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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?


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.


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.


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.


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. 


The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Gothic Literature at its Finest

By Leah Dobrinska. Feb 23, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature

Victor Hugo is rightly considered one of the great literary minds of the nineteenth century. His works highlight the political and social atmosphere in his French homeland over the course of history. However, even beyond the compelling nature of Hugo’s stories there is an education for literary enthusiasts of the Romantic, and specifically, the Gothic genre. An analysis of the juxtaposition between sublime and grotesque and the importance of place in The Hunchback of Notre Dame provides a fascinating look at just some of the elements of Gothic literature which Hugo expertly employed in the telling of this famous tale.


An Interview with Rollin Milroy of Heavenly Monkey

By Andrea Koczela. Feb 22, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Binding, Fine Press, Interviews

An interview with Rollin Milroy, owner and creator of Heavenly Monkey, a remarkable letterpress and binding studio based out of Vancouver. In addition to its many individual followers, the productions of Heavenly Monkey are collected by Yale University, Brigham Young, the University of California, and many other institutions. In the following interview, Rollin shares details about his work, creative process, and plans for Heavenly Monkey. 


Anais Nin: The Other Kind of Journalist

By Brian Hoey. Feb 21, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature

“I never travel without my diary.
One must always have something sensational to read on the train.”
– Oscar Wilde,
The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) 

Oscar Wilde’s notorious wit has a tendency to eclipse the subjects of his many and various quips, but in the above case he has nodded toward an eminent truth for many writers. Diarist Anais Nin provides an interesting study on the matter.


Birdsong: The Legacy of Zitkala-Ša

By Neely Simpson. Feb 20, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Literature

Zitkala-Ša means "Red Bird" in the native language of the Dakota Sioux. An accomplished musician, writer, and political activist, Zitkala-Ša lived her life passionately and, in a way, with as much song as her name implies.


Jonathan Safran Foer's Lessons from the Past

By Matt Reimann. Feb 19, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature, Literature

Jonathan Safran Foer has enjoyed a stellar career for such a young author. He has written two novels, both best-sellers and both adapted by the cinema. He has one book that straddles the line between fiction and work of art entitled Tree of Codes. In making it, he pulled lines from Bruno Schulz's Street of Crocodiles and cut out physical holes in the pages so that different readings could be made, depending on the overlap of the pages. His extensive search for a publisher led him to Belgium's die Keure who was able to print it, but only in a paperback edition. His most recent book, the nonfiction exploration of meat consumption titled Eating Animals, rounds out a short but popular oeuvre of four books. The themes that permeate his work, that of childhood, loss, and memory, establish him as an author sincere about using history to build a better future.


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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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