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Early and Rare Books of Leonard Cohen

By Audrey Golden. Jul 6, 2024. 5:37 PM.

Topics: Poetry, Rare Books, Music

Leonard Cohen (1934-2016), songwriter and musician extraordinaire, is best known for the music he made during his lifetime, with albums like Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967), Songs from a Room (1969), Songs of Love and Hate (1971), and Death of a Ladies’ Man (1977). He continued recording albums throughout his life, releasing You Want It Darker (2016) the year of his death.

Yet Cohen was also a poet and novelist, and early first editions of his written work are quite valuable, rare, and elusive. Whether you’re interested in Cohen’s music and want to expand your vinyl collection to include rare books, or you’re starting a book collection made up of works by musicians (yes, there are quite a few musicians who have also published books of poetry and fiction), we want to supply you with some of the information you’ll need to start collecting. We’ve put together some details for you about some of the earliest and rarest Leonard Cohen books to seek out for your collection.


How NASA Helped Preserve the US Constitution

By Adrienne Rivera. Jun 23, 2024. 6:45 AM.

Topics: American History, Science

As every collector of rare books and documents knows, one of the biggest barriers to collecting is preservation. The effect of time, dust, light, and moisture in the environment on paper and parchment can often lead to discoloration and degradation. Care must be taken to protect delicate books and documents from being slowly destroyed by age and the elements.

This is no different for historical documents, whose caretakers endure great pains to preserve history's most important works. In the case of the Constitution of the United States, the National Archive enlisted an unlikely source to help preserve one of America's most notable documents: NASA.


Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Emily Arnold McCully

By Adrienne Rivera. Jun 9, 2024. 6:19 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

Each year, the Caldecott Medal is given to a children's book of exceptional quality that exhibits the highest level of artistic excellence. The illustrators given the award are selected by a committee and are believed to have substantially contributed to the children's book illustration field that year. The Caldecott Medal is the highest honor an American children's book illustrator can receive. Continuing our Caldecott Medal Winning Book Series, today we take a closer look at Emily Arnold McCully, who was awarded the medal in 1992:


Printing in the 16th Century

By Adrienne Rivera. Jun 1, 2024. 7:20 PM.

Topics: Book History, History

One of the most important innovations in human history, printing, was the ability to reproduce copies of the written word for mass consumption and distribution. Printing has taken many forms over the centuries, dating back to ancient Sumer, when documents were pressed into clay using cylinders. Methods of printing patterns onto cloth evolved into means of printing, and in ancient China, woodblock printing and eventually movable type made book printing possible throughout China, Japan, and Korea. The 16th century was a period of massive change within the printing world as new inventions and methods revolutionized how people read.


Top Books by State Series: South Dakota

By Adrienne Rivera. May 26, 2024. 9:08 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Awarded Books, Newbery Award

South Dakota is a midwestern state also located on the Great Plains. While a large state, it is one of the least populous in the country. The agricultural state is home to nine reservations of the Lakota and Dakota Sioux tribes, for which the state is named. The landscape of South Dakota contains plains, buttes, and the Black Hills mountain range. Join us today as we continue our literary road trip by taking a closer look at two books that display some of the rural and agricultural places in South Dakota, both historically and in present day, in our Top Books by State Series:


Collecting from the Hogarth Press

By Audrey Golden. May 19, 2024. 8:07 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting, Literature

If you read or collect modernist literature or focus on the early twentieth century in any capacity, you’ve likely heard of the Hogarth Press. While the press is still in operation today after a relaunch of sorts in 2011, it originally operated from 1917 until 1946. As you might already know, novelist and writer extraordinaire Virginia Woolf established the Hogarth Press with her husband, Leonard Woolf, in 1917 to publish great works of modernism by writers of the time.


Top Books By State: Utah

By Adrienne Rivera. May 11, 2024. 11:28 PM.

Topics: Pulitzer Prize, American Literature

Today, we continue our exploration of the United States of America through literature, focusing on the state of Utah. Known for its natural beauty, deserts, skiing, the Sundance Film Festival, and hosting the 2002 Winter Olympics, Utah is a gorgeous state full of opportunities for experiencing art, sport, and nature. Today, we focus on two books whose genres are rooted in fact, though some aspects may be fictionalized. Join us as we take a closer look at two iconic books in their respective genres of true-crime and nature writing in our Top Books by State Series:


Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Peggy Rathmann

By Adrienne Rivera. May 4, 2024. 7:47 PM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

The Caldecott Medal is awarded annually to an illustrator whose work represents the best in the field that year. One of the considerations for the award is how well the illustrations and story mesh together. 1996's Caldecott winner was widely praised for the connection between text and illustrations, with critics praising how the illustrations were necessary for the story and that one could not exist or thrive without the other. Let's take a closer look at the work of Peggy Rathmann in this edition of our Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series:


Top Books by State: Tennessee

By Adrienne Rivera. Apr 21, 2024. 6:15 AM.

Topics: Pulitzer Prize, American Literature

Tennessee is a beautiful southern state with a rich history. Besides being home to beautiful forests and mountains, such as in the Appalachian and Cumberland Mountains, Tennessee boasts two of American music’s most important cities: Nashville for country music and Memphis for the blues. Today, we continue our Top Books by State series by looking at three of the best books set in Tennessee. Set in a variety of locations and periods, these books showcase the beauty of the Tennessee landscape:


Best Quotes from Ursula K. Le Guin

By Adrienne Rivera. Apr 14, 2024. 6:15 AM.

Topics: Awarded Books, American Literature, Science Fiction

Legendary speculative fiction writer Ursula K. Le Guin's career spanned sixty decades, twenty novels, hundreds of short stories, and poems, literary criticism, and translations. She won eight Hugo Awards and six Nebula awards and was nominated numerous times for each. She won five Locus Awards and the National Book Award. Her astounding legacy has inspired both readers and writers for generations. She is widely considered one of the most essential science fiction writers ever.


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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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