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Book Collecting Basics: Can I Read My Rare Books?

By Kristin Masters. Jun 30, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books

The short answer not only is yes, you can. It is, yes you should. Of course you’'ve also heard that “condition is everything,” so how can you maintain your book’'s condition and still enjoy reading it?  Both should be achievable objectives.


Why Collect First Editions?

By Kristin Masters. Jun 29, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Modern First Editions, Learn About Books

Even if you're brand new to the world of antiquarian books, you've undoubtedly noticed that first editions are the trade's gold standard. Indeed, first editions often fetch much higher prices than later editions, even if the books seem exactly the same to the untrained collector. But as you build your rare book collection, you can't afford not to collect first editions.


Collecting Icons of Southern Literature

By Kristin Masters. Jun 28, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature

On June 10, 1936, Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind was published. The novel vaunted Mitchell to celebrity status, especially after it was adapted for the silver screen in 1939. Mitchell is now one of the most famous authors of Southern literature, a popular focus for collectors fascinated with the history and culture of the region. Though Mitchell was hardly a prolific author, she's in the company of many illustrious figures who often figure into Southern literature collections or are the focus of single-author collections. 


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn & These 10 Writers Did Too

By Anne Cullison. Jun 27, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature

Although Brooklyn rarely receives the same attention as Manhattan, its population exceeds that of San Francisco, Washington DC, Boston, and Miami combined. Considering its size, location, and (relatively) low cost of living, it is no surprise that Brooklyn has fostered a wealth of talented writers. Here are ten of the most collectible authors with ties to Brooklyn.


Henrik Willem van Loon, Newbery Winner and Political Activist

By Kristin Masters. Jun 26, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Newbery Award

On June 27, 1922, Henrik Willem van Loon won the inaugural Newbery Award for The Story of Mankind. A prolific author, van Loon was also a historian and journalist with a keen interest in American history and politics. Van Loon's activity in politics earned him attention from Franklin Delano Roosevelt--and Nazi leaders. A few facts you may not know about van Loon and The Story of Mankind:


Pearl S. Buck, Humanitarian and Writer

By Lauren Corba. Jun 25, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Pulitzer Prize, Nobel Prize Winners

American writer and novelist Pearl Sydenstricker Buck, was born June 26, 1892 in Hillsboro, West Virginia. Her parents were both Presbyterian missionaries and subsequently, she spent most of her early life living in China. Buck learned English and Chinese, as well as the local Chinese dialect, and her parents encouraged her to embrace the culture as if it were her own. Buck returned to the States to attend university. Following graduation, she married John Buck and together they moved back to China. She worked at several private colleges, teaching English Literature, but did not consider writing seriously until 1927.


The Booker Prize: Prestige Amid Controversy

By Kristin Wood. Jun 24, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Awarded Books

When it comes to literature, there are only a few honors that rank higher than the Booker Prize: an award that seeks to name the best of the best in original novels. The prize guarantees international recognition and prestige for the winning author, but it also has a history of controversy.  Does the hint of a scandal ignite your curiosity? Read on to discover the shady stories behind some of these shining stars.


Dickens in the Dictionary: Neologisms Coined by Legendary Authors

By Claudia Adrien. Jun 23, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book History, Book News

From Charles Dickens to Norman Mailer, writers past and present have expanded the English language with neologisms, or new words and phrases. Even the word neologism is one, borrowed from the French néologisme.


Collecting Modern First Editions: Lawrence Block

By Lauren Corba. Jun 22, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Modern First Editions

Lawrence Block, one of the most prolific writers of his genre, continues to astound readers with his craft. Presented with countless honors, including the Edgar, Anthony, and Shamus awards, Block is undoubtedly seen as a master of mystery.


How Do I Identify a Facsimile Dust Jacket?

By Kristin Masters. Jun 21, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Modern First Editions

In June 1914, AC McClurg & Co published the first book edition of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan of the Apes. The story had previously appeared in pulp magazines, but the book edition was quite a hit. It brought Burroughs new attention as an author, paving the way for 24 more Tarzan books, along with other science-fiction and adventure series.


Dan Brown - Hugely Successful Author - Failed Songwriter

By Anne Cullison. Jun 20, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Modern First Editions

When you think of Dan Brown, you may think of books filled with intrigue and cyphers, or you may think of movies starring Tom Hanks. However, what you aren’t likely to think of is a man whose original career aspiration was to be a songwriter and pianist.


Jean-Paul Sartre: A Man of Being

By Anne Cullison. Jun 19, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Nobel Prize Winners

Jean-Paul Sartre was a French philosopher, playwright, novelist, and political activist. Born on June 21, 1905, he was a man of many talents, many of which you may be aware of. However, as an exceedingly diverse character there are probably many interesting things you don’t know!


Ian McEwan: From Troubled Childhood to Critical Acclaim

By Andrea Koczela. Jun 18, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Awarded Books, Literature

Writer Ian McEwan was born June 21, 1948. He won the Man Booker Prize in 1998 for his novel Amsterdam and was nominated for the award six times to date. He earned a host of other prizes including the WH Smith Literary Award, National Book Critics’ Circle Fiction Award, and the Jerusalem Prize. In 2008, The Times named McEwan one of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945.” He is best known for his novels, The Cement Garden (1978), Black Dogs (1992), Amsterdam (1998), and Atonement (2001).


Collecting Chris Van Allsburg - Awarded Children's Books

By Lauren Corba. Jun 16, 2014. 2:49 PM.

Topics: Children's Books, Awarded Books

Discovering that some of your favorite children’s stories are written by the same author is quite an incredible find. Contemporary classics such as: Jumanji, The Polar Express, and Zathura, to name a few, were all illustrated and written by Chris Van Allsburg.


Eight Facts You Might Not Know About Salman Rushdie

By Kristin Wood. Jun 16, 2014. 10:45 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors

With a long list of awards to his name, Salman Rushdie is an author capable of inciting passionate loyalty or fierce hatred. Not only can he claim a Booker Prize, a Golden PEN Award, and several “author of the year” designations in various countries, but Rushdie also has a fatwa issued against him in Iran after his controversial book The Satanic Verses was published in 1988. He has lived under constant threat of execution, while also receiving praise, support, and even knighthood. Rushdie’s life has been full of ups and downs – here are eight interesting facts you might not know about him.


Seminal Moments in Book Collecting: The Roxburghe Sale

By Kristin Masters. Jun 15, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Book History, History

On June 16, 1812, an unlikely group of kindred spirits gathered for a meal. Though they came from different social circles and occupations, they shared a common love of books. That night, this group of bibliophiles unwittingly started what is now the oldest bibliophilic society in the world. The occasion for their dinner? The auction of a famed bibliophile's personal library. 


Joyce Carol Oates: A Life of Productivity and a Very Busy Twitter Feed!

By Anne Cullison. Jun 14, 2014. 9:00 AM.

This week we celebrate the life of Joyce Carol Oates, celebrated author, poet, and playwright. As the author of over forty novels, short stories, plays, volumes of poetry, and non-fiction, she is known and loved around the world for her work.


Five Famous Father-Child Author Duos

By Kristin Masters. Jun 13, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors

"Don't over write. Let your characters tell the story and keep your nose out of it. Grab your reader on the first page and don't let go. If it sounds like writing, rewrite it. Leave out that parts that your readers tend to skip."


Such was Elmore Leonard's advice to his son. He had just finished reading the manuscript Peter Leonard's first novel, Quiver, and wanted to offer Peter some practical wisdom. Obviously, with over forty books to his name, Elmore was in a unique position to offer relevant insight. Meanwhile, Peter also went on to a successful career as a writer. It's no small wonder; writing, it seems, runs in the genes. A number of legendary authors have been fathers to another generation of writers. 


Who Was the Real Miss Moneypenny?

By Kristin Wood. Jun 11, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: James Bond

While writing his famous James Bond series, Ian Fleming often found inspiration in real people and events. Many of his characters borrowed their traits or names from Fleming’s old friends, rivals, or high-profile figures in the news. Discovering the backgrounds behind your favorite characters could add a fun new layer to your reading experience.


William Styron: Confessions of a Southern Writer

By Lauren Corba. Jun 10, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature

Literature of the American South continues to evolve with the times, beginning with the rich antebellum years and gradually morphing into the post-Civil War era. The 1930s saw another incredible outburst of literature with greats such as William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, and Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind.


Maurice Sendak and the 'In the Night Kitchen' Kerfuffle

By Claudia Adrien. Jun 9, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

"Maurice Sendak might faint but a staff member of Caldwell Parish Library, knowing that the patrons of the community might object to the illustrations of The Night Kitchen, solved the problem by diapering the little boys with white tempera paint. Other librarians might wish to do the same."

So ran the entire letter from Caldwell, Louisiana librarian Betty B. Jackson in the December, 1971 issue of School Library Journal. Though the letter was published unedited, the journal's editorial staff placed it under the headline "Three-Cornered Censorship" and opposite a half-page illustration of the "Cock-a-Doodle-Doo" image from Maurice Sendak's In the Night Kitchen. In this iconic picture, the story's protagonist, Mickey, is depicted au naturel, which is why the book had raised eyebrows at Jackson's library--and in plenty of other places around the country. But negative reactions to the book were later overblown by the press. 


10 Interesting Facts about Saul Bellow

This week we celebrate the life of author Saul Bellow, winner of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, and three National Book Awards. He is most famous for his novels, The Adventures of Augie March, Herzog, and Henderson the Rain King. How well do you know this classic American writer? Test your knowledge against these ten facts.


LeRoy Neiman: A Colorful Character Indeed!

By Anne Cullison. Jun 6, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Biographies

Imagine standing in a crowd watching paint dry. For most of us, we could not picture anything more boring. However, most of us were never able to watch the immensely talented LeRoy Neiman paint. Known for his public paintings of anything and everything, Neiman is one of the most recognized and revered expressionist painters of the twentieth century.


A Collector's Overview of Orhan Pamuk

By Andrea Koczela. Jun 5, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Awarded Books, Literature, Nobel Prize Winners

Nobel Prize-winner, Ferit Orhan Pamuk, was born to a wealthy Turkish family on June 7, 1952. His novels have been translated into 55 languages and his work has sold over eleven million copies worldwide. As a child and young adult, Pamuk devoted himself to painting. Yet at age 23, he put his paints aside and began writing his first novel, Cevdet Bey and Sons.


Fantastic Father's Day Gift Ideas

By Kristin Masters. Jun 4, 2014. 2:29 PM.

Topics: Rare Book Gift Ideas

If you're searching for the perfect gift for your father, perhaps you should consider adding a special volume or two to his bookshelf. After all, what dad wouldn't prefer a little James Bond to another boring tie? 


Authors in Exile: Creativity in a Land far from Home

By Kristin Wood. Jun 4, 2014. 10:45 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, History

Creativity flourishes in a number of environments. Some writers find their inspiration by the ocean, in a cabin with a mountain view, or in a bustling coffee shop. Others just need isolation and plenty of spare time. This is why it’s no surprise that many great pieces of literature were composed during an author’s stint in exile. Here are some literary favorites and the stories behind their worst downfalls and greatest successes.


Larry McMurtry, a Collected Book Collector

Although renowned as a novelist and screenwriter, Pulitzer Prize-winner Larry McMurtry was above all a passionate book collector. A bookseller for more fifty years, McMurtry began writing as a way to fund his book purchases. He acquired quite a few—his own personal collection contains over thirty thousand volumes and his bookstore holds another 200,000. He said, "The tradition I was born into was essentially nomadic, a herdsmen tradition, following animals across the earth. The bookshops are a form of ranching; instead of herding cattle, I herd books.”


Reginald Skelton: Discovering Antarctica

By Kristin Wood. Jun 1, 2014. 6:35 PM.

Topics: History

Reginald Skelton made the world a little bigger for the people of his time.  During a period when not much was known about Antarctica, he joined an expedition that opened doors for further explorations and scientific discovery. His work and photography gave the public a glimpse of an uninhabited continent.


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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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