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Case Studies in Collecting: Louisa May Alcott

By Audrey Golden. Mar 5, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Book Collecting, Dust Jackets

For many readers, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women was a powerful novel. Despite the fact that most of her works were published nearly 150 years ago, they feel strikingly modern and relevant. Whether you’re interested in collecting early dust-jacketed editions of some of Alcott’s most famous novels or rare literary magazines containing contributions from the writer, you may not need to look too far.

     
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A Brief History of Book Auctions

By Matt Reimann. Mar 4, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Book History, History

While the book has been around for millennia, the practice of selling them at auction is relatively new. By most accounts, the first book auctions occurred in the Low Countries in the late sixteenth century. To understand why the rise of the book auction happened at this time, it is essential to remember that the printing press was invented the century before. While the onset of book auctions saw its fair share of detractors, the practice has continued through today.

     
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Announcing a New Internship Opportunity

By Andrea Koczela. Mar 3, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Antiquarian Books, Book News

Announcing an exciting opportunity for college students and recent graduates: Books Tell You Why is accepting applications for a social media and marketing internship! Our program will provide hands on training with cutting edge software as well as experience with social media, marketing, and rare books. Best of all, it's remote.

     
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Libraries and Special Collections: The Old Library & The Book of Kells

By Katie Behrens. Mar 2, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book History, Libraries

Today’s featured library is both one of the world’s most beautiful libraries and the permanent location of a very noteworthy book: the Book of Kells. This 1,200 year old collection of Christian Gospels is famous for its intricate and sometimes puzzling illustrations. Distinctly Irish in design and amazingly preserved, the Book of Kells is held and displayed at the Old Library at Trinity College Dublin.

     
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Tom Wolfe: Fiction, Journalism, and An Uncertain Legacy

By Brian Hoey. Mar 1, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature, Literature

The prospect of writing a blog post on Tom Wolfe is daunting. The man who has been such a presence in the world of American letters these past forty years, having authored The Bonfire of the Vanities (1987) and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1968), looms large, not just over a new generation of writers and journalists, but over the blogosphere in particular. He has, after all, called out blogs for being "a universe of rumors," citing Wikipedia in particular as being an institution that only "a primitive could believe a word of." How a primitive could successfully navigate all the way to Wikipedia may be a good inquiry for another time, but the pressing question still remains: how do you blog about the man who hates blogs?

     
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Buying Antiquarian Books in India

By Audrey Golden. Feb 28, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book History, Antiquarian Books, Interviews

How common are antiquarian bookstores in other parts of the world? If you ask the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), you’ll learn that many shops exist across the globe. From South America to Europe, and from Australia to East Asia, booksellers have direct links to ILAB. Yet where does India fall in this map?

     
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Winston Churchill: A History Twenty Years in the Making

By David Eddy. Feb 27, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, Nobel Prize Winners, History

The evening was getting on and the clock was closing in on ten as the old man bid good night to his guests. Walking slowly through the hallways of his rambling country house, he paused for a moment at the bottom of the back staircase to clear his head from the lingering after-dinner drinks.

The narrow stairs that loomed before him had posed no challenge when he’d purchased the house years earlier. Then, he’d been an unimaginably young forty-eight. Now he was a far less sprightly sixty-three.

     
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Poetry and Jazz: The Night Sylvia Plath Met Ted Hughes

By Neely Simpson. Feb 26, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Poetry

It was a winter night filled with poetry and jazz - a fateful night in which Sylvia Plath met Ted Hughes. They were both attending a University of Cambridge party held at the Women's Union in Falcon Yard. The party was a celebration of the release of the first issue of the student written and published literary journal, St. Botolph's Review.

In her journal, Plath described the party as "very bohemian, with boys in turtleneck sweaters and girls being blue-eye-lidded or elegant in black." Jazz played loudly in the background while party goers shouted poetry to one another over the din of noise. Even though she'd come to the party with a date, Plath's eyes immediately fell on Ted Hughes, and their attraction was instant.

     
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Master of Poetry and Historical Fiction

By Leah Dobrinska. Feb 25, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Poetry

Say it with me: “Listen my children and you shall hear/ Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.” Chances are you’ve read the poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride.” You may have even memorized some of it. The poem’s author, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is considered one of the greatest American poets, even some 130 years after his death. Beyond just “Paul Revere’s Ride,” though, is Longfellow’s overarching ability to write within a historical context. In doing so with such success, he made his poems timeless. Through them, he shows us just how powerful the written word can be in inspiring a culture and a nation with tales and lessons from times past.

     
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John Steinbeck the Environmentalist: Writing and Nature

In an era when industrialization and commerce have separated us from nature, some modern writers feel inclined to render beautifully our native, ecological world. Among the most significant of these pastoral writers is Nobel laureate, John Steinbeck, whose gorgeous prose reminds his readers that humans are inseparable from the flora and fauna. 

     
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About this blog

How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

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