Did you know?  Check our Rare Books Page

The History and Importance of Women's Literature

By Adrienne Rivera. Apr 12, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, History

Women's literature has often been defined by publishers as a category of writing done by women. Though obviously this is true, many scholars find such a definition reductive. What makes the history of women's writing so interesting is that in many ways it is a new area of study. The tradition of women writing has been much ignored due to the inferior position women have held in male-dominated societies. It is still not unheard of to see literature classes or anthologies in which women are greatly outnumbered by male writers or even entirely absent. The onus of women's literature, then, is to categorize and create an area of study for a group of people marginalized by history and to explore through their writing their lives as they were while occupying such a unique sociopolitical space within their culture.

     
Read more...


Top Books by State: Iowa

By Adrienne Rivera. Apr 8, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Awarded Books, Movie Tie-Ins, Literary travel

Next up on our trip through America by book is the state of Iowa. The Hawkeye state is known for football, farmland, andin election yearsfor the caucus. While there are metropolitan centers in Iowa like Des Moines, the Quad Cities area, and Iowa Citythe latter of which is known as a literary hub due to the Iowa Writers Workshop, one of the most prestigious writing programs in the countrymuch of Iowa is rural farmland. While much of Iowa used to be covered in prairies, an emphasis on an agriculture-based economy decimated much of the original landscape. In recent years, there has been an attempt to reclaim some of the lost prairie ground and to provide a safe space for the return of native flora and fauna. Whether city or small town, farmland or prairie, Iowa is a beautiful state well worth visiting, either in person or in books. Let's take a look at some of the best books set in and inspired by Iowa.

     
Read more...


Seattle's Rare Book Scene

By Audrey Golden. Apr 7, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Literary travel, travel guides

Whenever we’re traveling for business or pleasure, we make sure to carve out a few hours—or more!—to visit local rare bookstores. When it comes to a stop in Seattle, there are some fantastic shops that specialize in a range of rare books and ephemera. While Seattle is often remembered as a city that introduced the rest of the country (and the globe) to grunge music and the sounds of bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam, it’s also a city with a rich cultural and literary history. The rare book scene in Seattle should interest both casual and serious collectors alike.

     
Read more...


Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Political and Familial Influences

By Kristin Masters. Apr 6, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Nobel Prize Winners, Book News

Today we celebrate the birthday of legendary author Gabriel García Márquez, affectionately known as "Gabo." Born on March 6, 1928, García Márquez would live through one of the most violent periods in Colombian history. Steeped in the stories of his grandparents, García Márquez wove Colombia's history into magical tales of war, love, and survival.

     
Read more...


Lost Mary Shelley Manuscript Unearthed

By Brian Hoey. Apr 1, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Horror, Rare Books

For years, Mary Shelley was sadly overlooked as a writer. Though she created one of the most iconic monsters in literature in her novel Frankenstein (1818), for more than century after her death she was often thought of as a one hit wonder. Or she was thought of as Mary Wollstonecraft’s daughter, or philosopher William Godwin’s daughter, or Percy Shelley’s wife and literary executor. That is, when she was thought of at all.

     
Read more...


The Story of Bookbinding

By Shelley Kelber. Mar 31, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Making

Rarely does bookbinding receive the attention and glamour afforded other ancient crafts. The craftsmanship required by bookbinding is largely concealed. The role of the bookbinder is that of a guardian; they serve to protect the book's contents to guarantee access for generations of readers. Foremost in the bookbinder's mind is durability and function.

     
Read more...


Who Can Sell My Rare Books?

By Audrey Golden. Mar 30, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting, collectors

So you think you want to sell your rare books? Making such a decision can be exciting, but it can also be pretty intimidating. Should you try to sell the books on your own? Should you take them to an auction house? Or should you find a rare book dealer who can list them on consignment or buy them from you outright for resale? And how do you know how much the books are even worth? You may need to have your books appraised in order to know exactly what you have. Once you have a general sense of what your books are worth, you have a few options when it comes to selling them.

     
Read more...


Caging the Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: Tennessee Williams

By Lauren Corba. Mar 26, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature, Drama

Thomas Lanier (Tennessee) Williams was a man before his time, drawing attention to social issues rather than politics; focusing on mental health, sexual orientation, domestic violence, and family issues. He is one of the greatest American playwrights and largely undervalued.

     
Read more...


Chronicling the American Presidency: Bob Woodward

By Adrienne Rivera. Mar 25, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Pulitzer Prize

While not many print journalists bear the distinction of being a household name, there are likely few people who have not heard of investigative reporter Bob Woodward. WoodwardHarvard educated and a Navy veteranhas spent the majority of his career at The Washington Post, where he currently serves as associate editor. He initially applied for a position as a reporter at the Post and was given a two week trial period. He was not hired on a continual basis due to a lack of experience, since he applied right out of school. Woodward applied again after one year of working as a journalist at the Montgomery Sentinel. Not even a full year later, Woodward, along with Carl Bernstein, was assigned to cover a burglary at the soon to be infamous Watergate Building. This would make him a household name.

     
Read more...


James Patterson: Author or Brand Manager?

By Shelley Kelber. Mar 22, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, American Literature

Is he beloved by his critics and peers? Not so much. But James Patterson's popularity among readers remains incontrovertible. He is an industry. It's not so much all that he has written. "Written" isn't a precise enough verb. Maybe conceived, outlined, or curated would be more descriptive of his process.

     
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