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Blog posts by Rich Rennicks

Content creator and publicist for the ABAA. 


“The best book fair in the world.” – Andy Rooney What's got over 200 rare book dealers from around the world, signed books by Martin Luther King, Jr., a pointe shoe worn by Anna Pavlova, and a cache of correspondence by Alexander Hamilton? The 57th New York Antiquarian Book Fair, which return to the Park Avenue Armory over the weekend of March 9-12, 2017, that's what! The largest rare book fair in North America is back, and bigger than ever. Where: Park Avenue Armory 643 Park Avenue NY, NY 10065 When: Thursday, March 9 (Preview) 5-9pm Friday, March 10 noon-8pm Saturday, March 11 noon-7pm Sunday, March 12 noon-5pm Note: Discovery Day takes place on Sunday, from 1pm-3pm. Tickets: Preview pass: $50 Daily admission: $25 Run of show: $40 Students: $10 Tickets available here... Discovery Day A favorite tradition, Discovery Day allows tick... [more]


Latest Rare Book Catalogs

By Rich Rennicks

“All discarded lovers should be given a second chance, but with somebody else.” — Mae West The celebrated Vaudevillian Mae West might have been talking about men she had known, but her advice is equally true for the books one has loved. The demands of shelf space, changing family needs, or a simple change in personal taste may all inspire us to part with books we once loved. Rare books are no different: our interests change, our areas of focus narrow or broaden, and ownership of certain volumes may come to be of less importance to us — usually because the need for funds to purchase a book of more interest or greater rarity becomes acute! Of course, that isn't to say nobody else might want desperately to own our books! This is the natural cycle of rare and collectible books. Collectors prune their collection as a gardener prunes h... [more]

Even if you are not able to be in Oakland for the 50th annual California International Antiquarian Book Fair this weekend, you can still browse some of the dealer's material (virtually) through their fair catalogs. We've collected catalogs by ABAA members below. Enjoy! Athena Rare Books Booth 1005 Boreas Fine Art Booth 418 James Cummins Bookseller Booth 217 Eclectibles Booth 918 Donald A. Heald Rare Books Booth 301 Jonathan A. Hill, Bookseller Booth 311 Honey & Wax Booksellers Booth 903 John Howell for Books Booth 914 Kaaterskill Books Booth 106 Ken Lopez Bokseller Booth 1015 Liber Antiquus Booth 213 Jeffrey D. Mancevice Booth 417 Musinsky Rare Books Booth 108 Abby Schoolman Books Booth 102 B&L Rootenberg Rare Books & Manuscripts Booth 103 Michael R. Thompson Rare Books Booth 915 John WIndle Antiquarian Bookseller Booth 205 **This page wi... [more]

Regarded as one of the world's largest and most prestigious exhibitions of antiquarian books, the California International Antiquarian Book Fair gives visitors the opportunity to see, learn about, and purchase the finest in rare and valuable books, manuscripts, autographs, illustrations, vintage photographs, and much more. Preview some of the most-unusual, rarest, and most-beautiful rare books and other items that members of the ABAA will be exhibiting at the fair below. The fair tales place in Oakland, CA over the weekend of February 10-12, 2017, and, as always, all items are subject to prior sale! Hillerman, Tony. The Blessing Way. NY, Harper & Row, 1970, first edition. This is the ultimate copy of Author's First Book, it is an Inscribed Presentation/Association Copy of the highest order, inscribed by Hillerman to Navajo artist Ernest F... [more]

"Celebrating the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection: Rare Books and Manuscripts, Victorian Literature and Art" Symposium at the University of Delaware Library Newark, DE March 17-18, 2017 On March 17 and 18, 2017 the University of Delaware will host a two-day symposium, "Celebrating the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection: Rare Books and Manuscripts, Victorian Literature and Art." The keynote speaker will be Elaine Showalter, Professor Emerita of English, Princeton University, and additional speakers will include Mark Dimunation (Library of Congress), Barbara Heritage (Rare Book School, University of Virginia), Edward Maggs (Maggs Bros. Ltd., London), Joseph Bristow (UCLA), Linda K. Hughes (Texas Christian University), Margaretta S. Frederick (Delaware Art Museum), William S. Peterson (Emeritus, University of Maryland), David Taylor (UK historian ... [more]

The 50th annual California International Antiquarian Book Fair will take place in Oakland, CA from February 10-12, 2017. Recognized as one of the world's largest and most prestigious exhibitions of antiquarian books, the California Book Fair gives visitors the opportunity to see, learn about and purchase the finest in rare and valuable books, manuscripts, autographs, graphics, photographs and more. Where: The 50th California International Antiquarian Book Fair Oakland Marriott City Center 1001 Broadway Oakland, California When: Friday, February 10 (3pm to 8pm) Saturday, February 11 (11am to 7pm) Sunday, February 12 (11am to 5pm) Largest Book Fair on the West Coast Featuring the collections and rare treasures of 200 booksellers from the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers,... [more]

At a time when some brick and mortar antiquarian bookstores are closing their doors in favor of an internet-only presence, Matthew and Adrienne Raptis, of Raptis Rare Books, have gone against the grain and recently opened a rare bookstore on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. Worth Avenue, like Madison Avenue or Rodeo Drive, is synonymous with luxury brands and caters to an island that is home to the rich and famous, including the new President-elect, Donald Trump. Raptis Rare Books had previously operated mainly as a catalog and online business out of a beautiful Italianate villa in Vermont, but Matthew Raptis wanted to have more interaction with his customers and allow people to come into greater contact with “these wonderful written works of art.” The new gallery opened on November 1, but the grand-opening is being held until January 2017... [more]


New Members: Fall 2016

By Rich Rennicks

The ABAA has recently approved several new members, all of whom have successfully proven themselves to be, in the words of the ABAA Guarantee, "established, knowledgeable, and of excellent reputation." These new members were sponsored by existing members, and have undergone a rigorous screening process. We welcome the newest members of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America. Full Members: Kim Herrick, The Book Lair Kim Herrick got her start in the book trade by buying a large collection from an estate sale and then going to the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar to figure out what to do with it. Luckily, this turned into a passion for a new career and Kim went on to attend the Rare Book School several times and many trade shows with her new business, The Book Lair. A graduate of UC Berkeley, Kim has kept her roots in the Bay A... [more]

Denver has its very own "Booksellers' Row" after the relocation of two ABAA members, Anderson Butler Rare Books and Gallagher Books. Anderson Butler Rare Books has opened and Gallagher Books has re-opened after moving seven doors South of their previous location. Anderson Butler Rare Books relocated to Denver from Seattle a year ago and have just rented the storefront at 1460 South Broadway. Mark Anderson has been in the antiquarian book business since 2001. Mark's wife, Nora Butler Anderson, joined him in the business in 2008. The original store opened on the second-floor of a Seattle building in 2010. Now in its new street-level incarnation on Antique Row, Anderson Butler Rare Books specializes in antiquarian, collectible and eclectic books, manuscripts, art and ephemera across many fields including Americana, Literature, Travel and Phi... [more]

I've been reading a fascinating book about how humans have exchanged news and views through the centuries, and the changes printing made possible. In Writing on the Wall: Social Media The First 2,000 Years, Tom Standage, the digital editor of The Economist, traces the history of social media through the last 2000 years, highlighting how the last 150 years of broadcast media are in fact an anomaly in human communication. Yes, social media has been around for 2000 years, not a little over a decade as I thought. Far from being the brave new world that Facebook et al. like to claim, online “social media” is, in Standage's view, simply a return to an older style of communication, a style for which humans may be hardwired. Serious book collectors and students of printed history may be the only ones not surprised by this claim, as Standage d... [more]