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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:

Collecting Nobel Laureates: Gabriel García Márquez and Octavio Paz

When one thinks of the great literary minds to come out of Latin America, Gabriel García Márquez and Octavio Paz often top the list. Indeed, both Gabo and Paz have had a significant impact on the world of Latin American letters and politics. Likewise, each man won a Nobel Prize in Literature. If you are collecting Nobel laureates, especially Nobel laureates from Latin America, these two authors must be included. Read on for collecting points and ideas for the Gabriel García Márquez and Octavio Paz enthusiast.

     
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Esther Forbes: First Female Member of the American Antiquarian Society

By Leah Dobrinska. Apr 12, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, History

Historian and writer Esther Forbes had a knack for bringing the life and experiences of the past to present-day readers through the pages of her books. Most well known for her books, Paul Revere and the World He Lived In (1942) and Johnny Tremain (1943), Forbes’ writing garnered her attention from the outset. Her first published novel, O Genteel Lady!  was selected as the second book for the Book of the Month Club, ensuring her book was sold to a wide readership. In a review in The Independent, O Genteel Lady! was described as “A distinguished first novel, written with ease and a mastery of technique unusual in a young writer." Indeed, Forbes was a master of her craft, and to this day remains one of the premier contributors to historical and historical fiction writing.

     
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Collecting Nobel Laureates: Miguel Angel Asturias & Pablo Neruda

By Leah Dobrinska. Apr 5, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Nobel Prize Winners

Recently, we began spotlighting Nobel Prize in Literature winners from Latin America. Today, we’d like to highlight a couple more of our favorites. Read on for general information, ideas, and collecting points on Miguel Angel Asturias and Pablo Neruda, winners of the Prize at a time in history when the world as a whole was waking up to the amazing works and writers emerging from Latin America.

For more information on our previous Latin American Nobel laureate spotlights featuring Gabriela Mistral and Mario Vargas Llosa, please see the end of this post. 

     
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Collecting Limited Editions Club Publications

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

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting

As book collectors, we know the importance of the book as a physical object. From marginalia to dust jackets, numerous factors come in to play when determining what to collect and how much any given collectible is worth. Indeed, the condition of the physical book goes a long way in determining its value to collectors, and in many case the look of a book—from its illustrations to its binding and everything in between—charts the course for collectors.

Many ‘groupings’ of collectible books exist, and they often direct the collecting ways of interested bibliophiles. For example, some collectors focus on collecting the leather-bound Franklin Library editions. Others have a special place in their hearts for the Penguin Classics, either the Deluxe Editions or the familiar black-spine series. Still others look to fine-press operations for their aesthetic outputs. One of the most important and valuable ‘groupings’ of collectible books is the Limited Editions Club and its publications.

     
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Collecting Nobel Laureates: Gabriela Mistral and Mario Vargas Llosa

By Leah Dobrinska. Mar 8, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Nobel Prize Winners

Since its inception in the early part of the 20th century, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to a Latin American author on six different occasions. While all Nobel laureates are worthy of our study, praise, and, in many cases, collecting efforts, there is a special place in our hearts for these six from Latin America. Over the course of the next few months, we’d like to detail for you book collecting information and ideas for these Nobel Prize winners. Today, we spotlight the first Latin American winner, Gabriela Mistral, and the most recent winner from Latin America, Mario Vargas Llosa.

     
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VLOG: Five Videos on the Art of Gilding

By Leah Dobrinska. Feb 23, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Book Making

Gilding is an overarching term that can be used to describe the art of applying a thin layer of gold leaf or powder to surfaces such as stone, wood, or metal. Gilding was used by the early Egyptians, and, according to Pliny the Elder, it became common in Rome following the fall of Carthage. Gilding today can be found in woodworking, ceramics, architectural and interior designs, and of course, book binding.

Book sellers and collectors use the terms gilding and, commonly, gilt, when referencing a book’s decorative gold appearance. Often we see book sellers describe their books as having all gilt edges or gilt stamped titles. These descriptors tell a collector about the decorative nature of the collectible, but what about the process that goes in to making them so? Let's take a look at some videos of the art.

     
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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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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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