California Book Fairs

February 20, 2018 Leave a comment

Ahh, sunny California! From the moment I walked off the five hour flight into San Francisco International to when I left LAX this past Sunday, it was nothing but fair weather, but enough about that…

This year, the California International Antiquarian Bookfair, hosted by the Antiquarian Bookseller’s Association of America (ABAA), was held in Pasadena, California. This year marks the sixth year at the new venue, the Pasadena Convention Center. However my trip started the week before. After a small stint in Napa, the San Francisco Antiquarian Book, Print & Paper Fair was held the weekend before the large fair. What is often considered the ‘shadow show’, this fair is usually a time for ABAA and non-affiliated members to get together, be among friends, and ease their way into the bookselling mindset.

After the show in South San Francisco, I made my way down to Pasadena on Super Bowl Sunday (E.A.G.L.E.S. EAGLES!) to the Westin Pasadena hotel. The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers was hosting the bi-annual Congress in Pasadena this year, which was a nice way to lead up to the large ABAA show the following weekend. Having partake in the Congress, we got to visit notable places such as the Huntington Library, two notable private collectors of antiquarian books relating to science discoveries, UCLA’s Clark Library, the Gamble House, the Motion Picture Academy, and the Peterson Automotive Museum.

When the ILAB Congress and Pasadena show concluded (we even ran into one our authors, Margit Smith, of The Medieval Girdle Book), I hung up the bookseller’s hat and made my way back to the East Coast to start thinking about the New York book fair.


[Photo: Margit J. Smith & Rob Fleck]




Categories: Uncategorized

Diary of a Bibliomaniac

January 14, 2018 Leave a comment

Below, an old Facebook post by our distinguished author Robert Thake, written at the time he was researching and writing  A Publishing History of a Prohibited Bestseller (Oak Knoll Press 2016). We noticed it when he “shared a memory” and think many of our friends and customers can relate. He gave us permission to post it on our blog, saying it’s “as authentic as can be.” Enjoy!

Diary of a bibliomaniac: 1) Find out that rare book is for sale 2) React in a manner which worries your family and friends 3) Type out an e-mail to seller by frantically beating on keyboard with head and fists 4) Go to important meeting with clients 5) Take call from bookshop halfway through important meeting 6) Promise to collect the book in Paris the next day not knowing whether there are any flights/seats 7) React in a manner which single-handedly destroys your carefully nurtured social veneer 8 ) Book last available seat on plane leaving a few hours later 9) Get to Paris after a sleepless night with slightly mad look on your face 10) Start waiting outside shop an hour early in case some deluded &#@$%! thinks he’s going to beat me to it and keep all his teeth 11) Get a glimpse of the book and feel as though you’re seeing your first-born for the first time 12) Throw money at shop owner in a fit of joy 13) Walk back to hotel with contorted, unnerving look on your face which prevents even gypsies from approaching you 14) Get to hotel and take first selfie ever:

Image may contain: one or more people, eyeglasses and indoor

Categories: Uncategorized

Signed Book Bindings From Oak Knoll

December 22, 2017 Leave a comment

Something that we take pride in here at Oak Knoll is not only selling and publishing fine books, but treasuring the story behind a book, whether it be the provenance, printing method, or author. Perhaps the most important trait of a book is the binding: is it calf, vellum, or marbled paper covered boards? Books that have impressive bindings tend to stand out more on a bookshelf and can brighten up a library. What makes the story of the book even better is if it is a signed binding! We came across a very nice acquisition of signed bindings from a private collector recently and I thought that we should show it off for the holiday season.


Here is our entire collection of signed book bindings:


Categories: Uncategorized

Extra! Extra! Two Oak Knoll Titles among Michael Dirda’s Holiday Book Recommendations in the Washington Post!

December 14, 2017 Leave a comment

The reviews are in just in time for 2017 to come to a close, and we couldn’t be more proud of ourselves and our authors for turning out such wonderful books. Below is a great listing recommendation for the end-of-year from the Washington Post, which includes a couple of our books, The History of the Limited Editions Club (Carroll Grossman) and The Privately Printed Bible (Ron Patkus). Both were designed by our BFF from New York, the very talented Jerry Kelly.

25395397_1292962187476213_217902487_nMichael Dirda has written an excellent article for the Washington Post about his book recommendations for the holiday season, which included two titles that are published by Oak Knoll Press. The two titles mentioned are The Privately Printed Bible and The History of the Limited Editions Club. Both titles are designed by award-winning designer Jerry Kelly and would make wonderful holiday gifts.

Link to the Washington Post article:


The Privately Printed Bible


The Privately Printed Bible is the first book to offer a broad survey of the history of private and fine press printings of biblical texts. Author Ronald Patkus focuses on English-language examples from the United Kingdom, Ireland, and North America, and includes more than 500 works in his study. He begins with the late nineteenth century revival of printing which took place in England under the influence of William Morris, and continues on through the twentieth century. Along the way he describes key texts, such as the Doves Bible, the Oxford Lectern Bible, the Golden Cockerel Four Gospels, the Spiral Press Ecclesiastes, the Pennyroyal Caxton Bible, and the Arion Press Bible. He also discusses lesser-known works that are part of the story.


The History of the Limited Editions Club


Author Carol Grossman began collecting the LEC in the 1960s and has been conducting research with this book in mind for many years. In addition to presenting the rich history of the enterprise and the people involved in great detail, she examines the legacy and reputation of the books left to bibliophiles, scholars, booksellers, and collectors.


Oak Knoll Gift Certificate:

Categories: Uncategorized

Miniature Book Collection

December 12, 2017 Leave a comment

This news clip on NBC Nightly News,, about the University of Iowa and their collection of 4,000 miniature books has inspired us to show off our collection. Check out all of our miniature book titles at this link:

We also have a micro miniatures collection as well! All micro miniatures are available at this link:




Categories: Uncategorized

Meet our new employee, Malayna Lewis.

November 15, 2017 Leave a comment

My name is Malayna and I am the new Communications Assistant at Oak Knoll.


In addition to my new position at Oak Knoll, I am currently enrolled in my last year at Wilmington University for a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management with a minor in Human Resource Management. I spend my spare time sourcing for selling clothing and vintage items in eBay. I spend my down time at home with my pets, attending local events, and learning about new subjects of interest through reading books and online research.

I have always had an interest in publication, so joining Oak Knoll is a great opportunity to expand my knowledge and experience.. I am extremely excited to start this position and I am looking forward to  work withing the staff, as well as with authors, publishing partners, and customers.

Categories: Uncategorized

Meet our Fall Intern: Dan Dicriscia

September 26, 2017 Leave a comment

dan about me imgHello faithful Oak Knoll blog readers! My name is Dan and I will be your beloved intern this fall. I am a current senior at the University of Delaware and I major in (you guessed it) English, my concentration in professional writing. In my time as an undergrad I’ve studied all kinds of writing, from professional, to creative, to writing lines of HTML code, and through all of the coursework I’ve done I’ve learned, if it is not a number, I can handle it fairly well. Oak Knoll was an unknown place to me until a professor of mine pointed me in the direction of the quaint bookstore in old New Castle. I walked into the shop not long after, and I was sold before I even sat down for the interview. I’ve read my fair share of non-fiction; however, books about books never appealed to me until I saw the shelves and boxes full of titles that piqued my interest the same way a new song from my favorite artist does when it comes on the radio. During my time as an intern, I also hope to learn as much as I can about the publishing portion of Oak Knoll being that it is nothing short of an enigma to me. One day, as I continue to tone my writing muscles, I hope to publish my own work, so I will be basking in this experience and soaking in as much knowledge as I can.

I fill almost all of the short amount of time I have away from school and work with music. After graduation, I plan on finding a career that combines my writing skills with my unwavering adoration of music. I’ve been a guitarist for close to 13 years, and dived headfirst into the musical world since the beginning, trying my hand at anything from drums to piano. You can also find me, on any given day, rooting for whatever Philadelphia sports team is in season, playing Super Smash Bros, or hiking a trail with some pretty views.

I am nothing short of eager to begin the adventure I’ll be setting out on at Oak Knoll. It has been just one day and I already feel a great sense of camaraderie among the staff here, and I look forward to writing, proofreading, photo-taking, and of course getting coffee for my new co-workers during my time here.

Categories: Uncategorized