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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: 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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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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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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