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Some Recent Reviews

October 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Check out these excellent reviews of books published or distributed by Oak Knoll Press that have been recently featured in some of the leading journals in the field of books.

Other People’s Books: Association Copies and the Stories They Tell

Other People’s Books: Association Copies and the Stories They Tell is the ultimate book about books: richly illustrated essays about famous association copies of rare books. Bibliophiles can only be grateful for such an artistically produced, scholarly, entertaining book on tell-tale copies that continues to be, in the digital half-world, still filled with devotion and awe for the printed book. —Pradeep Sebastian, The Hindu

Aun Aprendo: A Comprehensive Bibliography of the Writings of Aldous Leonard Huxley by David Bromer—

Aun Aprendo was obviously assembled with ease of use in mind. Pages are uncrowded and crisply presented, with generous spacing and margens. Collectors, librarians, and booksellers will find this work indispensible. It is unquestionably now the standard work on the publications of Huxley.—Brian Cassidy, Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America Newsletter

The Last of the Great Swashbucklers: A Bio-Bibliography of Rafael Sabatini by Jesse F. Knight and Stephen Darley

I must shout my praise to the rooftops for Darley’s detailed descriptions of those jackets he had to hand. The main entries are very clear and detailed, and everything that anyone would hope for…To conclude, the bibliography has catered very well for the rational collector, and will prove to be an excellent addition to his shelves. —George Locke, Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association Newsletter

Books as History: The Importance of Books Beyond Their Texts by David Pearson

Even if you have read the first edition I highly recommend this revised one. —Sandy Cohen, Guild of Book Workers Newsletter

What he does, in eight lavishly illustrated chapters—is demolish the idea, current with the digital faithful, that physical books are passe, that they have been merely text all dressed up, now with no place to go. That book lovers will adore Books as History is a given, I believe. It’s a joy to behold, read, and digest. Stephen J. Gertz—Booktryst Blog

This chapter, like all of the others, is gorgeously illustrated with full-color images of bindings, bookplates, pages of print, pages of manuscript, dust jackets, advertisements, and book art; reading the captions alone would impress the unconverted. Pearson succeeds in providing a history of the book that is serious and though provoking without begin pedantic. In a perfect world, Books as History would be required reading for students of history, contemporary culture, literature, and library science. —Rebecca Rego Barry, Fine Books & Collections

Beautiful Bookbindings: A Thousand Years of the Bookbinder’s Art by P.J.M. Marks

The full-color photographs, especially the close-ups, are magnificent. Beautiful Bookbindings: A Thousand Years of the Bookbinder’s Art is a beautifully produced and printed art-book. The color photography is wonderful and the insights and occasional gossip fun. —Sandy Cohen, Guild of Book Workers Newsletter

Line, Shade and Shadow: The Fabrication and Preservation of Architectural Drawings by Lois Olcott Price

A labor of love for Price for over two decades, this work amply rewards those who have long awaited its publication. The abundance, large photographs by Jim Schenck compliment Price’s descriptive text. High praise goes to Price for clearly presenting a myriad of helpful solutions for a large array of materials and collections. It is nice to have information that was once missing, now all in one place. —Stephanie Watkins, WAAC Newsletter

The book is technical in its precision, full of excellent illustrated examples, and accessible in its straighforwardness. —L.E. Carranza, CHOICE

Congratulations again to Lois Olcott Price for being the winner of the 2011 Historic Preservation Book Prize!

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PhiloBiblos Blog

March 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Check out today’s blog post from PhiloBiblos. They share a link to the Fine Books & Collections review of the Caxton Club publication, Other People’s Books, as well as to the March issue of Fine Books Notes. They also include a link to the upcoming Oak Knoll publication, The Kelmscott Chaucer: A Census.

Click here to see the blog entry.

Fine Books & Collections mentions Other People’s Books

March 1, 2011 1 comment

“Other People’s Books seems destined to be one of those books that astute Other People's Booksbibliophiles will acquire for their collections, and those who do not will regret it years hence.” —Rebecca Rego Barry, Fine Books & Collections

This is an excerpt from the March issue of Fine Books Notes that features an article about the Caxton Club publication, Other People’s Books: Association Copies and the Stories They Tell. Click here to read the full review of the book.

Click here to order a copy of Other People’s Books.

A mention from the New York Times

February 22, 2011 Leave a comment

The Caxton Club publication, Other People’s Books: Association Copies and the Stories They Tell, distributed by Oak Knoll, was mentioned in The New York Times in an article titled, “Book Lovers Fear Dim Future for Notes in the Margins.” Click here to read the article and click here to find out more information on the book.

Books about Books Part 8: New Partnerships Emerge

August 13, 2010 Leave a comment
Robert Cross of St. Paul's Bibliographies (on right)

Robert Cross of St. Paul's Bibliographies (on right)

The end of 1992 also saw the start of a long process of publishing with St. Paul’s Bibliographies, the English company owned by Robert Cross that I had mentioned previously. We had established contact with Robert a number of years before and stocked his titles in our New Books Department. He had started St. Paul’s in 1979 after a distinguished career in the publishing field. Robert knew everybody worth knowing in the English publishing scene and proved quite adept at seeking out dormant rights for important bibliographies from other publishers. He often took those bibliographies and found that special breed of authors known as “bibliographers” and got them to revise an older bibliography or provide a new one. This was quite a feat as the royalty payments for such small print run books often added up to the equivalent of only pennies an hour for all the time spent in doing the bibliography. I believe bibliographers deserve a special place in heaven for their unselfish efforts.

Robert had established the Winchester Bibliographies of Twentieth-Century Writers series with me as co-publisher in 1992 and taken on the publishing of the Publishing Pathways series, which had strong and continuing sales. We saw each other quite frequently on business but always with social times together and developed a mutual respect and friendship. He had been using one of Fred Ruffner’s companies, Omnigraphics, to distribute his titles in America and I suggested to him in early 1993 that the Cross-Fleck relationship had reached the point where Oak Knoll should take on these books as part of a distribution arrangement. The idea was suggested to Ruffner through Cross’s contact at Omnigraphics, Jim Sellgren. The idea was met with favor, and the entire inventory of books was shipped to Oak Knoll under a partial purchase and partial consignment arrangement in October 1993.

First distribution title for The Caxton Club

First distribution title for The Caxton Club

We published eight new titles in 1993 and seven in 1994. I found a new way to increase our publishing program—distribution for other organizations. In late 1994, we were asked by the Caxton Club of Chicago to help sell copies of their Club History as part of our publishing list. We worked up a very straightforward contract with our attorney. Oak Knoll would not pay any of the production costs, but would hold inventory of the book and pay the Club 40% of the retail price of the books when we got paid (all discounts to booksellers and distributors came out of our share).

Based on the success of this deal, I decided to see if other organizations might be interested. There are many organizations that want to produce manuscripts by their members but do not know how to market a book or sell into the library market. Selling to this market was a specialty of Oak Knoll, so it made perfect sense to offer this service along with advice on retail price, print run, and production costs.

The American Antiquarian Society elected us their distributor in August 1995, the Bibliographical Society of America in May 1996, the John Carter Brown Library also in May 1996, the Library of Congress (selected titles) in June 1998, and the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia in January 1999. Since then we have signed up the Manuscript Society, the Typophiles, Catalpa Press, the Bibliographical Society (selected titles), and many other organizations. These distribution deals have increased our publishing list to over 1000 titles of which only about 300 are Oak Knoll Press publications. Booksellers and distributors love this arrangement, as they can deal with one business instead of fifty when fulfilling orders for customers.

Check back next week for more from Books about Books!