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Toni Morrison...Children's Book Author?

By Shelley Kelber. Feb 18, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Children's Books

Toni Morrison is described as an American book editor, college professor, essayist, and novelist. Her first novel was published in 1970. She gained national attention and the National Book Critics Circle Award for the acclaimed Song of Solomon in 1977. She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1987 for Beloved and received worldwide recognition with the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. But did you know she's also a children's book author?

     
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Carl Bernstein: Mystery Writer

By Brian Hoey. Feb 14, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: History, Mystery, Suspense & Crime

The Big Sleep (1939). The Maltese Falcon (1929). All the President’s Men (1974). These three books represent some of the best mystery writing produced in the last century. And yet, one of these things is not like the others: where Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett honed and perfected a particular kind of detective novel, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward’s account of corruption and fraud within the Nixon administration leverages the conventions of those novels to present us with something all too true. Though All the President’s Men isn't a novel in the strict sense, it often reads like one—a good one, at that. As a reader, you’re fascinated by the investigative process, you feel real stakes and tension, you want to keep turning pages to figure out whodunnit, and that’s precisely what made the book so powerful.

     
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Is Book Collecting Worth It?

By Audrey Golden. Feb 13, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Books collecting, collectors, Collecting guide

As lovers of rare books and ephemera, it can be difficult to hear someone ask the question, “is book collecting worth it?” Establishing a collection can bring a lifetime of joy, from seeking out new objects at home and abroad to cataloguing those items with care. And if you’re lucky, your collection might just have great significance to others, too. A study conducted by researchers at King’s College London determined that upwards of 30 percent of adults participate in some form of collecting, from books and ephemera to travel souvenirs and memorabilia. Psychologists have long attempted to classify and define the impulse for collecting, or what Nicholas Basbanes describes as “a gentle madness” among book collectors. While we can’t provide you with a definitive scientific answer as to why book collecting is worth it, we can tell you about how the time, energy, and money you’ll spend in developing your collection can become a life-long project and passion.

     
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Top Books by State: Illinois

By Adrienne Rivera. Feb 12, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Awarded Books

Today we continue our literary journey with a stop in Illinois. This Midwestern state is known for being a mixture of urban and rural, city and farmland, as well as for being home to many of the different cultures that make up America. Illinois is famous for corn and Abraham Lincoln, for gangsters roaming Chicago in the 1930s and for sports. Illinois boasts cities, farms, wetlands and forests, all situated in the heart of country. Illinois is home to Chicago, perhaps the most important of the Midwestern cities, and while Illinois is considered by many to simply be a flyover state, in many ways, its history and people represent some of the most important aspects of America. Join us as we take a closer look at the Prairie State.

     
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How Much Is My Rare Book Worth?

By Audrey Golden. Feb 11, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting, Rare Book Gift Ideas

Determining the value of a book or an ephemeral object can be very difficult. While certain texts are highly sought after under almost any circumstances, some items can be very tricky. Some old books are extremely valuable, yet some old books have almost no market value at all. Some books with inscriptions have significant market value, while many books with personal or sentimental notes have little to no market value. Although the condition of a book will almost always impact the object’s value on the market, some books in quite poor condition can still be extremely valuable depending upon the provenance. In short, determining a rare book’s value is typically a holistic enterprise that involves taking into account many different factors.

If you have a book that you believe to be rare and to have significant market value, you should get in touch with a rare bookseller who can properly appraise the object for you. In the meantime, we want to provide you with some of the key elements that go into determining the value of a rare book or paper object.

     
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Five Interesting Facts About Sinclair Lewis

By Neely Simpson. Feb 7, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature, Nobel Prize Winners

American author and Nobel laureate, Sinclair Lewis, was born in 1885 in the small Minnesota town of Sauk Centre. He was the youngest son of the town doctor. Unlike his two older brothers, he was awkward, gangly, sensitive and bad at sports. He also had very bad acne and was teased mercilessly for his looks. His was a lonely childhood. However, he showed an early aptitude for writing and found an escape in journaling and books. He left Sauk Centre at the age of seventeen to attend Oberlin Academy (Oberlin College) for a year. After his year at Oberlin, he was accepted to Yale where he was a contributor to and editor for the Yale Literary Magazine. Over the course of his career, he authored twenty-three novels, numerous short stories, articles, plays and poetry. Here are five interesting facts about one of America's first great satirists.

     
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Remembering Ronald Reagan Through the Written Word

By Leah Dobrinska. Feb 6, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Book Collecting

When one hears the name “Ronald Reagan” many titles come to mind—actor, politician, president. And while in this day and age, many Hollywood stars participate in politics and make their political voices heard (aided, of course, by massive social media platforms and the resulting exposure), thirty years ago when Reagan made the jump from actor to Governor of California and, subsequently, to President of the United States, he was a bit of a trailblazer. Indeed, Reagan’s charisma charmed the Republican party and the American people. When he left office in 1989, his approval rating was a sky-high 68%, making him as popular as Franklin Delano Roosevelt before him and Bill Clinton in his wake.

     
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Is Book Collecting a Dying Art?

Is book collecting a dying art? The scores of collectors, young and old, who travel long distances and scour the internet for new additions to their collections would certainly tell you, quite vehemently: No! Book collecting is not a dying art. Despite the fact that we’re now in the third decade of the twenty-first century and everything seems to have gone digital, the physical book—and the desire to collect it, to preserve it, to archive it—remains alive and well. From the rise of new rare and independent bookstores to book collecting prizes and coursework in rare books and ephemera, new collectors are springing up every day.

     
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A James A. Michener Tribute

By Leah Dobrinska. Feb 3, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, History

February 3 is James A. Michener's birthday. The legendary American author wrote nearly 50 books in his lifetime, and though he passed away in 1997 at the age of 90 years, he has a strong following to this day. We are big fans of Michener at Books Tell You Why, and it seems many of you are, as well. One of our most read and debated posts to date lists some of our picks of the top Michener works. We followed that post up to include a couple more favorites. In honor of Michener's birthday, we're linking to these posts today. Take a read and let us know if you agree or disagree with our selections. And in honor of Michener's life, pick up a copy of one of his lengthy tomes and get started reading it this month.

     
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James Joyce and the Ulysses Publication Saga

By Shelley Kelber. Feb 2, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Learn About Books

James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was one of 10 children of May and John Joyce. He was born in Dublin in 1882. The family is described as a bourgeois Catholic family. James attended a Jesuit boarding school until 1891 when financial worries meant the family could no longer afford to send him there. He was home-schooled for a while, spent a short time at a Christian Brothers school, and started at Belvedere College, a Jesuit day school.

     
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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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