One of our authors, Joel Silver, has an interesting piece on books as objects up on Fine Books and Collections.
It’s a Book—Not an App
Have you ever tried to explain book collecting to someone who’s not a collector? This has never been an easy thing to do, but it seems to be much more difficult now than it was just a few years ago. The problem is not that books are unfamiliar objects, or that collecting is seen as an unusual pursuit. Despite increased competition, books can still be found everywhere, and collectors of all kinds are featured on more television shows than ever before. What makes an explanation of book collecting more difficult now is that the main purposes books have served for more than two thousand years—the storage and provision of information—can be achieved today in many other, and often much less expensive, ways.
It was less than a century ago that written and printed materials, such as books, pamphlets, newspapers, magazines, letters, notes, signs, and labels, were the primary sources of information for literate people. There was also speech and gesture, from the instructions given by a parent or teacher to conversations among friends or associates. For the storage and retrieval of information, however, the written and printed word, in its variety of physical manifestations, provided needed information, as well as enjoyable and educational reading experiences.
Dr. Rosenbach and Mr. Lilly: Book Collecting in a Golden Age by Joel Silver was recently reviewed by Pradeep Sebastian in The Hindu Literary Review. Providing a brief summary of the book, Sebastian also explains why this book is thrilling for any bibliophile to read.
I think the enjoyment comes from the minutiae of book transactions that Silver knowledgably and engagingly describes in evocative prose: first reading about an individual copy in a catalogue or a bookseller’s description, the suspended-waiting while you decide, and then the rush from deciding you definitely want it no matter the cost, making the purchase, and finally getting the book in the mail or having the book dealer hand it to you.
The ritual is repeated with each new buy and the bibliographical pleasure derived is not from just the buyer-collector’s emotion but the emotion of the bookseller who acquires the hard-to-acquire copy, describes the book, prices it and then offers it to an individual collector who he knows might want it. Seldom have rare book transactions been written about with as much literary flair, controlled style, storyteller’s skill and scholarly passion.
This past Saturday, The Bookshop in Old New Castle hosted a mini-book fair sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the ABAA. Thirteen booksellers participated in the fair, and author Joel Silver signed copies of his new publication Dr. Rosenbach and Mr. Lilly. The day was very successful, and we were excited to see those involved enjoying the opportunity to sell and purchase books. One participating bookseller, George Krzyminski from Certain Books, had wonderful words to say about the event:
“Speaking only for myself, I did very well, in buying as well as selling – better than some all-day or all weekend events I’ve exhibited at in the recent past. I met at least 3 new customers, quoted them some other material afterwards and met several dealers with which I’d had no previous contact – all to the good. I believe others at the show had similar experiences. We also had the opportunity to purchase & have Joel Silver sign his newest book, “Dr. Rosenbach & Mr. Lilly.” And of course, we all dipped into shopping the shelves at Oak Knoll the entire time…
I repeat Penny’s compliments and thanks to Bob & Millie & Rob Fleck and their staff, to all the other Bookshop in Old New Castle dealers – Bordentown, Kelmscott, Between the Covers- for their willingness to ‘share the space’ and custom with us all – and to all the dealers and their partners and staff that showed up for the workshop & show, who fully participated and had a good, profitably-spent time!”
Thank you, George for your kind words. We are happy you had such a great experience, and we hope all the rest of the booksellers had a great time as well! We look forward to participating in other similar events in the future.
Click here to view more pictures on facebook.
Come out to The Bookshop in Old New Castle this Saturday between 10am and 2pm to check out the mini-book fair and sale held by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the ABAA. With thirteen booksellers showcasing their finest materials, you are sure to find some excellent books, all which will be available for purchase.
The event will also feature a book signing by Joel Silver of his new publication, Dr. Rosenbach and Mr. Lilly: Book Collecting in a Golden Age. This book is a microcosm of a great age of book collecting, in which choices were made by booksellers and collectors alike that shaped the contents of some of the greatest research libraries of today.
In addition to Oak Knoll, Antipodean Books, Between the Covers Rare Books, Black Swan Books, Brian Cassidy Bookseller, Certain Books, Hammer Mountain Book Hall, The Kelmscott Bookshop, Bruce McKittrick Rare Books, the Old Bookshop of Bordentown, Willis Monie Books, Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts, and Wellread Books will be participating in the fair.
Oak Knoll Books will be open all day Saturday from 9am to 5pm.
Click here for more information.