Did you know?  Check our Rare Books Page

Is My Inherited Book Collection Worth Anything?

By Audrey Golden. Feb 4, 2021. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting

So you say you recently inherited a book collection from your grandparent, your parent, a distant family member, a neighbor, or a family friend? If you’re not familiar with the rare book trade and you don’t have too much experience buying or selling rare books, you might feel lost among the boxes or shelves. Most likely, you’re wondering if this inherited book collection is worth anything. Many rare booksellers and archivists have tales about being approached with old books that the owners believe to be valuable solely based on age or incorrect assumptions about the book’s provenance. Of course, terms like “worth” and “value” are always relative, and we’ll say more about that in just a few minutes. But before we do, we want to tackle the complicated question of whether an inherited book collection has any market value and what that means for your inheritance.

     
Read more...


The Best Quotes from Kate DiCamillo

By Adrienne Rivera. Feb 2, 2021. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Awarded Books, Newbery Award

Good children's books focus on real, difficult topics. Love, loss, death, separation, forgiveness. The kind of issues we as adults still find ourselves struggling with long after we stop turning to books for children's to teach us the nature of such things. The best children's books address these issues while still offering up beauty and hope in their stories. One of the masters of walking this line is Kate DiCamillo. Born in Philadelphia, DiCamillo's family relocated to Florida in hopes that the climate would be better for her chronic pneumonia. Being forced to spend much of her time indoors as a result of her chronic illness caused her to develop a love of reading and writing at an early age. She studied English at the University of Florida and went on to work in a book warehouse. She published her first book, Because of Winn-Dixie in 2000, which was named a Newbery Honor book and adapted into a film. Since then she has went on to publish numerous novels for children as well as chapter books and picture books for younger readers. Throughout her career, she has been given awarded some of the highest honors in children's literature. Her novel The Tiger Rising was a National Book Award finalist. The Tale of Despereaux won the Newbery Medal in 2004 and has also been made into a film. She won a second Newbery Medal for Flora & Ulysses. Her novel, The Magician's Elephant is soon to be adapted by Netflix. Celebrate this amazing children's author by taking a look at some of the quotes that best exemplify her work:

     
Read more...


Thomas Harris: Biography and Important Works

By Martin Pahulje. Jan 28, 2021. 9:45 AM.

Topics: Horror, Legendary Authors, Thomas Harris

Thriller and horror have long been a part of readers’ diets. From the Gothic to Edgar Allan Poe to Stephen King, readers find joy in the macabre. One of the most popular thriller writers is Thomas Harris. Already popular through his writing, the film adaptations of his work helps to build his devoted audience. His creation of Hannibal Lector has led to television series, plays, and parody musicals about the world’s favorite cannibal and catapulted Harris into fame. 

     
Read more...


Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Margot Zemach

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 26, 2021. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

The Caldecott Medal is given to one book each year that exemplifies the best work being done in children's literature. The Caldecott Medal is the highest honor for American children's books. Today we continue our Caldecott Medal Winning Illustrator Series by taking a closer look at the 1974 winner, who not only proved herself by winning this major award, but by receiving nominations for numerous other honors, such as the National Book Award, and the Hans Christian Anderson Award, for which she was nominated twice. Without further ado, the life and work of Margot Zemach:

     
Read more...


Should I Buy Rare Books at Auction?

By Audrey Golden. Jan 21, 2021. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting

If you are a rare book collector, or if you’re thinking about starting a rare book collection, you might be wondering about buying at auction. Whether you’re going to travel to an auction in person or you’re browsing online auction offerings, you’ll need to think about the pros and cons of buying rare books at auction. Certainly, adding to your collection by participating in an auction can be great fun, but we want to make sure you know precisely what it is you’re getting yourself into. Here are some key questions to consider before you place a bid.

     
Read more...


Top Books by State: Mississippi

Today in our Top Books by State series, we're taking a closer look at one of the vibrant states of the American south: Mississippi. From the Mississippi River Delta to the Gulf Coast, Mississippi is a state rich with history and natural beauty. The Delta is considered the birthplace of the blues. Numerous locations throughout the state have important sites relating to the Civil War. Mississippi is also home to a rich literary history as the home state of authors such as Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams, and John Grisham. Join us today as we explore some of the best books to come from the state of Mississippi:

     
Read more...


Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Gail E. Haley

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 14, 2021. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books, Awarded Books

Since it was first established in 1938, the Caldecott Medal has been awarded annually to one book out of a carefully curated selection. The Caldecott-winning illustrators and the illustrations they so lovingly craft are representative of the best and most innovative works produced for children's books that year. These books are desirable for both parents and collectors alike, but also serve as a benchmark of quality, pushing the industry forward to greater heights each year. Continuing our Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series, today we look closer at Gail E. Haley, who both wrote and illustrated 1971's medal winner, A Story A Story.

     
Read more...


Fore-Edge Gilding and Decorating

By Shelley Kelber. Jan 12, 2021. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting, Condition

Storing books standing on their edges is a relatively new practice. The most common storage prior to the 16th century was to pile them horizontally with the fore-edge facing out. The fore-edge is the edge opposite the spine of the book. Identification issues were resolved by marking the books with a design on this edge or writing the book's title there.

     
Read more...


Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Blair Lent

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 7, 2021. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

Established in 1938 by the American Library Association, the Cadecott Medal is given annually to “the most distinguished American picture book for children,” a book that represents the best and most innovative work in the field. Looking through the list of winners throughout the years reveals classic after classic, books that are still in circulation in libraries or sold in bookstores today. In 1973, this honor was given to Blair Lent for his illustrations in The Funny Little Woman by Arlene Mosel. Join as as we take a closer look at his career as part of our Caldecott Winning Illustrators series:

     
Read more...


The Best Literary Quotes about Winter

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 5, 2021. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature

Winter is one of the best times of year to curl up with a good book. The nights are longer, darker, and colder, and many of us spent the winter months inside trying to keep warm and turning to indoor forms of entertainment. There's just something comforting about a winter evening spent under a blanket while it's snowing outside. The following books all have something to say about the quieter, colder part of the year. If you're like me and want to spend the winter reading, let this list of some of the best literary quotes about winter serve as a potential reading list as you decide which books you'll cozy up to this year:

     
Read more...


    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.

    Get blog notifications per email:

    Download the James Bond Dossier

    Recent Posts

    Book Glossary
    Get your free Guide to Book Care

    Blog Archive

    > see older posts
    A Guide to Historic Libraries Part I