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Modern First Editions

By Rich Rennicks

The ABAA Glossary of Book Terms defines a first editon, in part, as "all of the copies printed from the first setting of type," which can "include multiple printings if all are from the same setting of type." So, the term is rooted in the physical act of printing the pages of a book. But, the term also has a second meaning, specifically the first form given to a book, i.e. before any later changes (which could include corrections, additional copy, introductions, etc.) These changes, if minor, are referred to as the second (or later) "state" of the book, if major, they constitute new editions of the book. The phrase "modern" is more difficult to define, as it has been often used as a synonym for "contemporary," thus what was considered a modern first editon in the 1940s might not be regarded in the same way in the second decade of the 21st Century. Noted bibliophile John Carter observed that the term modern first edition "is, and probably always will be, quite unstandardised" in his classic guide to the terminology of the rare book trade, ABC for Book Collectors. For our purposes, we've culled a selection of first edition novels from the 20th century to showcase some of the first appearances of some of the canonical works from the past century. You can browse our members' full catalog of first editions here... The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Hardcover. First Edition, Matches all points on pages 60,119,165,205 and 211. Has a new wrappe... [more]

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Books of the Week

By Rich Rennicks

Among the eye-catching items newly listed on abaa.org or featured in members' catalogs this week are some signed first editions, an inscribed photo of everyone's favorite princess from a galaxy far, far away, and a clever artist's book that captures the Beaufort Scale memorably. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Scale] by Stephanie Wolff & Sir Francis Beaufort Norwich, VT, 2015. Artist's book, one of 13 copies, all on Somerset Velvet Radiant White paper, each copy hand-numbered and signed by the artist on the colophon. Page size: 5 x 9-3/4 inches; 26pp; + colophon. Bound by the artist: compound structure, primarily non-adhesive, tabbed single pages sewn onto a concertina of French paper and then inserted into strip of Tyvek folded into Hedi Kyle's crown binding structure, reinforced covers of white Somerset paper sewn onto the concertina and sealed with adhesive at edges, housed in custom-made grey cloth over boards clamshell box lined with white paper, the front tray with THE BEAUFORT WIND SCALE printed letterpress in 14pt. Perpetua, each number with its corresponding word / words descriptor, i.e. 0 Calm, 1 Light Air through 12 Hurricane. The front cover of the book is printed letterpress, Perpetua 30pt., printed in light gray ink throughout. The text, in Perpetua 18pt., each line printed on a separate page, and that page with the word descriptor for the Beaufort Wind Scale number appearing in all caps perpendicular to the text in Perpetua 30pt, the BWS number which is printed bl... [more]

The Northern & Southern California Chapters of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America would like to announce The California Young Book Collectors' Prize. Most great collectors started when they were young, and most great collections started with a passion for a particular object or subject. When these objects are books and manuscripts, the collectors are called bibliophiles, or lovers of the book. The love of books continues unabated today, despite their increasing rarity and the rapid growth of digital media. Some might even argue that the printed page has taken on a new meaning and cultural resonance in our era of computers and electronic texts. In recognition of the next generation of bibliophiles, the Northern & Southern California Chapters of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America have created The California Young Book Collector's Prize. The competition is open to collectors aged 35 and under who are living in California. All collections of books, manuscripts, and ephemera are welcome, no matter their monetary value or subject. The collections will be judged on their thoroughness, the approach to their subject, and the seriousness which with the collector has catalogued his or her material. The winner of the competition will be awarded: 1. A gift certificate of $500 to spend at the 2019 California International Antiquarian Book Fair 2. An exhibition of the winner's collection to be presented in a showcase at the book fair 3. A stipend of $250 to... [more]

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: cover detail from The Complete Poker-Player by John Blackbridge (New York: Dick & Fitzgerald Publishers, 1880) from James Cummins Bookseller's new catalog, Gambling. 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 #13: Miscellany E-list #12: Publishers' Prospectures, Ephemera, More... NICK ARETAKIS Reference Books from the Library of Ian Jackson of Berkeley, California June 2018 New Acquisitions ARTISAN BOOKS & BINDERY New Acquisitions: May 2017 Holiday Catalog 2016 ATHENA RARE BOOKS List 22: Lou Andreas-Salomé 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 E-list #26: Late-Summer Miscellany *New* E-List 25: Summer New Arrivals BAUMAN RARE BOOKS The Second World War (Newsletter) Summer 2018 BAY LEAF USED & RARE B... [more]

Longtime ABAA member Kenneth Karmiole continues to support research in the history of the book through a new endowed fellowship at the University of California Los Angeles' Center for 17th- & 18th-Century Studies & William Andrews Clark Memorial Library. Karmiole is a graduate of UCLA, and has supported the university with several contributions over the years. From The UCLA Center for 17th- & 18th-Century Studies & William Andrews Clark Memorial Library: Recently, UCLA's Center for 17th-&18th-Century Studies and William Andrews Clark Memorial Library received support for an endowed fellowship from antiquarian bookseller, philanthropist, and long time supporter, Kenneth Karmiole. The gift of $100,000 will establish the Kenneth Karmiole Endowed Research Fellowship, supporting an annual graduate fellowship at UCLA's William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, which serves as the research laboratory for a distinguished array of fellows working in the library's collections. The Clark's major sub-collections include Tudor & Early Stuart, Long Eighteenth Century, Oscar Wilde & le fin de siècle, Book Arts, and Montana and the West. The endowed fellowship will be used for research for one month on any subject, and fellows will present on their research upon completion of their residency at the Clark Library. This is Karmiole's second endowment to UCLA's Center for 17th-&18th-Century Studies and Clark Library. In 2004 he established The Kenneth Karmiole Lecture Series on the History of th... [more]

Owen Kubik, a long-time ABAA member from Dayton Ohio, knew it was too good to be true when he discovered a cache of 16th- and 17th-century books in a bulk shipment of used books. Kubik regularly buys large lots of old books from thrift store recyclers. The books are gathered from thrift stores across the country — which either don't want to handle used books in their stores or have too many — and then sold wholesale by the truck-load to book stores and paper recycling operations. Going through such large shipments can be time-consuming, but Kubik finds that this "is a good source for a large volume of general stock for my open shop. There is almost never anything rare or collectible, just good, decent everyday books." A lot sourced from the East Coast in March 2018 proved to be a little different, however. “Here I am, going through old novels, encyclopedias, textbooks, etc... and then all of a sudden I start finding nice 16th-17th century leather-bound books in original bindings,” Kubik recalls. “A Cicero from 1547, Boethius from 1656, and multiple volumes of 16th- and 17th-century Italian poetry.” In total, Kubik found 20 books in fine leather bindings, all in nice condition. Not an average day at the office. "My heart skipped a beat, I think. These are not what should be coming out of thrift stores.” A close examination revealed that all the books had faint pencil call numbers on the back of their title pages. In addition, a few of the books had a bookplate fr... [more]

ABAA members list new items on abaa.org almost every day, and publish catalogs and E-lists of new acquisitions almost weekly. Among the items that caught the eye this week, are first editions of Armistead Maupin's classic Tales of the City, A.A. Milne's Now We are Six, and Yoko Ono's Grapefruit, along with anti-fascist paper art, Nikola Tesla's John Hancock, and a first edition of John Gould's multi-volume magnum opus The Birds of Europe. Tales of the City First Edition Paperback by Armistead Maupin (Cover map by Phil Frank) New York: Harper Colophon Books, 1978. Paperback. 240p., 7.5x9.25 inches, lightly-worn first edition stated, number line ends in "1" trade paperback original in pictorial map covers with a key to locations of the story. Originally published serially by the San Francisco Chronicle. Made into a TV miniseries and being rebooted as we speak! Offered by Bolerium Books. Metamorphic Puzzle - Hitler the Fifth Pig A 6" x 8 ¾" folding paper puzzle when open flat depicts 4 different pigs. The caption at center reads To find a fifth one fold as indicated. When folded the "business end" of the pigs creates Adolph Hilter's face. Reverse is blank. Offered by Eclectibles. Found in Eclectibles' new catalog "E-list No. 49" (item #11). This item is not listed on abaa.org. The Birds of Europe (5 Volumes; Folio) by GOULD, JOHN (1804-1881) London: printed by Richard and John E. Taylor, published by the Author, 1837. 5 volumes, folio. (21 1/4 x 14 1/4 inches). 2pp. list of sub... [more]

With the 50th anniversary of Desert Solitaire upon us, Back of Beyond Books has launched a unique publishing program to both honor the importance of Edward Abbey's book and continue the discussion surrounding Desert Solitaire. This November, Back of Beyond in partnership with Torrey House Press will publish Desert Cabal: a New Season in the Wilderness by Amy Irvin In Desert Cabal, Amy Irvine admires the man who influenced her life and work while also examining "the inspiration of Desert Solitaire through the lens of 50 years of desert love and a contemporary, feminist vision." Back of Beyond will also publish a facsimile of the first draft of Desert Solitaire, with hundreds of handwritten manuscript changes by Abbey. This document has never been published before and only fifty sets of the facsimile will be made available. In addition, Ken Sanders Rare Books are coordinating the publication of four Desert Solitaire-inspired literary letterpress broadsides featuring original work by the writers Wendell Berry, Terry Tempest Williams, Doug Peacock, and Amy Irvine. "I'm so excited about these three publications," says Back of Beyond Books' owner Andy Nettell. "But it is a little scary too. Even though I've been in the book trade for 18 years, I really had no idea how expensive books and publications are to publish." To that end the store has launched a KickStarter crowd sourcing fund raiser in August 2018 to support the publication program. "We need to raise $15,000 to successfull... [more]

The World's Most Beloved (and Criticized) Family of Bears! If you are a '90s child like myself (or a '70s child, or an '80s child, or a 2000s child… or even a 2010s child), I can guarantee that you know a family of bears… that live in (pretty much) the coolest treehouse ever… and whose sister and brother magically (almost) always get along. I grew up envying this small family and their adventures in pumpkin patches and at school. (So get to the point, you say?) Well today we thought we'd do a short feature on our favorite (fictional) family of bears… the Berenstain Bears. The Berenstain Bear family and franchise was created by Janice and Stanley Berenstain in 1962, and has since become a series of over 300 titles. Since his mother's death in 2012 (Stan Berenstain died in 2005), the couple's youngest son, Mike Berenstain, has continued the family tradition by authoring the titles. A full family project, in a sense! Let's see how it all came about… In 1941, Janice Grant and Stanley Berenstain met on their first day at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art and became close very quickly. At the onset of World War II, they took up different war effort posts (as a medical illustrator and riveter), but were eventually reunited and married in 1946. They found work as art teachers, then eventually became co-illustrators, publishing works like the Berenstain's Baby Book in 1951 followed by many more (including, but not limited to Marital Blitz, How To Teach Your Ch... [more]

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History was founded in 1994 by Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, lifelong supporters of American history education, with a goal of becoming the leading American nonprofit organization dedicated to K–12 history education. The Institute's mission is nothing less than to promote the knowledge and understanding of American history through educational programs and resources, which it does through creating curriculums for schools to use when teaching different periods of American history. At the Institute's core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives of American history. Drawing on the 65,000+ documents in the Gilder Lehrman Collection and an extensive network of eminent historians, the Institute provides teachers, students, and the general public with direct access to unique primary source materials. Over the last two years, the institute has gained some fame for its partnership with the musical Hamilton, creating the Hamilton Education Program (“EduHam”) with support from the Rockefeller Foundation to bring economically disadvantaged students to see the musical and integrate the lyrics and performances into a study guide exploring the Revolutionary War and Founding Fathers. The program has been extended to Chicago, where Hamilton is also playing, and is being extended to other cities as the traveling Hamilton show moves around the country. The core of the Foundation is the 65,000+ items in the Gilder Lehrman C... [more]