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Leah Dobrinska
Writer, editor, and lover of a good sentence, a happy ending, and the smell of books, both old and new. Enjoys reading children's lit to her daughters, home-improvement magazines with her husband, and Shakespeare by herself.

Recent Posts:

Read More Poetry: The Langston Hughes Edition

By Leah Dobrinska. Feb 16, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Poetry

We're a little over one month into the new year. How are your new year's resolutions shaping up? One of our promises for 2017 was (and is!) to read more poetry. You should make it a habit to do so, too. Today, we’ll help the poetry cause by presenting poems from legendary poet and author, Langston Hughes.

     
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Read More Poetry: The Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Edition

By Leah Dobrinska. Jan 28, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Poetry, American Literature

As we continue to encourage the world to read more poetry, today, we’d like to highlight one American poet in particular whose work did much to shape the landscape of U.S. thought and history. Indeed, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is remembered for the sincerity with which he wrote. He was firmly entrenched in the American story he was living, and his poetry helped to preserve it for the future.

     
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Collecting Famous Inaugural Addresses

By Leah Dobrinska. Jan 20, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Book Collecting

The presidential inaugural address is the speech that sets the stage for the presidency. It tells the nation what one person thinks he can do to change the course of history. It goes on to be dissected and discussed in an effort to determine presidential plans and motives. With the advent of broadcast media and more recently social media, presidential inaugural addresses are viewed and shared now more than ever. But for the political collector or history buff, a written copy of certain inaugural addresses makes for a fantastic addition to one’s collection. What are some of the most famous inaugural addresses in print? What should you consider when beginning or adding to your collection?

     
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Collecting J.R.R. Tolkien: His Letters

By Leah Dobrinska. Jan 3, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, J. R. R. Tolkien

Nearly everyone can name titles written by J.R.R. Tolkien. Often considered the father of modern fantasy, it’s no surprise that his works are well-known and well-loved. Whether fans have read his books or watched the film adaptations, Tolkien’s Middle Earth and its inhabitants have infiltrated 20th and 21st century culture to an astounding degree. For collectors of the great British author, information and works about his own life may prove to be both satisfying and necessary additions to a Tolkien Library. Where should you begin if you’re looking to add to the books in your collection? It makes sense to start with his letters. Tolkien wrote a vast number of letters. Fortunately for collectors, a compilation was put together by biographer Humphrey Carpenter.

     
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The Best of 2016: Our Ten Most Popular Blog Posts

By Leah Dobrinska. Dec 31, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Literature

As the year winds down, the writers and staff at Books Tell You Why would like to take a moment to thank all of our loyal readers. Engaging with you over the course of 2016 has been a delight. It is your smart commentary, unique insights, and thoughtful criticism that make this blog a remarkable platform for rare book collectors and book-lovers of all kinds.

Let’s take a look back at some of our highlights this year. Here are the ten most-read posts on blogis liborum, written and published in 2016.      
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A Guide to Buying and Collecting Signed Books

By Leah Dobrinska. Dec 9, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting

A signed book is a sought-after collectible for a bibliophile, and it can add exponential value to a book collection. Whether you’re just beginning your collection or are a seasoned collector, what should you consider when looking for and purchasing a signed book? What’s the best “type” of signature? Below is a brief guide to collecting signed books, including a glossary of signed book terms and a guide to finding signed books. Scroll to the bottom of the post for a list of noteworthy signed books to add to your collection today.

     
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Your 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

By Leah Dobrinska. Dec 1, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Book Gift Ideas

Books make the best gifts. It’s true. A perfectly selected title is a thoughtful, timeless gift. While giftees may grow out of other items or move on from current fads, books remain—perched on the nearest bookshelf, nightstand, or coffee table, ready to inspire and teach.

For our holiday gift guide this year, we’ve broken down books into simple categories to make it easy to pick out a title for everyone on your list. No extra dialogue. No fluff. Just you and the books that’ll make the best gifts for everyone on your list. Some of these titles were picked for being classics with staying-power while others were chosen for their modern-day relevance, so be sure to follow the links provided for more information on each book and author. Happy book hunting and happy holidays!

     
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Read More Poetry: The Maya Angelou Edition

By Leah Dobrinska. Nov 17, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Poetry

We’ve long made a case that the world needs to read more poetry. And we’ve been thrilled to see poetry making its way into mainstream media. If you’ve tuned in to any network television programming lately (the recent Summer Olympics come to mind), you’ve likely heard commercials featuring the poetry of one of the great poets of the twentieth century: Maya Angelou.

Today, we’d like to take a turn spotlighting some of Angelou’s most poignant poetic efforts. The list of her works is a long one, and one that it would be difficult to cover in one blog post. Her work spans several genres, from essays to memoirs to poetry. Angelou has been honored with over fifty honorary degrees, served as an influential civil rights activist, won three spoken word Grammy Awards, and recited an original poem during President Clinton's inauguration in 1993, among countless other accolades. But truly, her poetry speaks for itself. That’s all the more reason we should read it. Let’s start now.

     
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A Brief Guide to Collecting the Works of Eric Gill

By Leah Dobrinska. Nov 10, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Illustrators, Fine Press

Eric Gill was a sculptor and engraver who is now best known for his scandalous personal behavior alongside his spiritual art. Gill remains a controversial artist. As his biographer Fiona MacCarthy so aptly puts it, “Does consciousness of artists' reprehensible behaviour (Gill, [today,] would no doubt be in prison) put up a barrier between the viewer and the work? Or does knowledge of the artist's life, fallibilities included, amplify and enrich our understanding of the art?”* While that question may be one each individual must answer for him or herself, for those interested in the work of Eric Gill, what collectibles should you seek out?

     
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Collecting Legendary Works of Psychology

By Leah Dobrinska. Nov 4, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature

The name “Sigmund Freud” is synonymous with psychology. And for good reason. Freud did much to propel the study of psychology. He developed psychoanalysis, the theory of the Oedipus complex, and the model of the id, ego, and super-ego, among countless other contributions. He is still one of the most studied figures in the field’s history as well as in the humanities. Today marks the anniversary of the publication of Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams, one of his most famous works. There’s much to know if you’re seeking to collect a copy of The Interpretation of Dreams. Likewise, along with Freud, what other authors and books should you look for if you’re collecting legendary works of psychology?

     
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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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