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King's Printers in England: Giving Monarchs a Voice Throughout History

By Katie Behrens. May 23, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book History, History

Many established governments around the globe have a dedicated printing house that handles all official documents and resources. In the United States, it’s the US Government Printing Office. In the British Commonwealth (primarily the United Kingdom and Canada), the role of King’s or Queen’s Printer may be assigned at the monarch’s pleasure. And things get sticky when politics, religion, and publishing mix.


Famous Holocaust Memoirs

By Audrey Golden. May 22, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, Biographies, History

What kind of text do you imagine when you hear the word memoir? The term might be narrowly defined as a biographical narrative that recounts an important historical event, in a linear chronology, from the viewpoint of a witness. Yet the form that these accounts take also can be experimental, playing with notions of contested memory, witness, and testimony. Holocaust memoirs, perhaps more than most other works of literature connected to a particular moment of political violence, have taught readers about the significance of such texts in redefining the ways we think about history and its indelible effects on the present.


5 Surprising Facts about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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

Topics: Mystery, Suspense & Crime

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s name is synonymous with mystery. The creator of Sherlock Holmes, Conan Doyle’s impact on the world of detective and mystery genre remains too great to measure. With an uncanny sense of detail and a keen eye for inimitable characters, Conan Doyle has riveted and delighted millions of readers over the course of the last century. Here are five interesting facts about him. 


Are You Ready for the London Antiquarian Book Fair?

By Andrea Koczela. May 20, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Book News

If you are near London next week (May 28th-30th), we would like to invite you to the London International Antiquarian Book Fair! See our catalog, sign up for your complimentary tickets, and then join us in Olympia to experience some remarkable books.


Eight Surprising Hobbies of Legendary Authors

By Katie Behrens. May 19, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors

Writing is a creative release to many people, but when you make your living from the pen, what do you turn to in order to replenish your soul? Those we consider legendary authors today didn’t spend all of their time at the desk. These eight authors and their hidden passions may surprise you.


James Boswell and the Power of Biography

By Leah Dobrinska. May 18, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Biographies

Biography lends to death a new terror.
-Oscar Wilde

Wilde’s take on biography is most obviously meant to garner a laugh—maybe a nervous one— at the thought of leaving the detailing of one’s life in the hands of another. As a result, perhaps in a roundabout way, Wilde also sheds light on the responsibility that falls to the biographer. After all, biographers hold an incredible power, and they can choose to wield it in a number of ways.


Myth, Fairy Tales, & Children: A Brief History of Fantasy

By Katie Behrens. May 17, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Book History, fantasy

If you were to play a word association game with the word “fantasy,” your brain would probably jump to things like magic, dragons, heroes, wizards, quests, monsters, mythical creatures, other worlds, and so on. In only a few decades, fantasy has declared itself loudly to the public consciousness as an established genre that's demanded to be heard. Where did the human fascination with such stories begin?


A Brief List of Significant Latin American Writers

By Matt Reimann. May 16, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, Nobel Prize Winners, Latin American Authors

The twentieth century saw an unmatched period of artistic accomplishment in Latin America. Though it is nearly impossible to choose only a few writers to highlight, the following Latin American authors must be noted for their contributions to the richness of modern literature and poetry.


The Politics of Exhuming Pablo Neruda

By Audrey Golden. May 15, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Poetry, Nobel Prize Winners, Book News

In 1973, Augusto Pinochet seized power in Chile, installing himself as leader in one of the longest-running dictatorships in modern history. Given Pablo Neruda’s powerful voice as a leftist poet, he was targeted by the Pinochet regime. Indeed, Pinochet sent soldiers to destroy Neruda’s library at La Chascona, his home in Santiago. Neruda died just twelve days after the coup. While many Chileans and others worldwide knew that Neruda had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, the timing of his death led to questions about whether he actually had been a victim of the Pinochet regime. As a result, nearly forty years later, plans were made to exhume Neruda and to reexamine his cause of death—not once, but twice.


Presidents, Generals, and Munchkins; Oh My! L. Frank Baum's Influence

By Brian Hoey. May 14, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books

“Well, I've worried some about, you know, why write books … why are we teaching people to write books when presidents and senators do not read them, and generals do not read them. And it's been the university experience that taught me that there is a very good reason, that you catch people before they become generals and presidents and so forth and you poison their minds with … humanity." -Kurt Vonnegut, 1976


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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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