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Blog posts by Rich Rennicks

Content creator and publicist for the ABAA. 


ABAA members will be exhibiting any number of rare and highly sought-after items at the 51st annual California International Antiquarian Book Fair (Feb. 9-11, 2018) in Pasadena, CA next month. Here is a small sampling to whet the appetite. Ward, Lynd. Signed block print from Gods' Man , . An original print from Ward's first and most famous wordless novel. Printed from the original woodblock on Japanese paper, the image measures 10 cm x 13 cm. Signed in pencil by Ward under the image in the right corner, with "Gods' Man" printed in pencil opposite. Fine. (Offered by Ken Sanders Rare Books) The Best Edition of the Poetical and Prose Works of Shelley, in a Superb Cosway-Style Binding by Bayntun (Rivière) SHELLEY, Percy Bysshe. The Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley. Edited by Harry Buxton Forman. In Four Volumes. London: Reeves and Turn... [more]

Longtime ABAA-member William Dailey died suddenly last month. His friends and colleagues John Windle and Stephen Gertz wrote touching memorials for him online, which we reprint with premission below: John Windle: Bill was a friend of 45+ years standing... It's much too soon to eulogize him but I will say this, and you can quote me; Bill had an eye for the unusual, the strange, the weird even, in books, art, and people. He wasn't much of a shopkeeper but he filled their bookshop W & V Dailey (later Dailey Rare Books) with some of the most-interesting books and artwork I've ever seen. He loved quirky stuff and quirky people and he totally lacked any filter that might cause the rest of us to exercise caution. His collections, his printing press productions, his yoga vegetarian Buddhist retreat motel, his home under a mountain in the desert, ... [more]

Browse the latest catalogs of rare books, fine bindings, incunabula, print ephemera, and so much more... (Cover image: Commonplace book by Jane Bemis. The Christian's Monitor consisting of select passages of scriptures arranged under several heads, for the use and inspection of one whom I hope loves our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (Providence, RI. 1812) featured in the new catalog from Eclectibles.) 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. CHARLES AGVENT Summer Miscellany 2017 Winter Miscellany ANDERSON BUTLER RARE BOOKS Short E-list #9: Miscellany Short E-list #8: The Occu... [more]

Pardon the pun, but the 51st California International Antiquarian Book Fair is going to be a monster event! Not only are about 200 rare book dealers from around the world bringing the cream of their respective crops to Pasadena, but it's also the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and there's going to be a huge exhibit to celebrate the classic book. From the organizers: From February 9-11, 2018, Southern California hosts the nation's largest rare book exhibition as thousands of book lovers, booksellers, and scholars converge at the 51st California International Antiquarian Book Fair. The 2018 Book Fair also celebrates the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus with a special exhibit spotlighting holdings from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Scie... [more]


Books of the Week

By Rich Rennicks

Get your new year off to a good start by examining a few highlights from around the abaa.org website or found within the pages of our members' latest rare book catalogs. Cassic orange Penguins are always eye-catching. This one is was also an influential part of early science fiction. The Quatermass Experiment: A Play for Television in Six Parts by Nigel Kneale Description: : Penguin Books, .. Small octavo, printed wrappers. First edition. Prints Kneale's revised script for the first of the three BBC Quatermass serials aired in 1953, 1955 and 1958/1959 respectively. Includes film stills. "Effective melodrama and social satire for its time." - Anatomy of Wonder (1987) 3-231. "Excellent scripts." - Pringle, The Ultimate Guide to Science Fiction, second edition (1995), p. 294. "With hindsight, there is a clear pattern in Kneale's work in whic... [more]

A first edition of a favorite author is a sure-fire great gift. Even better would be one signed by the author! You'll find a great many first editions and signed books in our literature category, from award-winning classics to contemporary authors. Here are a few examples to what your appetite. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1986. First edition. Hardcover. Fine/Near fine. Signed by the author on the title page. 1986, First Edition. Fine in a Near Fine dust jacket that shows the slightest hint of fading along the spine. Original jacket price present. A tight, clean and sparkling copy of Atwood's classic dystopian novel. (Offered by Caliban Books) Search for more books by Margaret Atwood... Men Without Women (First Edition) by Ernest Hemingway New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1927 First edition, first pri... [more]

Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita is one of the most-celebrated and most-notorious novels of the twentieth century. Its path to publication did not run smooth, and there are many different editions and translations worthy of the collector's attention. 1955: The Olympia Press Two-Volume First Edition The multi-lingual Nabokov (he grew up speaking Russian, English and French at home) finished Lolita in 1953, but it was rejected by all the major American publishers for fear that its subject matter would prove too controversial. He turned to the Olympia Press in Paris, then notorious for essentially publishing pornography, for the first publication of his famous novel. Lolita (First Edition) Paris: Olympia Press. Very Good. FIRST EDITION of one of the most important novels of the twentieth century. WITH IMPORTANT PROVENANCE: From the Bureau Littérai... [more]

A deluxe copy of a children's classic is a favorite gift at almost any point in childhood. As the child grows older and better able to appreciate a care for their books, some seek to introduce the book-collecting bug with a signed copy, a meaningful first edition, or a particularly beautiful volume. We've collected a few beautiful, rare, or signed editions below for inspiration. You can search Children's Books by category here... A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger Natick, MA: Picture Book Studio USA/Neugebauer Press, 1988. Modern illustrated edition of the quintessential Christmas classic. Written in a mere six weeks at a low point in Charles Dickens's career, and published at his own expense in time for Christmas 1843, A Christmas Carol revived Dickens's fortunes, establishing a robust market for holiday... [more]


Explore New Arrivals

By Rich Rennicks

ABAA members list newly acquired or catalogued books on almost every day of the year. Keep an eager eye on our "New Arrivals" search page to see what's recently been offered for sale and find the books you need to build your collection! Here are a few highlights from this week's crop of newly listed items: Save Me the Waltz by Zelda Fitzgerald London: Grey Walls Press, 1953 First English edition. Publisher's light blue cloth, lettered in gilt to spine, in original pink pictorial dust jacket. Near fine with a slight lean to spine and a touch of wear to spine ends, light offsetting to endpapers, a few tiny spots to top edge; dust jacket with a few tiny nicks to spine ends and corners, spine faded but front panel extremely bright. Overall, a tight and attractive copy. Originally published by Scribner's in the US in 1932, Save Me the Waltz is... [more]

ABAA-member Charles Roberts (Wonder Book) has published a wonderful meditation on the classic cookbook The Joy of Cooking on his blog at Wonder Books. More than a straight article about the book's creation (although it does cover that) or its critical reception and impact on the wider culture (that, too), Roberts conveys a real bookseller's perspective on the book, both as a cultural artifact and a physical artifact. More interesting still is his consideration of the market forces that affect physical books in unique ways, and how a bookseller can still find utility and value even in old, nondescript cookbooks that are not rare by any stretch of the imagination. Some books tell stories in ways other than their contents. At Wonder Book, we used to rarely get copies of The Joy of Cooking in any condition. It was just a book that people woul... [more]