Interested in James Bond? See our latest arrivals

A Portrait of James Joyce

By Kristin Masters. Jul 19, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature

James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was born in Dublin on February 2, 1882. The oldest of ten children, Joyce would eventually renounce both Ireland and the Catholic faith into which he was baptized. Even more than a century later, his works have remained fascinatingand confoundingto critics, scholars, and readers.

     
Read more...


Eight Fascinating Facts About Jaws Author Peter Benchley

By Brian Hoey. Jul 18, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Movie Tie-Ins

Many readers only know Peter Benchley, if they know him at all, as the author of Jaws (1974), the novel upon which Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed blockbuster film was based—but Benchley was more than a one hit wonder (or a one trick pony). In a career spanning decades and media, Benchley would go on to write a number of acclaimed novels like Beast (1991) and The Deep (1976), not to mention screenplays and television programs, in addition to working as an ocean conservationist. Here are a few interesting facts about him.

     
Read more...


The Significance of J.R.R. Tolkien's Tree and Leaf

By Adrienne Rivera. Jul 17, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: J. R. R. Tolkien

English fantasy writer and J.R.R. Tolkien is widely considered to the be the father of the modern fantasy genre. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy are some of the most enduring and beloved novels in the genre. In the years since readers were first introduced to Middle Earth (The Hobbit was published in 1937), the novels have served as in inspiration to countless writers, filmmakers, video game creators, and even the creator of the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop role playing game. His most famous works have remained in print since their publication, and even some of his lesser-known posthumous publications have garnered attention. For example, The Silmarillion, a history of the mythology of Middle Earth, won the Locus Award for Best Fantasy in 1978. One volume that has remained mostly under the radar, however, is the charming Tree and Leaf. What exactly about this book makes it such a treasure?

     
Read more...


McSweeney's Publishing Company: Notable Titles

By Brian Hoey. Jul 16, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Awarded Books, American Literature, First Editions

The brainchild of acclaimed author and philanthropist Dave Eggers, McSweeney’s has been publishing vibrant, frequently off-kilter writing in various forms for more than 20 years. While for many the name McSweeney’s primarily conjures up images of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, (i.e. the good people who brought us “It’s Decorative Gourd Season, Motherf*ckers”), the publisher also puts out a quarterly literary magazine as well as standalone books. Though these various concerns may seem disparate, there is certainly a unity to the various Eggers-run projects, and readers can expect anything with the McSweeney’s stamp to showcase an often wry (though sometimes quite serious), literary sense of adventure.

     
Read more...


The Founding of the Smithsonian Institution: Increasing & Diffusing Knowledge

By Katie Behrens. Jul 13, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Libraries & Special Collections

Imagine you wake up one morning and discover that a mysterious benefactor left you a small fortune, stipulating that the funds be used to help others. How would you spend it? Now imagine that you have to make that decision with 293 other people without splitting the money. This is the task that the 24th Congress of the United States faced when it created the Smithsonian Institution

     
Read more...


Important Collections of the Work of Legendary Photographer Ansel Adams

By Leah Dobrinska. Jul 11, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Book Collecting

You’ve heard the adage "a picture’s worth a thousand words." And it’s true. Pictures have power, and since the dawn of photography as we know it, individuals have been using photos to tell stories, influence others, and make a difference. Are you interested in collecting the works of legendary photographers? We’d like to begin spotlighting several of them for you. We hope these posts inspire you—to begin a collection, add to an existing one, or maybe get out and take some of your own photographs. If you do have a collection that includes any books of famous photographers, share with us your favorites in the comments below. Today, we’ll focus our attention on Ansel Adams.

     
Read more...


Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Robert Lawson

For the past eighty-one years, the Caldecott Medal has been awarded annually to one book out of a carefully curated selection. The Caldecott-winning illustrators and the images they so lovingly craft are representative of the best and most innovative aspects of the genre. These books are desirable for both parents and collectors alike, but also serve as a benchmark of quality, pushing the industry forward to greater heights each year. Continuing our Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series, we take a closer look at one of these amazing illustrators: Robert Lawson, who won the medal in 1941 for his book They Were Strong and Good.

     
Read more...


Dean Koontz: Collectible Writer with Staying Power

By Carrie Scott. Jul 9, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Horror, Science Fiction

Dean Koontz is an American master of suspense and horror who has sold over 450 million copies of his books worldwide. His works have frequently appeared on The New York Times bestseller list and more than 20 of his novels reached the coveted number one position.  

     
Read more...


Book Collecting Spotlight: Decision Points by George W. Bush

By Leah Dobrinska. Jul 6, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Book Collecting

Today is former President George W. Bush's birthday. We've written numerous times before about presidents as authors and award winning books by political leaders. We thought today would be a good opportunity to take a closer look at President Bush's book, Decision Points

     
Read more...


Patriotic Poems to Read in Honor of the Fourth of July

By Leah Dobrinska. Jul 4, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History

It’s Independence Day here in the USA. Whether you’re firing up the grill, attending a local parade, or saving seats for the firework show, we hope you have a safe and celebratory 4th of July. If you’re looking for another way to get in a festive spirit, we’d recommend seeking out the following four poems. While America is certainly not a utopia, these poems both remind us of the good and challenge us to be better. The list of great American, patriotic poems is a long one, so we’ve only scratched the surface here. Share your favorites with us in the comments. Happy 4th of July, everyone!

     
Read more...


 

Get our communications?

* required information

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.

Get blog notifications per email:

Download the James Bond Dossier

Recent Posts

Book Glossary
Get your free Guide to Book Care

Blog Archive

> see older posts
A Guide to Historic Libraries Part I