Bookseller News

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: from "Archive of Sample Books and Printing Plates for J.R. Weldin & Co. Printers and Stationers", found in Bay Leaf Books' new catalog Odds, Ends, and the Evils of Rock 'n' Roll. 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 -- Contains 46 select items, all new arrivals, in a variety of fields. Summer Miscellany 2017 ANDERSON BUTLER RARE BOOKS E-list#11: Miscellany *New* E-list #10: Miscellany NICK ARETAKIS April 2018 New Acquisitions March 2018 New Acquisitions ARTISAN BOOKS & BINDERY New Acquisitions: May 2017 Holiday Catalog 2016 ATHENA RARE BOOKS List 22: Lou Andreas-Salomé *New* New York Antiquarian Book Fair 2018 BACK OF BEYOND BOOKS Recent Acquisitions -- list only available to mailing list subscribers. Sign up here... Catalog #19 LORNE BAIR RARE BOOKS A Winter Miscellany Catalog 28: Radicalism & Social Movements (Mostly American) BAUMAN RARE BOOKS May 2018 *New* Spring 2018: 50 New Arrivals BAY LEAF USED & RARE BOOKS E-list #24: Odds, Ends, and the Evils of ... [more]

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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 himself, the subject of Tom Reiss's 2005 biography "The Orientalist," was quite a character: born Lev Nussimbaum, he was a Jew from Azerbaijan who transformed himself into a Muslim prince in Nazi Germany, having earlier escaped the Russian Revolution in a camel caravan. (The claim made in the jacket blurb that he was a "compatriot of Stalin's" was almost certainly bogus.) Writing as "Essad Bey" and "Kurban Said," he became a celebrated adventurer and author of the classic novel "Ali and Nino." And that ain't the half of it. (A 1934 newspaper feature story about "Essad Bey" laid in.) Very scarce, especially in the original jacket. Offered by ... [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 collections for advice, and ended up spending a lot of time at the Library. Back then, his first big find as a book trader, Karmiole said, was a stash of scholarly books on Peru purchased at a Santa Barbara garage sale. He bought the entire collection — plus the bookcases they were shelved on — for $16. Alan Grosenheider, Acting University Librarian, said the new fellowship will “provide opportunities for scholars to use our Special Research Collections from a fresh perspective and share their discoveries with the campus community, sparking different approaches or opening new intellectual terrain to explore. I have deep appreciation for... [more]

ABAA-member Raymond Smith has an exhibition of his black-and-white photography, "In Time We Shall Know Ourselves" running at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT through June 3, 2018. Inspired by the photographs taken in the American South in the 1930s by Walker Evans, a teacher and mentor of Smith at Yale University, as well as by Robert Frank's The Americans (1958), in the summer of 1974 Smith embarked on a photographic expedition of his own. Smith traveled with his Australian friend Suzanne Boyd in an aging Volkswagen from New England through the South and into the Midwest, photographing the people and places he encountered during the three-month journey. Lecture/Reception The Bruce Museum will host a reception and artist talk for the exhibition on Sunday, April 15, 3–5 pm. At 3:30 pm, Raymond Smith will present a lecture titled, “I Am a Camera,” which will be followed by a Q&A and book signing. The reception is free for Bruce Museum members and students (with valid ID); tickets for non-members are $15. Advance registration is required, as seating is limited. For more information, vist brucemuseum.org... Raymond Smith. Farm Worker's Family, Dillon, South Carolina. 1974. Smith collected some of these photographs into the book In Time We Shall Know Ourselves (which features perceptive essays on Smith's photography by Alexander Nemerov, Professor of Art History at Stanford University, and Richard H. King, Professor Emeritus American Intellectual History at the University o... [more]

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New ABAA Members

By Rich Rennicks

Meet the latest members of the ABAA. Andrea Peacock, Elk River Books Andrea Peacock is an author and former newspaper journalist who took up bookselling when she and her husband built a new house and didn't have enough room for all their books. She teamed up with Marc Beaudin and in 2011 launched Elk River Books, an open shop in the small town of Livingston, Montana, which sits along the big bend of the Yellowstone River. After a few years, she tired of selling $7 paperbacks to tourists, and attended CABS on a friend's recommendation. That changed everything. They moved from their tiny storefront into an enormous building in Livingston's arts district, and refocused on antiquarian and collectible books. She took classes at Rare Book School, and began specializing in works by the Montana Gang and “outdoor literature”—a catchall that includes adventure, Western and Native American history, hunting and fishing, natural history and anything else fun that comes in the door. Marc Beaudin, Elk River Books Marc Beaudin is a poet, publisher, and theatre artist living in Livingston, Montana -- dubbed “America's finest open-air asylum” for multiple reasons. In 2011, he added “bookseller” to his stack of hats with the founding of Elk River Books with co-owner and cousin Andrea Peacock. He specializes in outdoor literature, Montana authors, poetry, and work by and about James Joyce. His latest book, a travel memoir called Vagabond Song: Neo-Haibun from the Peregrine Journals... [more]

I met Helen in 1998, while I was still an undergrad living in Washington, DC. I was dating her son and invited to New York to meet the family during a Passover seder, a holiday I had never observed. David warned me that his mother could be opinionated, was intelligent, and very well read. We immediately bonded over our mutual enjoyment of a made-for-TV movie starring Lynda Carter we had both just seen. This movie was so bad, we were probably its only two viewers. Through dayenus and certainly more than four questions, we became friends. Her vast knowledge of the realm of children's and illustrated books was enthralling. As an introverted child, I enjoyed visiting the used book stores around Maryland, but I had never been exposed to fine, collectible material. It wasn't until I began working for her a few years later that I fully grasped her position and knowledge in the trade. Helen's own entrée into the trade was by circumstance. She was born Helen Batkin in Brooklyn in 1949, and made the exodus to suburbia in a new development in New Rochelle a few years later. The last home in the development to be completed belonged to Paul and Gloria Younger. The Batkins and Youngers became friends. Helen graduated high school early and attended Washington University in St. Louis. After graduating, she backpacked throughout Europe and spent several months on a kibbutz in Israel. She once told me she became lost while walking through the groves of avocado trees. She was so scarred by the... [more]

On March 11th, the ABAA Women's Initiative hosted a panel discussion on Collecting and Women during the New York Antiquarian Book Fair at the Park Avenue Armory. Elizabeth Denlinger, Sarah Gordon, and Molly Schwartzburg discussed topics relating to representations of women in collections, women as collectors, and women-focused institutions as Nina Musinsky moderated. More than 100 men and women booksellers, librarians, and enthusiasts attended. If you missed it, we have a recording below. Since 2016, we have held networking receptions for women in conjunction with book fairs, and honored Carol Sandberg — a longtime bookseller who has championed women in the trade. This panel is our first foray into programming and we are thrilled to have so many of you here. Please do leave your business cards or add your name to our mailing list so we can keep you informed about events and ideas. We would like to thank and acknowledge the people who have worked on this project: Claudia Strauss-Schulson — the Initiative's chairwoman — Heather O'Donnell, Rebecca Romney, Kim Schwenk, Kait Manning, Cokie Anderson, Susan Hirsch, Laurelle Swan, Joyce Kosofsky, and Mary Gilliam. We would also like to thank Jennifer Johnson and Sunday Steinkirchener for their help in organizing events. We also want to recognize the many people who have shared their stories, put forth ideas, and voiced support publically and privately for this important work. Subscribe below to receive alerts and information ab... [more]

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Rare Book News

By Rich Rennicks

The 2018 New York International Antiquarian Book Fair is behind us, and the reviews have been very positive. Several magazines ran previews focusing on dealer's highlights in the weeks before the fair, and many carried enthusiastic reports after the fact. Here are a few highlights of the media coverage for the fair: The Paris Review focused on some "unexpected highlights" from the fair... (But, if they didn't expect to find rare books at the fair, just what were they expecting?) ABAA-member Jonathan A. Hill was interviewed by Bloomberg (audio)... Barron's (naturally) focused on the most-expensive item exhibited at the fair: "Rare Book By Astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus Being Sold for $2M" Atlas Obscura covered the other end of the spectrum, interviewing ABAA-member Sunday Steinkirchner (B&B Rare Books) about appraising books during "Discovery Day": "How a Rare Book Appraiser Passes Judgment in 30 Seconds or Less" Hyperallergic: Culinary Delights and Other Fine Finds at the New York Antiquarian Book Fair New York was not the only place that rare books were in the news, on the West Coast, the recent California International Antiquarian Book Fair and the ILAB Congress have also been making headlines. ilab.org: "Looking back at the 43rd ILAB Congress" Fine Books & Collections: "Frankstein Fanfare at the CA Antiquarian Book Fair" Video: Antiquariat Botanicum at the California International Antiquarian Book Fair Not all the recent news of rare books was good, however, with news brea... [more]

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Meet the Class of 2017

By Rich Rennicks

Meet the newest members and associate members of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America. These booksellers have proven that they are well-established, knowledgeable, and of excellent reputation within the trade, have been sponsored by current members, and have undergone a rigorous screening process. Full Members William B. Allison, William Allison Books (Houston, TX) Books have been one of Bill Allison's primary avocations since the mid-1980s, when he started collecting the Texas author J. Frank Dobie. But like the rancher who was only interested in his land and the land that touched his land, books on ranching, the West & related topics soon followed. Five years ago, he made the transition from book collector to book dealer, specializing in Texas and the West. He exhibits at a number of shows in Texas and occasionally issues catalogs or lists. William spends much of the summer we are on Cape Cod where his wife's family has lived since the 1940s. His background includes degrees from Rice University and the University of Texas. Before books, he worked as an environmental lawyer. Bill and his wife have three daughters and live with two highly opinionated cats in Houston, TX. Timothy Boyle, Vintage Books and Fine Art (Easton, MD) Tim Boyle is the proprietor of Vintage Books and Fine Art in Easton, Md., a small, open shop which specializes in books, maps, historic newspapers, and other ephemera of a scholarly or historic nature. A journalism graduate of Towson Univer... [more]

Longtime ABAA-member William Dailey died suddenly last month. His former wife and business partner Victoria Dailey has written an obituary, and his friends and colleagues John Windle and Stephen Gertz supplied touching memorials for him online, which we reprint with premission below: Obituary: I first met Bill in 1972 when he manned the front desk at Zetilin & Ver Brugge. I was early for an appointment nearby, and stepped into Jake's “Red Barn” for a quick browse. I never got around to browsing. Instead, Bill and I struck up a conversation and discovered we shared many interests, so I wasn't surprised when a few days later he called and asked me out. (He had asked me to leave my name and number for the “mailing list.”) We started dating, and when the position of gallery assistant at Jake's became open, I applied and got the job. When Bill left Jake's employ a few years later, Jake inscribed a book, a parting gift to Bill, thus: “Smooth sailing on the high seas of books.” Unknown to Jake, the metaphor was apt: Bill had spent many youthful summers sailing with his parents and sister up and down the eastern seaboard—he was an experienced windjammer, more than ready to tackle the oceans of books he would encounter. Bill and I decided that not only did we want to buy, sell and collect books, we also wanted to print them, and so we began the Press of the Pegacycle Lady in 1972, ultimately publishing twenty-five titles. We married at the end of 1973, began dealing priv... [more]