Did you know?  Check our Rare Books Page

Famous Astronauts and Their Lives After NASA

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

Topics: American History

On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 successfully landed on the moon and for the first time, mankind took its first physical steps out in the universe. The 50th anniversary of the lunar landing is fast approaching. The things NASA has learned from that first landing and the numerous following expeditions into space have changed the face of scientific understanding. To celebrate  NASA and the brave astronauts who have made history throughout the years, let's take a look at the lives of some of the most famous astronauts after they ended their careers in space exploration.

     
Read more...


Collecting Clement Clarke Moore's The Night Before Christmas

By Anne Cullison. Jul 15, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Children's Books, Christmas Books

For many families, Christmas wouldn't come around without a Christmas Eve reading of the ultimate holiday poem, Clement Clarke Moore’s The Night Before Christmas. Originally known as A Visit from St. Nicholas, Twas the Night Before Christmas has been a part of the Christmas tradition for over a century and a half. Who was the author behind this famous Christmas poem? What are some valuable editions of  The Night Before Christmas to add to your collection? We thought we'd give you a taste of Christmas in July and explore this popular holiday title.

     
Read more...


Gerald Ford, President by Accident

By Anne Cullison. Jul 14, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History

This week we celebrate the birth of Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the United States. Ford was born as Leslie Lynch King Jr. on July 14, 1913 in Omaha, Nebraska. While many presidents grew up under affluent circumstances, Ford succeeded through hard work—combined with very unusual circumstances. Indeed, he became the only President of the United States never elected to either the presidency or the vice presidency.

     
Read more...


Ten Inspiring Quotes From Henry David Thoreau's Walden

By Abigail Bekx. Jul 12, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature

Born in 1817, Henry David Thoreau spent most of his life in Concord, Massachusetts. He was sent to Harvard, where he did very well and in 1837, graduated in the top half of his class. Despite his high placement and due to the economic depression, lack of job opportunities, and Thoreau’s disinterest in available careers, he began teaching at the Concord public school. He left after two weeks due to a disagreement over how to discipline students. From there, he started working at his family’s pencil factory. In 1838, Thoreau and his brother John opened and operated a school until it closed in 1841. A second stint in the pencil factory ended when Thoreau was invited to work for and live with his mentor and friend Ralph Waldo Emerson, which led to aspirations of writing.

     
Read more...


Famous Authors and Their Pseudonyms (Part One)

By Kristin Masters. Jul 11, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Book News

When J.K. Rowling, author of the famous Harry Potter series, admitted that she wrote The Cuckoo's Calling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, the world was in uproar. It should come as no surprise that Rowling would choose to write under a false name, though. After all, she originally hid her identity by writing as J.K. Rowlingrather than using her full name, Joanne Rowlingand she's not the first legendary author to use a pseudonym.

     
Read more...


O.J. Simpson's If I Did It: The Road to Publication

By Leah Dobrinska. Jul 9, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Book History

Born on July 9, 1947, O.J. Simpson is 72 years old today. We thought his birthday was a fitting day to revisit the interesting publication history of his notorious "tell-all", If I Did It, so we're republishing our post on it here.

We are always fascinated by a book’s road to publication. From its author’s efforts to get his or her story on paper, to its editor’s work, to the actual publishing of the book, it’s a nuanced process, filled with highs and lows. O.J. Simpson—the most notorious subject in a criminal trial in the last century—penned If I Did It (with the help of a ghost writer), and the book’s publication history is an interesting one, making first editions highly collectible.

     
Read more...


Defining Science Fiction: Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein, and Isaac Asimov

By Brian Hoey. Jul 7, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Science Fiction

Defining science fiction has always been a tricky proposition. It has been suggested that "you know it when you see it," but that hardly seems a sufficient rule. Still less helpful is the notion that the science fiction moniker applies to any fiction dealing imaginatively with concepts borrowed from science. The fact of the matter remains that select staples of the literary cannon have displayed an interest in science from Shakespeare’s work through the likes of Thomas Pynchon. This does little to change the fact that when we speak of science fiction we hardly ever mean The Tempest (1610), and we usually don’t mean Gravity’s Rainbow (1973) either.

     
Read more...


Nancy Reagan: Some of the Books

By Shelley Kelber. Jul 6, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History

The media seemed pleased to have Ronald and Nancy Reagan in the White House. They lauded the glamour they brought from Hollywood, and Nancy’s style was compared favorably with Jacqueline Kennedy. She was always perfectly coiffed and dressed in designer gowns the mass media reading public could never dream of affording. The list of books depicting Nancy Reagan's life is a lengthy one. Many depict Mrs. Reagan in an unflattering light, while others paint the picture of a love story between her and President Ronald Reagan. We've compiled several titles and descriptions here for your reading and collecting pleasures. 

     
Read more...


The Founding Fathers: Authors and Revolutionaries

By Kristin Masters. Jul 4, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book News

When you think of controversial authors, what names come to mind? Perhaps Karl Marx and Charles Darwin, or maybe Ayn Rand and J.D. Salinger. But the original "kings of controversy" came much earlier. America's founding fathers penned two of the most influentialand revolutionarydocuments in history: the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.

     
Read more...


Edgar Allan Poe, Impoverished Literary Genius

By Andrea Koczela. Jul 3, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature

Today we celebrate Edgar Allan Poe, master of the short story and inventor of detective fiction. Although best remembered for his sinister tales and mysteries, during his life Poe was known for his scathing literary reviews. Poe lived most of his life on the brink of poverty and was the first well-known American author to live solely on his writing. Although his work initially received mixed reviews, Poe has since emerged as one of America’s most beloved writers.

     
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