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William Faulkner, Unlikely Nobel Laureate

By Kristin Masters. Sep 25, 2013. 2:25 PM.

Topics: American Literature, Nobel Prize Winners, History

On September 25, 1897, William Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi. Despite lacking both college degree and high school diploma, Faulkner established himself as one of America's preeminent authors. The Nobel laureate's life holds a few surprises for most of his readers.


Improved Blog Communication

By Joachim Koch. Sep 20, 2013. 12:14 AM.

Topics: Book News

You might have seen it with our earlier blog posting today:cour blog format has changed! We'd like to hope it improved, though a couple of little bugs are still being worked out.

  1. Set your notification frequency - You now can determine how often and in which format you want to get our blog postings.  You can select those in the top right area of our blog, "Notification Frequency":


A New View of Mark Twain

By Kristin Masters. Sep 19, 2013. 5:26 PM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, American Literature, Mark Twain

"From the first, second, third, and fourth editions, all sound and sane expressions of opinion must be left out. There may be a market for that kind of wares a century from now. There is no hurry. Wait and see." 

- Mark Twain, to his editors (1906)


The much awaited second volume of The Autobiography of Mark Twain was released this week.. The autobiography offers a new--and often surprising--view of Mark Twain, often called the most American of American authors.


Between the Covers - Reflections of a Bookbinder and Artist

By Kristin Masters. Sep 17, 2013. 1:02 PM.

Topics: Book Care

As an apprentice to the craft of binding and restoring rare books, the author discovered “the sense of pride that comes from being part of a lineage stronger than blood and the responsibility of passing on that craft to the next heir.”

By the time I reached the University of Oklahoma library, I was already thirty minutes late. I took the elevator to the fifth floor, using the time to quietly think of an acceptable excuse. 


O. Henry, the Inmate Author

By Kristin Masters. Sep 11, 2013. 7:59 PM.

Plenty of authors write from unusual places, but few can claim that they penned stories in a penitentiary. William Sydney Porter, better known by his pseudonym O. Henry, wrote many of his best known pieces from behind bars.

Upbringing and Young Adulthood

Born September 11, 1862 in Greensboro, North Carolina, Porter spent much of his childhood reading. His tastes were voracious and indiscriminate, as is often the case with early readers; he devoured both dime novels and classics with equal enthusiasm. Two of his favorites were Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy and Lace's translation of One Thousand and One Nights. Porter was tutored by his aunt throughout his youth, and after graduation he went to work at his uncle's drug store. 


Famous Literary Hoaxes (Part Three)

By Kristin Masters. Sep 9, 2013. 10:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting, Book History

William Henry Ireland forged Shakespeare, and the Russian secret police fabricated records from a secret society. Literary hoaxes can be entertaining, dangerous, or humiliating. Today is our final installment on famous literary hoaxes. (Be sure to check out Part One and Part Two.) 


Miseducation in Native American History

When The Education of Little Tree was published in 1976, it was an immediate success. The book was billed as the memoir of the orphaned author, who grew up with his Cherokee grandparents. It sold over nine million copies and made school reading lists across the country. The Education of Little Tree did receive some criticism from the Cherokee tribe for its inaccurate depiction of Cherokee language and tradition, but that did little to slow sales.


Famous Literary Hoaxes (Part Two)

By Kristin Masters. Sep 2, 2013. 10:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting, Book History

Back in 400 BCE, Dionysus the Renegade was a Stoic philosopher and student of Zeno of Citium. He wanted to humiliate his rival Heraclides and decided to forge a work of Sophocles. Dionysus inserted the acrostic "Heraclides is ignorant of letters," which quickly led to the discovery of Dionysus' fraud--but not before he'd achieved his aim of embarrassing Heraclides.  


Tarzan, the Series That Almost Didn't Exist!

September 1 marks the birthday of Edgar Rice Burroughs, most famous for writing the Tarzan series. What began as a serialized story in a pulp magazine became a pop culture phenomenon, and Tarzan remains a powerful character in our collective memory. But Burroughs' journey to authorial stardom was studded with rejection, and he almost gave up writing entirely!      

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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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