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Umberto Eco as Consummate Book Collector

By Kristin Masters. Jan 5, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Umberto Eco, Rare Books, Book Collecting

Umberto Eco made quite a name for himself as a philosopher, author, and semiotician. He also earned a reputation for being an enthusiastic collector of rare books. Eco amassed tens of thousands of books, and always observed that he hadn't read most of them. Yet his personal library played an important role for him as a writer, informing his books with a uniqueand fascinatingintertextual layer.

     
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Ten Magnificent Tolkien Collectibles

By Matt Reimann. Jan 3, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: J. R. R. Tolkien

Books are their own little world, and no writer has taken this to heart quite like J.R.R. Tolkien. Through Middle-Earth, the British author imagined a land of such history and vastness that, although he has many imitators, Tolkien still has no equal. Beyond the billion-dollar films and merchandise, Tolkien has left behind an expansive bibliography which can take even the most serious collectors time to navigate. It’s not quite as hard as learning Elvish, but building the perfect Tolkien library requires a bit of enthusiastic study. Here's a look at ten magnificent items for a Tolkien collection.

     
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The Best of 2019: Our Top Ten Blog Posts

By Leah Dobrinska. Dec 31, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book News

It's hard to believe another year has come and gone. We hope your holiday season has been a wonderful one and that you're looking ahead to 2020 with joy and excitement. We like to take time at the end of each year to take stock of our work over the past 12 months. We've compiled our top posts from 2019. Thank you for reading and commenting! This community of book enthusiasts is why we do what we do. Here's to a bookish 2020!

     
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Top Books by State: Hawaii

By Adrienne Rivera. Dec 28, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature, Literary travel

Today we continue our literary journey through the United State with our Top Books by State series. The next stop: Hawaii. Hawaii is one of very few states to have been a sovereign nation before statehood. While the U.S. had acknowledged Hawaii as an independent nation and had established treaties, the U.S. and European businessmen organized a coup to overthrow the Kamehameha monarchy. The U.S. government supported the coup, stating that military demonstrations in Hawaii and the queen's new constitution expanding her personal power were a threat to U.S. citizens; however, control of the sugar trade was a primary motivation. Hawaii existed as a republic until its incorporation into the United States in 1959. Since then, Hawaii has become a major tourist destination, sporting some of the most beautiful lands in the world. Home to many plants and animals unique to the islands, Hawaii is an important natural habitat and one ever changing and at risk from volcanoes and tourism-related expansions.

     
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Ten Profound Henry Miller Quotes

By Abigail Bekx. Dec 26, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors

Born December 26, 1891, Henry Miller left a profound mark on American literature. Best known for his candor, Miller was unafraid to discuss and include topics in his works that many other authors shied away from in the mid-20th century, causing many of his major works to be banned in the United States and Britain. It was not until the freedom that came with the 1960s that his works were widely published. Because of his candor, his works contain a level of profound insight that other works lacking this particular trait fail to ever reach.

     
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'Twas the Night Before Christmas: The Authorship Question

By Shelley Kelber. Dec 24, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Poetry, Christmas Books

It is a fact that this stalwart Christmas poem, now considered a tradition, was initially published as an Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas in New York's Troy Sentinel newspaper on December 23, 1823.  It was published anonymously. The poem is credited with connecting St. Nicholas to Christmas and planted the seeds that led to our idea of Santa Claus. It also established most of the reindeer names.

     
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Nine Caldecott Winners for the Winter Season

By Katie Behrens. Dec 19, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Christmas Books

The first snowfall of the year, the anticipation of Christmas, the wealth of holiday traditions: the end of the year is filled with opportunities for joy and fascination for the young (and young at heart). It’s no surprise, then, that the list of Caldecott award winners is filled with winter tales. It’s the perfect time of year to snuggle up with loved ones and read a book, so here are some classics to enjoy, from The Polar Express to The Big Snow.

     
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The Lost World: 5 Books Steven Spielberg Almost Adapted

By Brian Hoey. Dec 18, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Movie Tie-Ins

Steven Spielberg (who turns 73 today!) is more than just one of the most successful and well-respected directors in Hollywood—he’s also a prolific adapter of books and other literary works for the silver screen. Some of his best known works, from Jaws (1974) to the Color Purple (1982) to Jurassic Park (1990), were originally based on books of various levels of literary acclaim. Because one of the great all-time literary and filmic pastimes is comparing novels to their screen adaptations, the book lovers of the world owe Spielberg a huge debt of gratitude (the fact that many of these films are truly great on their own doesn’t hurt either). 

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Barbara Cooney

By Adrienne Rivera. Dec 17, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

Each year the Caldecott Medal is awarded to the children's book most representative of the highest level of quality and skill in the industry. While sometimes the author and illustrator are one in the same, as with Barbara Cooney's 1958 win for Chanticleer and the Fox, just as often the illustrator in question did not write the book, which is the case for Cooney's 1980 win for her collaboration on Donald Hall's Ox-Cart Man. Cooney is a perfect example of what a recipient should be. Her work is prized not only for the exceptional addition it makes to children's books, but as folk art. After her death, her work began to appear more and more in museums. Cooney is famously noted to have said that she did not believe that children were too young to read about larger issues, that they should not be limited to only what they understand. Her work exemplified this push for a greater understanding and, most importantly for children's books, she never talked down to children. Join us as we take a closer look at the career of this remarkable illustrator in our continuing Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series.

     
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Hero vs. Villain: Jane Austen's Male Characters

By Abigail Bekx. Dec 16, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors

When thinking of Jane Austen, one, primarily, first thinks of her heroines. While a perfectly reasonable instinct since they are the main protagonists, their male counterparts are often overlooked and shuffled to the side and considered only in their marriage eligibility, a rather fair occurrence when one considers how female characters were often treated by Austen’s contemporaries. This does, however, offer a disservice to Austen’s work. Her male characters are just as carefully crafted as her female protagonists, each providing specific insight into the different kinds of men, both heroes and villains, Austen and her heroines experienced.

     
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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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