Bookselling

Every month, ABAA members release catalogs and electronic lists highlighting their new acquisitions and showcasing books and ephemera on various themes. Serious collectors peruse these catalogs immediately, ever on the lookout for books they covet for their personal collections. We invite you to examine the latest catalogs linked below, and contact the dealer if anything catches your eye. (Note: the items featured in these collections are not listed on abaa.org, so will not appear in search results.) BACK OF BEYOND BOOKS Recent Acquisitions -- list only available to mailing list subscribes. Sign up here... LORNE BAIR RARE BOOKS E-List 16: New Arrivals -- 55 items in the realm of American Social Movements and Radical History, including books, manuscripts, graphics, and ephemera. E-list 17: Fine Books -- The Scarafoni Collection, Part II BAUMAN RARE BOOKS July 2016 Catalog Summer Escapes Aubrey Beardsley BETWEEN THE COVERS RARE BOOKS African-Americana #207 BOLERIUM BOOKS Vote Early & Often -- Presidential campaign ephemera, mostly from outside the two-party system New & Recent Acquisitions "American Negroes Want Freedom" -- A shortlist on China and the African-American struggle BROMER BOOKSELLERS The Objects of Childhood BUDDENBROOKS, INC. Literary First Editions Recent Acquisitions: July 2016 THE COLOPHON BOOK SHOP List 224 -- Books about Books, Press Books, Literature JAMES CUMMINS BOOKSELLER Catalog for Melbourne 2016 The Robert S. Pirie Catalog DIVISION LEAP Occupations: Ar... [more]

The 56th Annual New York Antiquarian Book Fair returned to the Park Avenue Armory from April 7-April 10, 2016. From April 7-10, 2016 book lovers will find a fascinating treasure trove at the Park Avenue Armory. Over 200 American and international dealers will exhibit at The ABAA New York Antiquarian Book Fair, bringing a vast selection of rare books, maps, manuscripts, illuminated manuscripts and ephemera. The diversity of specialties includes art, medicine, literature, photography, autographs, first editions, Americana, and much more. This book fair is officially sanctioned by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers. This means that the consumer can rely upon the experience and professionalism of participating dealers and the authenticity of the items available for purchase. Simply stated, all books, manuscripts and related material have been carefully examined for completeness and bibliographic accuracy. Preview: Thurs, April 7, 5pm-9pm Fri, Apr 8, noon-8pm Sat, Apr 9, noon-7pm Sun, Apr 10, noon-5pm Tickets are available for purchase in advance or at the door. (Preview Ticket: $50, Run-of-Show: $40, Daily: $25) Discovery Day Sunday, April 10, 1pm-3pm Featured Items A few of the items ABAA members will be exhibiting at the 2016 New York Antiquarian Book Fair: Drawings, Jean-Michel Basquiat NY/Zurich: Edition Bischofberger and Boone, 1985. #757 of 1000cc Signed by Basquiat on the verso of the title page. Ver... [more]

“The book was a vehicle to connect a family.” –Henry Roth For more than 35 years, Lawrence Fox has served as the ABAA's legal counsel and also as one of our members' good customers. Larry is known for his collection of the writings of Edgar Allan Poe and American literature. His copy of Henry Roth's Call it Sleep—a first edition, first state with first state dustwrapper—is “among the finest, brightest and most crisp copies of this scarce book.” In recognition of his many years of service with the ABAA, Larry has donated the copy to the Association's charitable entities with proceeds from the sale going to the Elisabeth Woodburn and Benevolent Funds. George Lowry and his team at Swann will offer the book for sale, without commission to the Funds, on May 18, 2016. But it gets better. Larry was Roth's personal friend and Trustee of the Henry Roth Literary Properties Trust and this copy is inscribed to Larry Fox: “In awe at his incredible assiduity”. The book chronicles the story of David Shearl, a child immigrant growing up in the slums of early 1900s Brooklyn. It beautifully captures the pain and honesty of families amidst a background of Jewish life and community. We at the ABAA are so excited to have these long friendships come together to benefit something so deeply important to us and to Larry: creating knowledge, learning, and opportunity through education and aiding booksellers in times of need. View the auction, spread the word, and bid, bid, BID! [more]

The second installment of Kaitlin Manning's new series on taking better pictures of rare books and ephemera. (Review the first part here...) Setting up a home studio does not need to be an expensive affair. Besides your camera, there are two basic elements to a studio: a backdrop and lighting. For the backdrop, the simplest and most effective method is to create a “scoop” background (sometimes called an endless background) where there is no visible horizon line. This effect can be created very easily: place a box or other upright, sturdy object (even a folding chair will do) on your workspace and drape a large piece of paper or fabric over it so that it curves gently down onto the surface on which you will place your books. I find that a large roll of butcher paper works quite well – simply roll out a fresh background whenever it gets dirty or wrinkled (black, white, or a neutral grey are best). You can find this at arts and crafts shops or specialty photography shops for a very reasonable price. Lighting your workspace will take a little more effort and experimentation, but shouldn't be intimidating. The basic idea is to fill your background with a soft, diffuse light in order to capture every detail and avoid any harsh shadows. This effect can be achieved in several ways: you can buy several desk lamps (the clip-on kind works really well), or a couple of entry-level, standing flood lamps at a photography shop ($100 will get you a fine set at B & H Photo). Set these li... [more]

Kaitlin Manning introduces a new series of blog posts aimed at helping dealers take better pictures of rare books and ephemera for online use. Up until now, I have focused my blog posts solely on social media sites and how to best use them to your advantage. In the next few posts I will tackle a related and equally important topic, a source of much anxiety, confusion, and the desire to throw things at walls – the almighty digital image. Whether online or at the customer's demand, supplying images of our books and ephemera is quickly becoming the norm. It also requires that we as booksellers become acquainted with at least the basics of digital photography in order to meet that demand and present our inventory in the best possible light. So let's begin with the most basic tool of digital photography: the digital camera. I think there is a common misconception that unless you have professional (i.e. expensive) equipment, you cannot take great looking images. In fact, even very basic digital cameras can be effective when used correctly. By the same token, while there are many advantages to investing in a decent camera set-up, fancy equipment alone is useless if you don't have the time or desire to learn how to operate it properly. So before spending your hard earned cash on an upgrade, I would highly recommend spending a little time with the camera you already own. With a few tweaks and tips, you will be surprised at how good your images can look (so stay tuned). Take the time... [more]

Fight of the Century: Auction Houses vs. Dealers Editor's note (John Schulman): Greg Gibson of Ten Pound Island Book Co., a specialist in “wet books” (maritime books, manuscripts, ephemera, sea charts, etc.,) has for the past five years authored a weekly blog chronicling his life in the rare book trade. Because he is smart, observant, witty and outspoken, and because he is a gifted writer (the author of several books) Bookman's Log makes for great reading on many topics of interest to antiquarians – market trends, the effect of the internet, reviews of book and paper shows, and sundry anecdotes about fellow dealers and collectors. In the past, Gibson has made passing comments on the undeclared war between dealers and auction houses, but those were mere shots across the bow compared to the anti-auction cannonade of his last two contributions. Although many dealers and auction houses work together on all sorts of levels (referrals, consigning, bidding, cataloging) the two groups are joined in basic competition for the material being offered and for the clients who might buy that material. When the stakes are high, this competition can become fierce. Book dealers and auction houses each offer certain advantages over the other. A dealer can engage in a relationship with a collector, get to know what that collector needs, scout up material and offer it directly, advise the collector, and so forth. This increases the level of trust between dealer and client, and friendships o... [more]

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Carried Away

By Greg Gibson

People tend to get carried away by the romance of old books and paper, and it's easy to see why. The thrill of the hunt, the joys of discovery, and the marvelous stories locked up in dusty old letters, journals, and books provide a perfect escape – an antidote to the stresses of our daily lives. Unfortunately, overworked librarians and book dealers often find that their interaction with books and manuscripts devolves into an insistent time/money proposition. As much as we'd like to linger over an ancient text, or just sit down and read the damned thing, we've got to get that bugger cataloged and shelved. There's work to be done! We wind up stressing out over the very things that should be affording us relief. So it's a delight when, every once in a while, something comes along that is so arresting and charismatic that it commands our complete attention and gobbles up our time, productivity be damned. I came across just such a lot on my way to the Washington Book Fair ten days ago, and I'm happy to report that this material has been holding me hostage all week. The lot consists of thirty or so nineteenth century sea charts. They're all in good condition, and they're certainly marketable, so they merited some individual attention. Naturally, the closer I looked, the more interesting they became. Many of them bore pencil markings of courses sailed, of dates, of sailing directions, and of notes about navigational sight lines and hazards. On closer inspection the dates grouped a... [more]

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Rare Book News

By Rich Rennicks

We round up interesting stories about the rare book world being discussed this week. Shakespeare's First Folios Go on Tour The Folger Shakespeare Library has anounced the cities that are getting a First Folio as part of their ambitious plan to put a copy of Shakespeare's First Folio on display in every state, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico, in 2016. Read more to discover where your nearest First Folio will be... Preview Rare Book Week Look forward to Rare Book Week (which includes the 55th Annual New York Antiquarian Book Fair) with this preview from Rare Book Magazine. ILAB to Mark World Book Day The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers are planning a series of Pop-Up Book Fairs around the world to mark UNESCO World Book Day on April 23. Many ABAA members are involved in the US events. Ephemera Society Annual Conference The Ephemera Society Annual Conference is coming up. Mark your calendars for March 20-22, 2015. Documentary: Inside the Harvard Depository Harvard maintains a huge book depository that few ever get to visit. Curious collectors can now take a virtual step inside this hidden library in a new documentary, Cold Storage, a digital offshoot of the Library Beyond the Book project by Jeffrey T. Snapp and Matthew Battles. Read more... William Morris Library Project Reaches Half-Way Stage The project to digitally catalog the legendary library of book collector and publisher William Morris (of Kelmscott Press fame) has passed the half-way mark. Unknown Copy... [more]

Measuring Your Social Media Success Whether you are just beginning your magical foray into the world of social media or have been tweeting for years, there comes a time when we all stop and wonder, “Is this thing on?” In other words, how can you tell if your posts are actually reaching anyone and generating more traffic to your website or just echoing back at you? For newbies and old hands alike, it is always a good idea to review your social media efforts to see what is working and where you can improve. Today we will consider some easy ways to get more mileage out of your daily posts and take a look at some powerful tools that can give you access to the data sets of your dreams... brace yourselves. Measuring your social media success can be as simple as becoming more mindful of your interactions with other users. One easy way to gauge your progress is to look at the number of engagements your posts are receiving. If you are on Facebook, are people consistently liking or commenting on your content? If you are more Twitter-inclined, are people re-tweeting your posts? Is there steady growth in the number of engagements and followers on your social media platforms or has that number been stagnant as of late? If your social media game needs a face-lift, here are a few tried and true methods to get back on track: 1. Use images. It is proven that posts that include visual material garner more likes, comments, and shares. Use this to your advantage. Not every post needs to incl... [more]

The ABAA's ever-steady Benevolent Committee, under the auspices of yours truly, will be roaming the aisles at the Oakland Book Fair this coming February 6th-8th, encouraging all to reach deep and channel their inner Carnegies (Andrew, not Dale). As there have been a few last-minute changes, I wanted to take this opportunity to update our readers on the opportunities we'll be providing to contribute to the Benevolent and Woodburn Funds throughout the weekend. First of all, I'll note with sadness that our annual Benefit Poker Tournament, which was a huge success in 2014 and which had been scheduled to take place Thursday night following the Exhibitors' Reception, has been cancelled. It was red tape, not a lack of enthusiasm, that doomed the tournament for this year, and I can promise all you high-rollers that we'll be dealing cards again in Pasadena in 2016. In the meanwhile, I hope all who planned on participating will consider donating their entry fees to the Woodburn Fund, which provides bookseller scholarships to the Rare Book School and the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar. Having been personally involved with each of these entities — very personally involved, in the case of CABS — I can attest to the excellent work they do providing continuing education to both novice and experienced members of the antiquarian book trade. One look at the list of ABAA members admitted over the past five years, many of whom have been direct recipients of Woodburn scholarships and many ... [more]