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Blog posts by Rich Rennicks

Content creator and publicist for the ABAA. 


“Genius is immediate, but talent takes time.” —Janet Flanner If you think of Paris as a golden city of culture, eternally haunted by the ghosts of “lost generation” writers like Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein, you are indebted to Janet Flanner. For 50 years Flanner lived in Paris and chronicled its daily life, its culture, and its personalities for the New Yorker. It's possible she did more to shape American's impressions of Paris than any other writer. Like Flanner's cultural reportage, building a quality book collection also takes time and a keen instinct. The astute collector must immerse themselves in their chosen milieu, genre, or subject matter, and learn to tell the exceptional writers from the insipid, to distinguish between the ephemeral flavors of the month and the books that will stand the te... [more]


Rare Book News

By Rich Rennicks

While the week after the New York Antiquarian Book Fair is generally a week of rest and recuperation for booksellers and collectors alike, there was still plenty of news happening in the rare book world last week. Bright Young Booksellers: Alexander Akin ABAA-member Alexander Akin of Bolerium Books was interviewed as part of Fine Books & Manuscripts ongoing "Bright Young Booksellers" series. Read more... Lou Reed Archive Goes to the New York Public Library at Lincoln Center Rock and roll legend Lou Reed left a personal archive of unsurpassed detail that will give researchers great insight into both the mundane details of life as a touring musician and Reed's development as an artist. Comprising over 300 linear feet of correspondence and documents as well as over 600 hours of recordings, many unreleased, the archive will be a place of pilg... [more]

ABAA members have issued the following catalogs of the material they will be exhibiting at the New York Antiquarian Book Fair this weekend (March 9-12, 2017) at the Park Avenue Armory. Note: This list is being constantly updated. Check back frequently in the days before the fair for the latest catalog additions! Athena Rare Books Booth E24 Lorne Bair Rare Books Booth E18 F.A. Bernett Booth B18 -- direct download .pdf David Brass Rare Books Booth C10 Buddenbrooks Booth C23 Andrew Cahan Bookseller Booth D19 James Cummins Bookseller Booth A1 L.W. Currey, Inc. and John W. Knott Jr., Bookseller offer David H. Rajchel Arkham House Archive Booth A5 Donald A. Heald Rare Books Booth C1 Jonathan A. Hill, Bookseller Booth B15 Jeff Hirsch Books Booth B23 Kaaterskill Books Booth B11 Eric Chaim Kline Booth A14 Michael Laird Rare Books Booth A33a The La... [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]

Autograph expert and ABAA-member Gary Combs died last month. A celebration of his life will be held in New York City on March 7, as many of his former colleagues will be in the city for the New York Antiquarian Book Fair. ABAA-member James Camner paid tribute to his late friend and colleague: It is with deep sadness that I am reporting the death of my dear friend and colleague Gary Combs who died just after his 70th Birthday on February 10. Gary will be known to many in the ABAA as a premier level autograph dealer in New York City. He was a top private dealer, a “dealer's dealer” for many years, but his start in the business was as a salesman in the Book Department of B. Altman's Department store, where I met him back in 1976. At the time, he was the assistant to another dear old departed friend of the trade, Bob Tollett. Upon Bob's r... [more]

The New York Antiquarian Book Fair returns to the Park Avenue Armory March 9-12 for the 57th installment of this annual fiesta of rare books, historical documents, and all kinds of print ephemera. Below you'll find a few highlights from among the many fascinating and rare items that ABAA members will be exhibiting at the show. Contact the dealer referenced for more information. An Outstanding Album of Italian Political Cartoons Thirty-Two Magnificent Hand-Colored Lithographs by Antonio Manganaro. MANGANARO, Antonio. L'Esposizione Marittima Visitata da Dante e Virgilio. Allegoria di A. Manganaro. . Folio (18 11/16 x 12 3/8 inches; 475 x 314 mm.). Hand colored lithograph pictorial title-page and thirty-one magnificent hand colored lithograph plates including the final "Chiusura" plate showing Dante holding hands with the 'skeletal' Virgil. ... [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 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]

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]

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]