J & J Lubrano Music Antiquarians LLC Seek Cataloguer

April 15th, 2014


Primary duties would be to research and catalogue:

- rare printed music and books about music and dance

- original autograph musical manuscripts and letters of composers

- music- and dance-related iconography

Our firm, established in 1977, has an international clientele of both private and institutional collectors of original source material dating from the 15th through 21st centuries.

The ideal candidate will possess the following attributes: Read the rest of this entry »

2014 National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest

April 9th, 2014

National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest logoThe ABAA is currently accepting entries for the 2014 National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest. Visit apply.abaa.org to apply. All entries for the 2014 competition must be submitted by May 30, 2014.

For more information on the contest, please visit contest.abaa.org.

Please pass along this information to any interested parties!

New York, New York!

April 2nd, 2014

armory show floorStart spreading the news: the 54th Annual New York Antiquarian Book Fair opens tomorrow! As I type, over 200 American and international exhibitors are converging on the historic Park Avenue Armory, unpacking crates of rare books, ephemera, maps, prints, manuscripts, and other treasures. If you’ve never attended, you’ll be amazed at the amount and range of material that our exhibitors have in each booth, their mini-stores for the weekend.

The fair has been referred to as a treasure trove and it’s an apt description. Exhibitors spend countless hours curating their most interesting material and arranging their booth displays in the most enticing manner. As the Armory slowly fills up with Read the rest of this entry »

Member Marc Selvaggio Curates Exhibit on Advertising Fiction at SMU’s DeGolyer Library

April 2nd, 2014

ABAA Member Marc Selvaggio recently spoke at the opening of an exhibition he curated at Southern Methodist University’s DeGolyer Library on Parables of Promise: American Advertising Fiction, 1856-2014.  The exhibit aims to cover how American companies have used fiction and storytelling in this genre to sell “material goods, whether plows, windows, patent medicines, cereals, the telephone, bicycles, railroad travel, or insurance”.

The exhibit will be on view until May 23, 2014.

More highlights are here.


Member Andrew Cahan Featured in Aperture’s Winter Issue

April 2nd, 2014

We were excited to see Catherine Opie name Andrew Cahan as one of the un-sung heroes of the photography world in Aperture’s Photography As You Don’t Know It series.  As a monograph collector, Ms. Opie was struck by Cahan’s focus on Japanese monographs from the 1970′s.  From that point onward, she was hooked and they became fast friends.

Cahan has moved back to his hometown of Akron, Ohio and still seeks out the best in books by and for photographers.

More on their relationship here.

New Members Admitted to the ABAA

March 7th, 2014

The ABAA is delighted to welcome the following new members to the Association: Kara Accettola, Little Sages Books; John D. Kehoe, John Kehoe Bookseller; Michael Laird, Michael Laird Rare Books LLC; Thomas F. Nealon, Pazzo Books; Kurt A. Sanftleben, Read ‘Em Again Books; Daniel Whitmore, Whitmore Rare Books. Read a little more about each member below.

Full Members

Kara Accettola, Little Sages Books

Kara Accettola, Little Sages Books

Kara Accettola, Little Sages Books (Cooper City, FL)

A self-proclaimed perpetual optimist and student of life, Kara Accettola was looking for her life’s work when she stumbled into the antiquarian world and started Little Sages Books in 2008. With a penchant for oddities and a love of beauty, she remains a generalist bookseller and ephemerist with favor for the visually captivating and culturally relevant. She balances a busy fair and travel calendar with the comfort of home and family.



john kehoe

John Kehoe, John Kehoe Bookseller (photo credit: Andrea Swenson)

John D. KehoeJohn Kehoe Bookseller (Norwalk, CT)

John Kehoe’s introduction to bookselling came the old fashioned way, as a scout in the pre-Internet era. While working as a crane operator (IUOE, Local 478) and a magazine editor and writer (bylines in Rolling Stone, Cigar Aficiando and Pest Control Technology Magazine, among other publications), his travels took him throughout the country, where he began to scout for resalable books (or at least those he thought were resalable).  With impeccable timing, in October 2008 he opened John Kehoe Bookseller at the Antique and Artisan Center, in Stamford, CT. Defying both the trends and the odds, his shop today continues to offer a curated selection of general stock on art, photography, design, fashion, and fine bindings. Membership in the ABAA represents for him a deeply significant milestone as a bookseller, as well as an opportunity to become an active participant in an honorable and valuable cultural tradition.


Michael LairdMichael Laird Rare Books LLC (Lockhart, TX)

In 1987 Michael Laird was “miraculously” hired as a library assistant by the Harry Ransom Center, and since then he hasn’t stopped working with rare books and manuscripts. In 1989 he earned a Masters degree in Library Science from the University of Texas and moved to New York City, where he lived (“in bibliographical heaven”) for 18 years. During this time he worked as a bibliographer for Bernard Breslauer and Ursus Rare Books. In 2007 he accepted an adjunct professorship at his alma mater and returned to the Austin area; for five years he taught graduate level courses on Rare Books and Special Collections. He is the sole-proprietor of Michael Laird Rare Books LLC., which specializes in fine and rare books, historic bookbindings, illustrated books of all eras, antiquarian bibliography, manuscripts and ephemera. He is the principal rare book and document appraiser for Winston Art Group (NY) and Gurr Johns (NY). He is a devoted follower of English Premier League Football, and lives in a big Victorian house with his wife Kelley and their six antiquarian cats.


Thomas F. Nealon, Pazzo Books

Thomas F. Nealon, Pazzo Books

Thomas F. NealonPazzo Books (West Roxbury, MA)

After sneaking out of grad school in English Literature without completing his thesis, Tom Nealon bounced around from Albuquerque to Miami (working as a paralegal, under informed stock trader and, for two regrettable weeks, a high school English teacher) before finally landing in Boston. He messed around with selling books on Ebay briefly before deciding to open a used bookstore with his younger brother. After a year or two of bravely going to every thrift shop and library sale in New England, Pazzo Books was opened in February 2003 in the Roslindale section of Boston. As time passed, the shop’s focus shifted from general and scholarly books to rare and collectible books and increasingly to selling those books online. The open shop will close (for now) in March 2014, freeing up more time to spend on finding interesting books, going to fairs, and writing about the intersection of rare books and cookery (e.g. his series on condiments at hilobrow.com).


Kurt A. Sanftleben, Read 'Em Again Books

Kurt A. Sanftleben, Read ‘Em Again Books

Kurt A. SanftlebenRead ‘Em Again Books (Montclair, VA)

Kurt Sanftleben first started collecting books while serving as an Army officer after stumbling upon a collection of Kubasta pop-ups in Europe.  One thing led to another, and he eventually began selling children’s books at regional antique shows.  Before retiring from the Army, Kurt prepared for a follow-on career by earning a doctorate in higher education from the College of William and Mary.  After retirement, he was selected for a dual-hatted position as the Director of the Marine Corps Research Center and a Vice-President of the Marine Corps University where he provided oversight to the Library of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Marine Corps Archives.  During that time, Kurt began to expand his bookselling focus.

After retiring again eighteen months ago, Kurt and his wife, Gail, transitioned into full-time booksellers.  They have no specialty, but rather stock things that they enjoy.  That includes unusual children’s books, photoplays, movables, and non-fiction, especially sports, ethnic, medicine, cooking, and scouting.  They also maintain a stock of ephemera and small collectibles.  Although Read ’Em Again Books has no open shop, they do a brisk on-line and direct sale business, and each year they issue a catalog or two and exhibit at about a dozen book fairs and antique shows.

Oh, the big guy in the photo is Kurt; the little one is a granddaughter who wanted to help catalog one evening after work.


Daniel B. Whitmore, Whitmore Rare Books

Daniel B. Whitmore, Whitmore Rare Books

Daniel WhitmoreWhitmore Rare Books (Altadena, CA)

Daniel Whitmore has aligned strong research skills and meticulous attention to detail, honed in law school, with his lifelong passion for great literature. The resulting book firm, Whitmore Rare Books, is a small boutique offering significant literature from the last five centuries in uncompromising condition. Mr. Whitmore started as a collector of modern first editions, but made the switch to dealer in late 2009. He attended the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar in 2010, which was a valuable crash course in selling rare books. Since that time, he has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of the books in their inventory, with a particular focus on antiquarian literature (broadly interpreted) and other important works outside of the literary genre. Whitmore Rare Books maintains a busy book fair schedule and continues to produce full color catalogues at a time when many dealers are opting for digital formats. Settling in the Pasadena area of Los Angeles, Mr. Whitmore runs the business with his wife, an experienced photographer and graphic designer, his newborn son, Oliver, and their two dogs.

Girdle Books

January 10th, 2014
A girdle book from Nuremberg, 1471. (Image via Wikipedia)

A girdle book from Nuremberg, 1471. (Image via Wikipedia)

Sounds sexy, right? (All right, well maybe only to bibliophiles.) A recent post in The Atlantic  brought these cool miniature books to my attention.

Girdle books were small, portable books that were used by monks and members of the nobility during the Middle Ages. These books first  appeared in the 13th century and they remained popular until the late 16th century. Girdle books were very compact, easily fitting into a person’s hand, and were characterized by an extension of the binding that typically ended in a hook or loop so that it could be attached to a belt. Girdle books were commonly protected by a pouch made of leather or cloth (an extension of the binding). The extended pouch had a Turk’s head knot so that the book could also be carried easily by hand. Not only was the pouch used as a means to transport the book, but it also provided protection for the text.

As you may have guessed Read the rest of this entry »

Through the Lens: A look at Florence Shay through the photographs of her husband Art Shay

January 2nd, 2014


Florence Shay in summer of 1942, when she and art met at camp. Photograph by Art Shay

Florence Shay in the summer of 1942 when she and Art met at camp. Photograph by Art Shay


Chicago Magazine recently published a lovely tribute for ABAA member Florence Shay who passed away in August 2012. The piece is based on an upcoming exhibit by Florence’s husband Art Shay, the accomplished photojournalist, and the photographs present an intimate portrait of the intelligent, vivacious woman Art spent over 67 years with.

My Florence opens at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago on January 27th and runs through May 24, 2014.

New Members Admitted to the ABAA

November 26th, 2013

The ABAA is delighted to welcome the following members to, or to a new status within, the Association: Katharina Koch, Books Tell You Why, Inc.; Linda S. Moore, Alcuin Books; Kevin Mullen, Mullen Books, Inc.;  and Lynne Veatch, The Veatchs Arts of the Book. Read a little more about each member below.

Full Members

Katharina Koch, Books Tell You Why, Inc.

Katharina Koch, Books Tell You Why, Inc.


Katharina KochBooks Tell You Why, Inc. (Mount Pleasant, SC)

Katharina Koch was born in Germany, and moved to Charleston, SC in 1995 with her family. In 2002, Books Tell You Why was started.  Currently still a college student studying Biology, her first year was spent at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and she is now in the Honors College at the College of Charleston. Katharina developed a passion for collectible and antiquarian books since an early age and plays a role in the everyday life of Books Tell You Why, be it cataloging a new acquisition, interacting with customers, or worrying about the marketing logistics and finances of a growing book business. She takes Read the rest of this entry »

Nicholas Basbanes Book Signing at Boston Book Fair

November 8th, 2013

Basbanes On PaperLongtime friend of the ABAA Nicholas Basbanes will be signing copies of his latest book, On Paper, at the upcoming Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair. You can find him at the ABAA Booth at 1pm on Saturday, November 16th. Proceeds will benefit the ABAA’s Benevolent Fund, which provides aid to booksellers in distress. The cost of the book is $35.

On Paper takes the reader on a journey throughout the history of paper and the ways in which it has influenced and shaped societies throughout the world. Publisher’s Weekly gave the book a starred review, saying that through Basbanes’s “wide-ranging, freewheeling, authoritative” survey of paper, he “reveals how many roles, directly and indirectly, paper plays in our lives.”

As if you needed another reason to visit the Boston fair. We hope to see you in line for a copy of Mr. Basbanes’s excellent new book!