Rich Rennicks

Meet the latest members of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America. Full Membership Daniel R. Danbom, Danbom & Son Books (Denver, CO) Dan Danbom is owner of Danbom &; Son Books, which deals primarily in modern first editions in Denver, Colorado. Before entering the book business, he was in journalism and corporate communication.. For many years, he was a humor columnist for several industry-related magazines and was a book reviewer for The Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post, where he still writes occasional features. He has also contributed to several books including “Slam Dunks and No-Brainers: Language in Your Life, the Media, Business, Politics and, Like Whatever” and “Speakeasy.” He started Danbom & Son in 2009. He is a former CABS attendee and is a member of the Rocky Mountain Antiquarian Booksellers Associat... [more New Members]

ABAA members are adapting to the new reality of shelter-in-place orders and self-isolation in myriad different ways. Most are finding creative solutions to serve their customers while complying with state-mandated restrictions on movement and opening hours. While larger stores in states currently under shelter-in-place or similar orders are closed and staff are subsequently unable to get to the stores, many ABAA bookstores are family businesses or run from home, and as such are still able to meet their community's needs. Here are some of the different initiatives ABAA members have launched over the past two weeks: "Front Porch Deliveries" -- The Book Bin, Salem Oregon Obadiah Baird, owner of The Book Bin, a new, used, & rare bookstore in Salem, Oregon, has been putting in long days getting books, puzzles, and magazines to his self-isolati... [more ABAA Members Adjust to Self-Isolation]


Rare Book News

By Rich Rennicks

A quick roundup of the news about rare books and collectors from around the world. (Regularly updated, with the latest news items added at the top.) Biography of Texas Bookman Johnny Jenkins Michael Vinson's biography of legendary Texas bookman Johnny Jenkins, Bluffing Texas Style: The Arsons, Forgeries, and High-Stakes Poker Capers of Rare Book Dealer Johnny Jenkins, will be published by the University of Oklahoma Press in March 2020. New ABAA President Brad Johnson of johnson rare books & archives based in Covina, California has been elected as new president of the ABAA. (Learn more...) Upcoming Events of Interest: The 60th New York International Antiquarian Book Fair opens at the Park Avenue Armory on March 5! The Booksellers documentary, featuring a great many ABAA members, opens in NYC on March 6 at the Quad Cinema. Joan Ryan (wife o... [more Rare Book News]

The 2020 winner of the prize is Nolin Deloison Baum of Oakland, California. His collection of culinary high spots is centered around Georges Auguste Escoffier. “I have collected books since I learned to read. After getting my BA, I went to culinary school in Paris and eventually became a professional cook. Fluent in French, it was natural that I also study, and, of course, collect, the historical texts that were significant of my profession,” the 30-year-old Baum said in his winning statement Sponsored by the Southern and Northern California Chapters of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America, The California Young Book Collector's Prize is open to collectors aged 35 and under who are living in California. All collections of books, manuscripts, and ephemera are welcome, no matter their monetary value or subject. Among the p... [more 2nd Annual California Young Book Collector’s Prize Awarded]

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, 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 genuinely interested... [more Attending Your First Book Fair]