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The Bond Dossier: Thunderball

By Nick Ostdick. Dec 2, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, James Bond

There are some books where the story behind the story is just as interestingif not more sothan the story itself. 007 creator and novelist Ian Fleming had largely avoided this scenario in the publication of his first seven Bond novels; however, Fleming’s eighth 007 novel, Thunderball, found Fleming and his protagonist in some of the most high-stakes peril yetthough Bond’s struggles against international crime syndicates pales slightly in comparison to Fleming’s entanglements with copyright lawyers.

Whatever the case, Thunderball marked several turning points for both Fleming and James Bond. While the novel was one of the most well-received and commercially successful Bond novels to date, the composition of the novel was fraught with roadblocks and speed bumps, which is perhaps part of what drove Fleming’s creative process and allowed him to unfold one of his more spine-tingling plots.

     
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Collecting and Preserving Broadsides

By Audrey Golden. Nov 18, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Poetry, Fine Press, Book Collecting

Are you considering expanding your current book collection to include paper ephemera? If so, you might want to learn more about collecting and preserving broadsides. Sometimes you will also see broadsides described as “broadsheets.” Now that you know the terminology, you might be asking: what in the world is a broadside? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it is “a sheet of paper printed on one side only, forming one large page.” But this definition doesn’t fully explain the significance of these items. Broadsides are among the most sought-after items for collectors: from those interested in sixteenth-century political ephemera to those putting together collections of twentieth-century poetry. No matter what era or genre your collection spans, you might be interested in adding some of these materials to your library.

     
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The Importance of Condition in Rare Book Collecting

By Nick Ostdick. Nov 15, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting

Condition. Condition. Condition. It’s something of a mantra heard from the novice rare book collector to book collecting experts and everyone in between. Perhaps just as important as whether a book is a first edition or the first of its kindprimacythe condition of a book is crucial in helping assess its value and place in the rare book collecting universe. This is especially true when looking at modern classics such as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby where the number of original copies is quite large compared with other classic American novels published just 10 or 20 years before. For example, copies of Gatsby in prime condition can significantly differ in value from copies in fair or poor condition published during the same era.

Given the importance placed on condition by collectors, it’s critical to understand the key elements that define the term. What should collectors look for when considering condition? What are the prime factors that determine the condition of a given book? And how do these elements work together in both large and small ways to help collectors accurately assess the value of a certain book?

     
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Buying Rare and Antiquarian Books in Sydney, Australia

By Audrey Golden. Nov 5, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Literature, Literary travel

If you’re interested in rare books from Australia or New Zealand, one of the best cities for searching just might be Sydney. In particular, many of the bookstores in the city specialize in fiction and poetry by local writers, including Aboriginal novelists and poets. While Melbourne, a city located to the south, is known for its literary history, there are many reasonably priced and exciting rare bookshops scattered across Sydney. And given that this city is immensely walk-able, we’d recommend picking up a map and heading out on the town.

     
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Primacy and Rare Book Collecting: The Value of Being First

As the old saying goes: ‘It pays to be first.’

In the world of rare book collecting, this is also a well-known fact. First editions. First printing. First drafts of manuscripts. These are usually the kinds of 'firsts' book collectors are on the look-out for when evaluating a book’s worth and value, and it’s these elements that factor largely into how much rare books fetch at auction and how sought-after they become.

However, the concept of primacy, or being recognized as the first incarnation of something within the literary canon, goes well beyond the simple notion of first editions or first printings. First mentions of a character, a setting, a theory, an idea, or even the first location where a book was printed all factor into the primacy of a book and are important elements book collectors and evaluators must weigh when determining a book’s worth and value.

     
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Buying Rare and Antiquarian Books in Mexico City

By Audrey Golden. Oct 20, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Literary travel

Before traveling to Mexico City, we thought Buenos Aires had more used and antiquarian bookstores than anywhere else in the world. While that might still feel true while walking the streets of the Argentinian capital city—it seems like there’s a used bookstore on just about every corner—we were nearly just as giddy to discover the sheer number of shops in this capital city.

Similar to in Buenos Aires, there’s a map of bookstores selling old and rare books that covers four major regions of the city (“Mapa de librerías de Viejo de la Ciudad de México”). It’s published by the Social Sciences and Humanities division of the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana. Like any rare or antiquarian book collectors, discovering such a map was enough to make our day (and indeed, the remainder of our time in Mexico City). With a total of 62 bookstores to visit—and that’s just the list of shops mentioned on the map—we recommend planning at least a few days for book shopping in this Latin American city warmly referred to by its residents simply as CDMX.

     
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Congratulations to the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature Winner, Bob Dylan

By Leah Dobrinska. Oct 13, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Nobel Prize Winners

The 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature winner was announced today at 1:00p.m. local time in Sweden. The winner is American musician Bob Dylan "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition".

Born in Duluth, Minnesota, Dylan spent much of his life in New York. He is best known for the music he created in the 1960s and the significant influence it had on popular culture. He explored themes of social condition, politics, and religion, and his songs like "The Times They Are a-Changin'" (1963) and "Blowin' in the Wind" (1959) earned him national renown. Along with being a prolific musician, Dylan is also an actor, screenwriter, and artist. He published an autobiography in 2004 titled Chronicles which details his life in New York. Congratulations to Bob Dylan!

     
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Anne Rice's Top Five Novels

By Matt Reimann. Oct 4, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Horror, Book Collecting, Mystery, Suspense & Crime

With 100 million books sold, Anne Rice enjoys the sort of success available to only a few authors per generation. Rice made a name for herself with her influential spin on the gothic genre, to which she adds another title, Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis, this year. You may know her from her famous Vampire Chronicles series, though her forty-volume career encompasses far more. Below, we’ve compiled five highlights from Anne Rice’s prolific career.

     
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Join Us for the 2016 Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair

By Andrea Koczela. Oct 2, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Book News

If you are near Seattle next weekend (October 8th-9th), we would like to invite you to the Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair. Sign up here for your complimentary tickets, and then join us to experience some remarkable books.

     
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The Bond Dossier: Dr. No

By Nick Ostdick. Oct 1, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, James Bond

There comes a time in any great series of books when the tides turn—when, for some reason or another, the characters, plots, themes, or messages of the books fall out of favor or have their relevancy or worth challenged, both for the writer and the reader. For Ian Fleming and his James Bond novels, that time came with Dr. No. (1958), the sixth book in the Bond series under Fleming’s watch.

In hindsight, perhaps the spiral in critical appeal—though the commercial success of Dr. No remained aligned with the Bond novels that came before—was inevitable. After all, Fleming was uncertain about Bond’s future following the completion and publication of the previous 007 adventure, From Russia with Love, so much so that he waffled on whether to kill off his titular character. In fact, early versions of the book actually saw Bond’s death scene played out in some kind of melancholic, triumphant glory.

     
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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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