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What is a Rare Book?

By Audrey Golden. Jan 15, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting, Collecting guide

We often hear about people who are starting or adding to rare book collections, but it can be difficult to know exactly what counts as a “rare” book. Indeed, you may find yourself wondering: What is a rare book? The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines something that is “rare” in a variety of ways, and some of them certainly apply to rare books. For example, the OED defines a rare object as “a thing or things . . . occurring infrequently, encountered only occasionally or at intervals, uncommon,” or “of a kind seldom found, done or occurring; unusual, uncommon, exceptional.” These definitions can help us to understand why a book might be rare—it is found infrequently, is uncommon to see or to hold, and is exceptional in some capacity. Yet, as you might guess, not all rare books are exceptional in the same ways.

     
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A Guide to Collecting the Works of Anchee Min

By Audrey Golden. Jan 14, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Awarded Books, Modern First Editions

Whether you’re just beginning to read the works of Anchee Min or are considering starting a contemporary literature collection that focuses on Min’s works, it’s essential to know more about her background to understand the potential ways of framing your collection. While many people simply collect all books written by a particular author, Min’s life story provides an interesting background for framing a larger collection that includes texts of the Chinese Cultural Revolution or the Chinese-American immigrant community in the U.S. and elsewhere.

     
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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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Jan Brett: More Than Pretty Pictures

Jan Brett decided she would be an illustrator when she was quite young. As a child, she felt that she could enter the pages of her beautiful picture books. Her goal as an illustrator is to recreate that feeling of believing that the imaginary places really exist. Her beautiful pictures allow children and the adults who love them to experience this magic in the 41 million copies of her books in print. She is both an author and illustrator, but it’s her illustrations that truly set her books apart from other players in the world of children’s literature.

     
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Caroline Kennedy’s Poetry Collections

By Abigail Bekx. Nov 27, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Poetry, Book Collecting

Born in 1957 to President John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy spent her childhood after her father’s assassination in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. After graduating with her J.D., she worked as an attorney, politician, and advocate for educational reform. Under the Obama administration, Kennedy served as the U.S. Ambassador to Japan from 2013 to 2017. Throughout her career, she has published books on politics, American history, constitutional law, and poetry. If you're interested in collecting poetry or collecting books associated with the Kennedy family, the following list is for you.

     
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All I Want for Christmas Is a Book: An Early Gift Guide

By Leah Dobrinska. Nov 21, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Rare Book Gift Ideas

The holiday season is right around the corner! As you think about what sorts of gifts you’d like to give and receive this year, we’re confident books are at the top of your list. You are reading this blog, after all! And it’s true, a book makes a timeless gift—one that can be enjoyed over and over again, and for generations to come. So, we thought we’d break down some ideas for you, in an effort to make your shopping a little easier and free up some time in this busy holiday season for you to do some reading or collecting of your own. If you have serious book collectors on your list, then first, signed, or limited editions of any of these titles would make a valuable and meaningful gift. For the casual book connoisseur, perhaps a fine reading copy would fit the bill. In either case, and without further ado, we give you some gift ideas for every different kind of book-lover on your list.      
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Ephemera and Your Rare Book Collection

By Kristin Masters. Nov 7, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Book Care

If you've chosen a theme or focus for your rare book collection, eventually you'll want to move beyond books and collect related items as well. These may include magazines, posters, or other paper objects. Known as ephemera , such items can add depth, interest, and value to a personal collection.      
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Spooky Reads for Halloween

Have you chosen a costume? Stocked up on candy? Planned that trick-or-treating route? That's right. Halloween is here! The myths and tales of Halloween have long captured our imagination, making the holiday a perfect match for book collectors. Classic spine tingling reads are consistent book collecting favorites.

     
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Celebrating Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing

Today is the centennial birthday of Doris Lessing, novelist, poet, playwright, and Nobel laureate. Born in Kermanshah, Iran to British parents, Lessing's life story is an incredible one. In honor of the 100th year since her birth, here's more about one of the foremost authors of the twentieth century.

     
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How to Begin Collecting Economists in 2020

By Leah Dobrinska. Oct 15, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting

Over the course of history, the economy — and all the surmising and projecting and studying it requires — has given rise to some of the most remarkable works of human-thought. Economists in every generation provide a fascinating breadth of work and ideas. Today, we’d like to explore a couple of famous economists as well as some ideas for collecting economy-based works.

A basic list of economists that merit our attention can be formed from a quick glance throughout history. These individuals punctuate the economic landscape of their times with their thought-processes, philosophies, and recommendations. So without further ado, we give you some noteworthy economists, and their contributions, to add to or to begin growing your economic collection in the upcoming year.      
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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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