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Things to Consider Before Adding a Signed Book to Your Collection

By Brian Hoey. Nov 3, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting

In his famous essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” (1935) Walter Benjamin describes the “aura” that exists around a work of art that hasn’t been mechanically reproduced (i.e. printed off on a printing press, copied onto a DVD, etc.). The aura, he says, is the element of the work that can’t be replicated outside of its definite location in time and space, giving a ritualistic, almost mystical element that changes the way that we engage with it. This, it seems, in a nutshell, is why we like signed books, and why we often treat them as precious objects of almost totemic significance. After all, you can get the text of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) off the internet and print out as many copies as you want, but a signed edition can’t be copied in the same way. If it gets damaged or destroyed, there’s no way of replacing it in the world.

     
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Celebrating the (Literary) History of America's Presidents

Presidents are famously men of letters: educated, erudite, and charismatic. John Adams (whose birthday we celebrate today), Thomas Jefferson, and other founding fathers established their reputation by contributing to beautifully written documents like the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.      
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Harold Pinter: Playwright, Actor, Cricketeer, Nobel Prize Winner

This month, we celebrate Harold Pinter, whose varied career spanned over fifty years. Born on October 10, 1930, the Nobel laureate was more than a legendary writer. He was also a political activist, actor, director, and cricketeer.      
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Collecting the Works of Gore Vidal

By Abigail Bekx. Oct 3, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Modern First Editions

Gore Vidal was a prolific writer in many different forms from non-fiction essays to novels to screenplays. Throughout his time writing, he became a well-known cultural figure, appearing in documentaries and films. The content of Vidal’s work, despite sometimes being controversial at the time of publication, is still applicable today. His exploration of gender, sexuality, and politics keeps his work relevant and insightful years after publication. Since much of his work is newer in terms of publication, collectors can find first editions of Vidal’s work very reasonably priced. 

     
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Collecting the Works of President and Peace Prize Winner, Jimmy Carter

By Leah Dobrinska. Oct 1, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Book Collecting

“To be true to ourselves, we must be true to others.” ~Jimmy Carter, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1977

Today, we celebrate Jimmy Carter's 94th birthday. In honor of his life and efforts as president and human rights activist, we thought we'd republish our most recent post on Carter and his written works.

Do you have a collection of books by U.S. presidents? Or, are you interested in Nobel Peace Prize winners, twentieth century history, or human rights? If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, the works of Jimmy Carter should be on your radar.

     
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The Man With Many Names: Collecting Stephen King

By Brian Hoey. Sep 21, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Horror

Even the task of summing up Stephen King’s career and body of work is daunting. The New England-based literary giant has published more than 50 books, including acclaimed works of sci-fi, fantasy, suspense, horror, supernatural fiction, literary fiction, and, no doubt, other genres as well. He is so famous that even his pseudonyms are household names, and his works have been adapted for the screen more times than it would be in any way reasonable to recount in this space. 

     
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A Closer Look at Fine Press Books

By Kristin Masters. Sep 20, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Fine Press, Book Making

Made in limited quantities, fine press books elevate publishing to an art. They are highly sought after by art lovers and book collectors alike. If you've been reading our blog for any length of time, you know of our affinity for fine press books. We love seeing what the likes of Heavenly Monkey, The Golden Cockerel Press, Nawakum Press, and more create. Do you have a fine press collection? Or are you interested in adding fine press titles to your library?

     
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Great Golf Collectibles - Happy Birthday, Arnold Palmer!

By Leah Dobrinska. Sep 10, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting

Only a handful of names come to mind in a discussion of truly great golfers—those athletes whose accomplishments are time-tested and serve to inspire the generations of golfers who follow in their wake. Jack Nicklaus. Gary Player. Byron Nelson. More recently, Tiger Woods. But perhaps no man has had such success as a golfer while at the same time endearing himself so fully to golf fans as Arnold Palmer.

     
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Book Collecting Basics: What is Collation?

By Brian Hoey. Aug 28, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Book History

The study of Shakespeare has, historically, thrived off of small inconsistencies in the great playwright’s printed editions. When you pick up a Folger edition of the Bard’s work and find that your favorite soliloquy out of the Pelican Shakespeare is ever so slightly altered, you experience the fruits of a literary labor that is as much a science as it is an art. The foundation of this science is called collation. 

     
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Happy Birthday, Lyndon B. Johnson!

By Leah Dobrinska. Aug 27, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, American History

Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States, would be 110 years old today. Few persons in positions of executive power have experienced such an unthinkable, history-making event as LBJ did. Of course, we’re talking about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and what followed. Another example occurred on September 11, 2001, when then President George W. Bush faced the news of a domestic terrorist attack. How a president—or soon-to-be president, in the case of Lyndon B. Johnson—handles himself in the wake of such a moment, for better or worse, tends to define his legacy.

So, in honor of LBJ’s birthday, let’s examine his presidency and beyond.

     
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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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