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.
Katharina Koch, Books Tell You Why, Inc.
Katharina Koch, Books 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 »
November 8th, 2013
Longtime 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!
November 6th, 2013
We are only nine days away from opening night of our 36th Annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair and I am ready to head north to Beantown! I’m excited to see all the wonderful material— books, maps, ephemera, etc.– that will be on exhibit, see friends and members, and take advantage of my time in Boston. It’s a fantastic city with no shortage of history, culture, and activities, so we have been compiling a list of events and attractions taking place during the fair. Check out our Facebook and Twitter pages for a new suggestion every day! Plus, it’s autumn in New England which means you’ll be in stunning surroundings all weekend.
For a sneak preview of items exhibitors will be bringing to the show, visit the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair’s Facebook page. I’m drooling over the latest post about a signed Charlie Parker LP of his notorious Lover Man recording. Check out the post for more details.
Click here to purchase your tickets for the fair.
October 29th, 2013
The Battle of the Fruit and Vegetable Soldiers by Francis Darwin (image via Open Culture
Charles Darwin is famously known as the father of evolution, but did you realize he was also the devoted father of ten children? This seems like a colossal number today (the Duggars and their like aside), but a large family wasn’t uncommon in Darwin’s time. It was also not unusual during this period to find a spouse among one’s kin, as Darwin did when he married his cousin, Emma Wedgwood. Despite his fears that inbreeding may have left his children susceptible to illness or disorders, they were a talented bunch and many went on to have distinguished careers.
Perhaps this was due in part to their father’s loving encouragement and a more modern attitude toward children than you would find in a typical upper-class Victorian home. Darwin even frequently gave his children discarded manuscript pages they could use as drawing paper. Of the original manuscript of On the Origin of Species, only 28 pages of the manuscript are known to exist, and on the verso of many are illustrations by his children. Both examples here are thought to have been done by Francis Darwin. Above is The Battle of the Fruit and Vegetable Soldiers and to the left is a watercolor of birds and bugs around flowers. I imagine Darwin would have been pleased with both drawings, which now reside at the Cambridge University Library.
October 25th, 2013
We’re less than a week away from Halloween, so it seems only fitting to do a little round-up of a few spine-tingling titles. All the items listed below are currently being offered for sale by our members on abaa.org.
Misery by Stephen King
When you think modern literature and horror, Stephen King naturally comes to mind. Misery (New York, 1987), in my opinion, is one of his most chilling stories. Brief synapsis: Paul Sheldon, a famous author of Victorian-era romances is held hostage by Annie Wilkes, a deranged super fan who insists that he rewrite his latest novel because she is not pleased with the ending. (A plot line that placed fear into the heart of every novelist…) Misery was a co-winner of the 1988 Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel and was nominated for the 1988 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel. The novel was made into a hit film starring Kathy Bates and James Caan in 1990. I think it’s one of the rare instances where the film is as good as the book.
L.W. Currey, Inc. is offering a fine first edition copy in dust jacket that is signed by King.
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
Henry James doesn’t typically come to mind as a writer of scary stories, but his novella The Turn of the Screw is a classic. Originally published in the magazine Collier’s Weekly, the novella was paired with another story, Covering End, and published in book form in 1898. The collection was called The Two Magics. The Turn of the Screw is a ghost story about a governess’s experiences taking care of two orphaned siblings. The novella is a favorite of literary academics due to some ambiguity in the story. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so I won’t elaborate further.
Between the Covers Rare Books, Inc. has a fine copy of the 1949 reprint by Heritage Press.
Read the rest of this entry »
October 17th, 2013
Well, not literally. But the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers has announced the winner of the 16th ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography, and the prize goes to Jon Gilbert for his bibliography on Ian Fleming (Jon Gilbert. Ian Fleming: The Bibliography. Preface by Fergus Fleming. Foreward by Michael L. Vanblaricum. Edited by Brad Frank. London, Queen Anne Press, 2012).
Gilbert’s bibliography had stiff competition, but the Jury could not ignore his “outstanding work of meticulous scholarship.” Arnoud Gertis, the Secretary of the ILAB Breslauer Prize, said that Gilbert’s bibliography not only covers all aspects of “gives insight into the conception of a book, the editorial process, [and] in short, this book covers…all one can possibly know about Fleming and his writings.”
Gertis continues, “It not only shows that modern authors are collectible, but also that modern authors merit exhaustive bibliographical scholarship.”
The award ceremony will take place during the 41st Congress of ILAB in April 2014. Congratulations!
October 7th, 2013
Image via The Green Collection
Steve Green, President of the U.S. arts and crafts retailer Hobby Lobby, recently revealed his purchase of what some scholars believe may be the oldest known Jewish prayer book. The 11 x 10 centimeter, 50 page book is a siddur, a Jewish prayer book that contains daily prayers. It dates from 840 and is written in an ancient form of Hebrew that includes Babylonian vowel marks. This indicates that it is likely from the Babylonian region, but the siddur’s origin has yet to be determined. The book is complete and appears to still be in its original binding, which of course adds additional value to the volume.
Green acquired the book as an addition to the Green Collection, his family’s extensive collection of biblical texts and artifacts. (Containing more than 40,000 items, it is the largest privately owned collection in the world.) The Greens are Evangelicals and they plan to house the collection in a Biblical museum Read the rest of this entry »
October 7th, 2013
ABAA Member Dan Wechsler’s film ‘More Than the Rainbow’ won the prize for Best Documentary Feature at the 13th Annual Coney Island Film Festival last month. The film was previously posted about on our blog and you can watch the trailer at the link. Kudos, Dan!
October 1st, 2013
In the recording below, F. Scott Fitzgerald reads part of Othello’s speech to the Venetian senators in Act 1, Scene 3 (if you have the text in front of you, you’ll notice that it is edited).
Near the end of his life, Fitzgerald was broke and resorted to writing screenplays for money. He also made recordings of himself reading literary greats like Shakespeare and Keats, but it’s unclear who produced the recordings and why. Whatever the details surrounding the recordings are, it’s a treat to hear Fitzgerald’s sonorous voice.
After the jump is a recording of Fitzgerald reading the first three stanzas of Ode to a Nightingale (also slightly altered from the original text). Read the rest of this entry »
September 25th, 2013
Detail from a Glossed Psalter, Laon, France, ca. 1100 [UPenn Ms. Codex 1058, fol. 1r] (image via UPenn Libraries)
Who would have thought that the University of Pennsylvania
competition would produce an app beneficial to the rare book world?
PennApps is touted as the “premiere college hackathon” and it brings together 1,000 university students from more than 100 institutions across the globe for a 48-hour competition to create hacks and apps for web or mobile platforms.
This year three students from the University of Swarthmore– Amy Jin, Sam Zhang, and Zachary Lockett-Streiff– were awarded first place in the Data Visualization category for an app that tracks the provenance of rare manuscripts in the Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts.
The concept came to the team in a serendipitous manner. On the way to their work space, the team rode the elevator with a few of UPenn’s librarians and chatted about the Schoenberg database. Read the rest of this entry »