Bookseller Interviews

 A few years ago, Michael Ginsberg embarked upon an archival journey for the ABAA. Recognizing the absence of member histories in the ABAA annals, Michael began conducting video interviews of members at our three annual fairs. The interviews cover members' personal histories as well as their involvement in the rare book trade. The ABAA extends many thanks to Michael, as well as Taylor Bowie, who has also conducted a number of interviews.
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Bruce Howard assists his wife Evi Howard in operating Bookbid Books. Bookbid is based in Beverly Hills, CA and also has offices in Sherman Oaks, CA. It specializes in modern first editions and children’s books.

Heather O'Donnell got her start in rare books in the stacks of the Beinecke Library, where she worked as a curatorial assistant during her grad school years at Yale, and learned the trade in the New York gallery of Bauman Rare Books. In 2011, Heather launched Honey & Wax Booksellers in Brooklyn, specializing in rare, striking, and curious examples of literary classics. She is a graduate of the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar and Rare Book School, and a member of the Grolier Club.

Following his retirement as Army officer in 1994, Kurt Sanftleben was selected to be the Director of the Marine Corps Research Center at Quantico, Virginia, which included the Library of the Marine Corps and the U. S. Marine Corps Archives and Special Collections as subordinate components. After he retired from that position in 2012, he began to focus more attention on his part-time bookselling business, Read’Em Again Books, and became a member of the ABAA in 2014. Although Kurt and his wife, Gail, have a small general stock of non-fiction books, their inventory consists primarily of ephemera and unique 'personal narrative' items such as diaries, photograph albums, correspondence collections, scrapbooks, and similar materials.

Bruce Barnett, who began as a collector of antiquarian books roughly 40 years ago, is the owner of The Book Block. In addition to being a bookseller, Bruce was an antiques dealer with a shop in Connecticut. Trained in law and finance, he has been a practicing attorney and chief financial officer of a biotechnology company. Bruce also provides appraisal services and owing to his background as a tax attorney, he is particularly knowledgeable about IRS rules and regulations. Bruce first joined the ABAA as an associate member in 2004, and became a full member in 2008.

Ben Weinstein has been in the antiquarian book trade for over fifty years. Ben is the owner of Heritage Book Shop in California and has been a longtime member of the ABAA.

Ben Kinmont is an antiquarian bookseller specializing in 15th to 19th century books about food and wine. The business started in 1998 in Lower Manhattan and issues approximately one catalogue a year. In addition to attending various auctions around the world, he participates in book fairs in Los Angeles, Milan, New York City, Paris, and San Francisco. Ben joined the ABAA in 2001.

Alexander Akin, Ph.D., whose first international trip was a visit to North Korea at the age of 15, first started part-time at Bolerium while finishing a degree in Chinese history at Harvard University. He has taught at Brandeis University and Roxbury Latin School, and is the author of works on East Asian cartography and medieval Islamic numismatics. He has expanded the bookstore’s purview to include Asian language materials, while also serving as cataloguer of materials related to the international labor movement. Alexander joined the ABAA as an associate member in 2011.

Bibi T. Mohamed emigrated from Guyana in the early 1970s when she was a teenager. Bibi quickly became involved in the antiquarian book trade and worked for J.N. Bartfield for over a decade. She established Imperial Fine Books in 1986 and became a member of the ABAA in 1990. Imperial Fine Books Inc. operates out of New York, NY and specializes in Leatherbound Sets, Cosways, Jewelled Bindings, Fore-Edge Paintings, Children's, Illustrated, Americana, Sporting, Colorplates, and First Editions.

Jay Platt decided to devote his life to bookselling after a visit to New York's 'Book Row' in the late 1960s. Jay opened his own shop in 1975 and became a member of the ABAA in 1980. West Side Book Shop operates out of Ann Arbor, MI and specializes in Polar Exploration, Voyages & Travel, Americana, Modern First Editions, Mysteries & Detective Fiction, Photography, and Edward S. Curtis.

Jonathan Smalter has been a full-time bookseller since graduating college with a degree in philosophy. Attending the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar in 2011 was a game changer for Jonathan and his business– within two years, Jonathan was the Vice President of the Independent Online Bookseller Association and soon after became a member of the ABAA. Yesterday's Muse, Inc. operates out of Webster, NY and specializes in Literature, American & Military History, Castles & Fortifications, Utopian & Dystopian Fiction, and General Antiquarian items.

Kara Accettola studied classical music as an undergraduate but had always nurtured a love for literature. Once her children were in school, Kara dedicated herself to learning more about the rare book trade with the hopes of establishing her own firm. Kara attended the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar, subscribed to trade periodicals and forums, and began assisting other booksellers at fairs. Little Sages Books was established in 2009, and Kara became a member of the ABAA in 2014. Little Sages Books operates out of Cooper City, Fl and specializes in Women's History, Literature, Epemera, Non-Fiction, Small and Fine Press, Illustration Art, and Made-by-Hand.

Ronald Cozzi was an avid amateur chess player and his entry into the trade was as a collector of chess books. He began working for booksellers and after receiving encouragement and knowledge from fellow members of the trade, Ronald opened his own shop. Ronald became a member of the ABAA in 1995. Old Editions Book Shop operates out of Buffalo, NY and specializes in Modern Illustrated Books, Photography, Prints & Drawings, Masonic, and Old and Rare Books.

Thomas Boss originally trained as a musician at Boston University. He began working in bookshops and collecting books during his time as an undergraduate. A few years after graduating, Thomas formed his own book business. He became a member of the ABAA in 1989. Thomas G. Boss Fine Books operates out of Boston, MA and specializes in the 1890s, Fine Bindings, Illustrated Books, Fine Printing, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Bookplates, Books about Books, Original Art, and Posters.

David and Denise Carlson met on a cruise. It was their mutual interest in auctions that brought them into the rare books business: when one lot of books they bought immediately resulted in interest and offers well above their purchase price D & D Galleries was born. David became a member of the ABAA in 1989. D & D Galleries operates out of Somerville, NJ and specializes in Bindings, American & English Literature, Lewis Carroll, Association Copies, and Charles Dickens.

Claudia Strauss-Schulson developed a love and appreciation for autographs while obtaining her undergraduate degree in History from George Washington University. Her late husband David Schulson founded David Schulson Autographs in 1974 and Claudia was deeply involved with the business since its inception, even while teaching history and education at the university level. Claudia’s husband David became a member of the ABAA in 1992, and she became an Associate member shortly thereafter. Claudia became a full member of the ABAA in 2010. Schulson Autographs operates out of Milburn, NJ and specializes in Autographs: Literature, Arts, Science, History, World Leaders, Music and Dance, Classic Film, Theater, Judaica.
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