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Audrey Golden
World literature scholar and erstwhile lawyer. Lover of international travel, outdoor markets, and rare books.

Recent Posts:

Most Wanted Rare Books

By Audrey Golden. Oct 15, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books

What are the most wanted rare books? Yes, yes, we know—this is a wholly subjective question. Certainly, the definition of a rare book extends far beyond its market value, and what may be the most desirable rare book to one person might not be desirable at all to another. Today, however, we want to talk about the most wanted rare books in terms of market value and what kind of hefty price you might expect to pay for certain rare books at auction. As times change, rare book values also change. Accordingly, the “most wanted” rare books today may not be the most desirable rare books in 10 years. In the meantime, though, we want to give you a sense of the vast rare book market and to let you know what kind of competition you could be facing for some of the highest priced rare books that have recently hit the market.

     
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The Library of Congress and Rare Books

By Audrey Golden. Oct 6, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Libraries & Special Collections, Libraries

Have you ever looked into the resources held by the Library of Congress? Are you interested in a wide variety of archives and exhibits dedicated to rare books, materials, and related ephemera? Washington, D.C. obviously has a number of notable attractions for anyone interested in history—and book history in particular. Yet you’d be crazy to visit Washington, D.C. without making a stop into the Library of Congress. And if you’re interested in conducting research into a specific writer or thinker, there’s a good chance the Library of Congress has some holdings that could be of specific interest to you. We want to tell you more about the history of the Library of Congress, information about conducting research there, and some of the specific items and collections that are housed there. When it comes to rare books and objects, the Library of Congress has one of the most amazing collections you’ll ever find.

     
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Austin's Rare Book Scene

By Audrey Golden. Oct 1, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Literary travel

Yes, it’s a cliché, but it’s true: Austin, Texas is one of the most creative cities in America, and it has a very cool book scene that reflects its immersion in music history. As you may already know, Austin is home to two of the most prominent music festivals in the country—SXSW and Austin City Limits (ACL). The city is also home to a wide variety of bookshops, small presses, and book events spaces. And there’s more, still! Some of the most prominent art and music exhibition spaces in the country are in Austin, and many offer rare photography and art books for collectors who focus on music ephemera and memorabilia. Finally, Austin hosts the annual Texas Book Festival, which brings together writers, readers, and collectors for a couple days of readings and talks. We love Austin as a book destination, and we want to tell you more about the reasons you should add it to your list of must-travel places.

     
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In Defense of Book Collecting

By Audrey Golden. Sep 3, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Collecting guide

There are so many different ways to collect books, and never-ending variety when it comes to shaping a book collection and deciding what you will collect. Some book collectors focus on completion, or collecting all of a particular author or publisher’s printed works. Other collectors are more esoteric, making their own rules for what belongs (and what doesn’t) in the collection. Book collectors have widely disparate sums of money to spend on book collections, and developing a collection certainly does not have to involve spending a substantial amount of money. To be sure, many collectors do spend a lot of money on individual items for their collections, yet there are also many book and ephemera collectors who bring together inexpensive items that, when placed in conversation with one another, have the capacity to produce great meaning.

     
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The Difference Between Having a Book Collection and Having a Library

By Audrey Golden. Aug 26, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Libraries, Collecting guide

Do you have a personal library, or do you have a collection? And is there really a difference between the two? It depends on who you ask. In general, we do think a book collection is distinct from a personal library, although the two are not necessarily separate from one another. Why does it matter? Well, the way in which you might conceive of and shape a personal library is likely to be quite different from the way in which you might conceive of and shape a book collection.

     
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Do I Have a First Edition?

By Audrey Golden. Aug 18, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, First Editions

Is it a first edition? This is a question that many people ask when they discover what they think might be a rare and valuable book at a flea market, in a thrift shop, or in a box in a family member’s attic. Even if you’re not a rare book collector and you don’t know much about rare books in general, you’ve probably heard the term “first edition,” and you likely associate the phrase with an item of value. Everybody wants to have a first edition, right? Generally speaking, a first edition of a book often will have significantly more value than subsequent editions, but that’s not always true. There are a number of factors to consider, and in the case of some books, it’s not necessary the first edition that has the most market value. What follows here is a deep dive into the idea of the elusive first edition, and some information that can help you to determine whether you actually have a first edition and what it might be worth.

     
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Best Bookish Podcasts for Collectors and Book Enthusiasts

By Audrey Golden. Aug 12, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Book History

Would you currently describe yourself as a book collector? Are you interested in becoming a book collector anytime soon? If you’re intrigued by book collecting and you also like podcasts, we have some recommendations for you. For example, perhaps you want to learn more about tips for book collecting while you’re jogging, riding public transit, or driving in your car? There’s a podcast for that. Or, maybe, you’re interested in learning more about recent rare book acquisitions at special collections libraries. There are also podcasts that can give you access to the information and stories you’re seeking. The following are some of the most recent bookish podcasts for collectors and book enthusiasts.

     
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Las Vegas' Rare Book Scene

By Audrey Golden. Aug 5, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Literary travel

When most of us think about Las Vegas and taking a trip to the Nevada city, we might not immediately imagine it as a rare book destination. To be sure, most people who plan trips to Las Vegas are considering their options for casinos, shows, and restaurants on the Las Vegas Strip. Other visitors to the city might simply be flying into the airport for a brief stopover before traveling to popular nearby natural destinations such as Death Valley National Park or the Grand Canyon. However, Las Vegas is also a great city for rare book hunting. You may be able to find a rare book gem in the world famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, or you might find something new to add to your collection in a bookshop or antique store.

     
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Pablo Neruda: Rarest Spanish Language Editions

By Audrey Golden. Aug 4, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Awarded Books, Nobel Prize Winners

Many of the Chilean poet and diplomat Pablo Neruda’s books are extremely collectable. Nearly any edition of a Neruda book can see its market value enhanced significantly if it’s signed or inscribed by Neruda. Indeed, speaking of the latter, a presentation copy or association copy of a mass-produced paperback marked by Neruda’s hand can fetch thousands of dollars. Yet there are also a number of first editions, without any inscription to a particular person or in some cases even a Neruda signature, that are immensely valuable due to their rarity. Given that Neruda’s work has been translated into many different languages and employed at various political moments across the globe, it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that there are many translated editions of the poet’s work that are extremely rare and valuable. We’re going to focus here on some of the rarest Spanish language editions.

     
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Bookish Apps for the Avid Collector

By Audrey Golden. Jul 31, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, collectors

If you have a book collection, you’re probably like many other collectors of books and ephemera—you want to catalogue what you have. You probably also want to have an easy way to access information about your collection. There are some apps available that can help you to do just that. Beyond apps, some websites also exist for the sheer purpose of helping you to catalog your book collection, as well as to keep a “wants” list for new books that might pop up for sale. We’ve looked at a number of these apps and sites, and we’ve tested some of them out—some with benefits for serious collectors, and some that we just don’t like. We’ll tell you about a couple of the apps and tools we like best, but ultimately, we find that digital gadgets for book collecting leave something to be desired (hint, hint, app designers).

     
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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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