Update: The Booksellers begins a series of virtual cinema screenings on Friday, April 17, as release plans have obviously had to change because of shelter-in-place orders. Visit this page for information on which art-house cinemas are sponsoring virtual screenings in different cities from April 17. --- The hotly anticipated documentary about the rare-book world, The Booksellers, opens in New York City this week, just as the rare-book world itself descends on the city for the 60th annual New York International Antiquarian Book Fair. Described by The Hollywood Reporter as “a treat for anyone who appreciates the printed word,” the filmmakers interviewed book collectors, dealers, librarians, and bibliophiles over several years to capture a picture of the rare-book world at this point in time. Directed by D.W. Young, executive produced by Parker Posey, and produced by ABAA-member Daniel Wechsler, the film is a celebration of the book and book culture, as well as a survey of the influence technology has had on the book trade, and how interest — nay obsession — with finding and preserving significant books and related items has endured despite what alarmist mainstream media headlines might have us believe. The Booksellers features interview with a great many ABAA-members, as well as prominent collectors and writers, such as Fran Lebowitz, Gay Talese, Susan Orlean, and Kevin Young, resulting in a panoramic view of the trade from many perspectives. Trailer The film debuted to ... [more The Booksellers Documentary Opens]


New Members

By Rich Rennicks

Meet the latest members of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America. Full Membership Daniel R. Danbom, Danbom & Son Books (Denver, CO) Dan Danbom is owner of Danbom &; Son Books, which deals primarily in modern first editions in Denver, Colorado. Before entering the book business, he was in journalism and corporate communication.. For many years, he was a humor columnist for several industry-related magazines and was a book reviewer for The Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post, where he still writes occasional features. He has also contributed to several books including “Slam Dunks and No-Brainers: Language in Your Life, the Media, Business, Politics and, Like Whatever” and “Speakeasy.” He started Danbom & Son in 2009. He is a former CABS attendee and is a member of the Rocky Mountain Antiquarian Booksellers Association. He places a high importance on community service and has a particular interest in placing books in the hands of children who are food bank recipients and in persons coming off homelessness through the St. Francis Center in Denver. Mark Funke, Mark Funke, Bookseller (Mill Valley, CA) Mark Funke started selling rare books in 2014 while living in Berlin, Germany. He attended the inaugural York Antiquarian Book Seminar in September 2014 and was hooked ever since. Funke was searching for a career that allowed for significant travel, and he has found it. Although he now lives in Northern California, Funke travels to Europe twice a year to atte... [more New Members]

ABAA members are adapting to the new reality of shelter-in-place orders and self-isolation in myriad different ways. Most are finding creative solutions to serve their customers while complying with state-mandated restrictions on movement and opening hours. While larger stores in states currently under shelter-in-place or similar orders are closed and staff are subsequently unable to get to the stores, many ABAA bookstores are family businesses or run from home, and as such are still able to meet their community's needs. Here are some of the different initiatives ABAA members have launched over the past two weeks: "Front Porch Deliveries" -- The Book Bin, Salem Oregon Obadiah Baird, owner of The Book Bin, a new, used, & rare bookstore in Salem, Oregon, has been putting in long days getting books, puzzles, and magazines to his self-isolating customers. As well as offering free home delivery and curbside pickup, Baird has partnered with a local coffee shop to stock their coffee beans while the cafe has to remain closed. Baird says he regularly ends his days “dropping books off on people's porches” — and now coffee, too! Musing that “under normal circumstances we booksellers can be a reclusive, skittish, introverted lot,” Baird declared “but now is not normal. We want to drive books to your home! We want to walk out to your cars! We are here for you. Please make use of us!” You can follow Baird's progress on The Book Bin Facebook page... Daily Special Offers on Fac... [more ABAA Members Adjust to Self-Isolation]

Editor's Note: Barbara Rootenberg was honored by the ABAA's Women's Initiative during a reception in Pasadena this February. What follows is a speech given by her granddaughter, third-generation bookseller Madison Rootenberg Schwartz. I grew up knowing my grandparents' house was different. While most kids were going over to their grandmas to eat cookies and watch cartoons (not to stereotype, but you get the idea), my grandma was teaching me how to hold 16th-century books and understand which medical device cured a headache in the 18th century. The full suit of armor in the entryway never intimidated me, as well as the monkey skulls lining her desk. That, is my grandparent's house. My grandma is a powerhouse. She is the one who taught me not to be shy, and to always speak my truths, loud and clear. She taught me to always stand up for what I believe in, and ask for what I want. Her seminal work with the ABAA can be seen from the onset - knowing she was stepping into delicate territory dealing in science and medicine before women were deemed “knowledgeable enough” to do so. Not only was she one of very few women book dealers 50 years ago (few enough to count on one hand) she was paving a path for women in books to succeed. She was the first to put out a list of stolen books through the ABAA newsletter (pre computers and email, she likes to remind me). She became president of the chapter in 1984 and chairperson to the LA book fairs at the Ambassador Hotel. In 1982, the ABAA ... [more Honoring Barbara Rootenberg]


Rare Book News

By Rich Rennicks

A quick roundup of the news about rare books and collectors from around the world. (Regularly updated, with the latest news items added at the top.) Biography of Texas Bookman Johnny Jenkins Michael Vinson's biography of legendary Texas bookman Johnny Jenkins, Bluffing Texas Style: The Arsons, Forgeries, and High-Stakes Poker Capers of Rare Book Dealer Johnny Jenkins, will be published by the University of Oklahoma Press in March 2020. New ABAA President Brad Johnson of johnson rare books & archives based in Covina, California has been elected as new president of the ABAA. (Learn more...) Upcoming Events of Interest: The 60th New York International Antiquarian Book Fair opens at the Park Avenue Armory on March 5! The Booksellers documentary, featuring a great many ABAA members, opens in NYC on March 6 at the Quad Cinema. Joan Ryan (wife of ABAA-member Howard Rootenberg) opens her new one-woman show at The Green Room 42 on March 7. Nathan Raab (The Raab Collection) launches his new book, The Hunt for History, at Main Point Books, Wayne, PA on March 10. Learn more about The Hunt for History... ABAA-Member Miranda Garno Nesler is a Bright Young Bookseller Miranda Garno Nesler, the Director of Women's Literature and History at Whitmore Rare Books, was profiled recently in Fine Books & Collections' Bright Young Booksellers series. Locals Rally Around Ken Sanders Rare Books Following reports that ABAA-member Ken Sanders may have to close or relocate his rare-book store in Salt Lake... [more Rare Book News]

The 2020 winner of the prize is Nolin Deloison Baum of Oakland, California. His collection of culinary high spots is centered around Georges Auguste Escoffier. “I have collected books since I learned to read. After getting my BA, I went to culinary school in Paris and eventually became a professional cook. Fluent in French, it was natural that I also study, and, of course, collect, the historical texts that were significant of my profession,” the 30-year-old Baum said in his winning statement Sponsored by the Southern and Northern California Chapters of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America, The California Young Book Collector's Prize 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. Among the prized books in his collection is Le Guide Culinaire, Aide-Mémoire de Cuisine Pratique Bibliothèque Professionnel (1903). Escoffier inscribed this first edition of Le Guide Culinaire to his co-author, “To my very dear friend and devoted collaborator E. Fétu. In recognition of my eternal gratitude.” It is also inscribed by the other primary collaborator in this book's creation, Phileas Gilbert. Baum says that thanks to his œuvre, Escoffier was known as “the king of cooks and the cook of kings,” but without Émile Fétu's tireless editing and recipe-testing, this masterpiece might never have been. It is the single most influential to... [more 2nd Annual California Young Book Collector’s Prize Awarded]

UPDATED 2/2020: This item was recovered. Seemingly fell off the tracking map in San Fransisco, the item is #341 of 512 of Wasson's Mushrooms, Russia, and History, Pantheon, 1957; two large volumes in a slipcase, value is US$2000. The book was in transit from Wisconsin to Hawaii. If offered, please contact: Peter Dast Bookworks 11236 South County Road K Beloit, WI 53511 [more Missing in Transit: Wasson’s Mushrooms, Russia, and History]


The Image of Suffrage

By Jen Johnson

In commemoration of the centennial of the 19th Amendment, the 53rd California International Antiquarian Book Fair, February 7-9, 2020 in Pasadena, will feature a special exhibit and panel discussions on the women's suffrage movement. This celebration will highlight the contributions of successive generations of women, from protofeminists like Mary Wollstonecraft, to the abolitionists and the temperance movement, through pioneering crusaders Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and the suffragettes who eventually won the vote, as well as those activists who have continued the fight for equal rights in the 21st century. Among these women is the California artist whose iconic artwork adorns the book fair's poster. Bertha Margaret Boye (1883–1931) was born in Oakland, the daughter of German immigrants. Her father was a cabinet maker, and her mother a homemaker. She was the middle of three sisters; the oldest worked as a nurse and her younger sister was a portrait painter. Boye had just completed studies at the famous Mark Hopkins Art Institute in San Francisco when she entered and won the poster contest sponsored by the College Equal Suffrage League in 1911. She received a $50 prize for her design, which was reproduced on cards, handbills, and publicity stamps. Boye's design was the precise image leaders of the movement sought. The first suffrage campaign in California, in 1896, failed. When conditions suddenly changed in 1910 and a progressive Republican administration... [more The Image of Suffrage]

Passages Bookshop (in Portland, Oregon) was broken into last night). A first rough estimate is that 100-150 books were stolen from smashed display cases. Most of the books are rare and signed editions of poetry, literature, photography, and modern art. I have only begun to identify the missing titles; a first shortlist follows, and we'll send an update with additional details when possible. In case anyone suspects that they are offered material from this incident, the police contact is: Officer Anthony Hill, Portland Bureau of Police 503-545-3436 Case number 20-1394 My phone numbers are: Cell: 503-233-4562 Shop: 503-388-7665 Thank you very much, David Abel Books stolen from Passages Bookshop, 1/2/20. List revised 2/12/20. Complete and uptodate lists also at: www.passagesbookshop.com/stolen-books-1-2-20 www.passagesbookshop.com/stolen-book-list-1-2-20-breakin Additional stolen item added 02/12/2020 The following books, prints, and broadsides were contained in a TRAN brand black leatherette portfolio case, dimensions approximately 18 x 24 x 4 inches. Cohick, Aaron (editor). REAEDR #1: WAR. New Lights, 2017. Narrow folio, saddle-stapled into printed wrappers. Risograph journal, printed in color throughout. Maurer, Paul. Campo Santo. Passages, 1995. Hand-colored letterpress print with collage, edition of 75. Moore, Michael. Two digital prints of drawings (with handwritten text) from Auto-Biographies. Wall Springs, 2013. Pindar, trans. Ted Enslin. Gabriel Liston, illus. The Gods c... [more Large Theft from Passages in Portland, OR (UPDATE Feb 12th, 2020)]

We've recently been made aware of the theft of this important item in NYC. Details and some photos follow. Please contact us or Detective Rodriguez if you are offered or know the whereabouts of this item. On 7/22/2019 a police report was filed for the theft of the 1927 script of The Jazz Singer by Samson Raphaelson. The book was a personal copy of Jack Warner and it may be attempted to be sold as such. The theft occurred sometime between 7/16 - 7/22. The police report number is 2019-018-5906. Detective Hector L. Rodriguez New York City Police Department Major Case Squad Main: (646) 610-6910 Fax: (646) 610-6185 Cell: (917) 417-3074 [more Missing: Jack Warner’s copy of The Jazz Singer script]