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San Francisco's Rare Book Scene

Do you live in the Bay Area, and are you just starting to put together a rare book collection? Are you traveling to San Francisco at any point in the near future? The Bay Area is truly an antiquarian and rare book treasure trove. From rare bookstores to antiquarian book fairs to rare book archives, you couldn’t ask for much more than everything the Bay Area has to offer. While our title centers in San Francisco, we want to introduce you to the rare book scene in the Bay Area more generally, and to encourage you to plan several days of book hunting in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland. And, quite frankly, several days probably won’t be sufficient. You’ll want to keep coming back for more.

     
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Austin's Rare Book Scene

By Audrey Golden. Oct 1, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Literary travel

Yes, it’s a cliché, but it’s true: Austin, Texas is one of the most creative cities in America, and it has a very cool book scene that reflects its immersion in music history. As you may already know, Austin is home to two of the most prominent music festivals in the country—SXSW and Austin City Limits (ACL). The city is also home to a wide variety of bookshops, small presses, and book events spaces. And there’s more, still! Some of the most prominent art and music exhibition spaces in the country are in Austin, and many offer rare photography and art books for collectors who focus on music ephemera and memorabilia. Finally, Austin hosts the annual Texas Book Festival, which brings together writers, readers, and collectors for a couple days of readings and talks. We love Austin as a book destination, and we want to tell you more about the reasons you should add it to your list of must-travel places.

     
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Las Vegas' Rare Book Scene

By Audrey Golden. Aug 5, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Literary travel

When most of us think about Las Vegas and taking a trip to the Nevada city, we might not immediately imagine it as a rare book destination. To be sure, most people who plan trips to Las Vegas are considering their options for casinos, shows, and restaurants on the Las Vegas Strip. Other visitors to the city might simply be flying into the airport for a brief stopover before traveling to popular nearby natural destinations such as Death Valley National Park or the Grand Canyon. However, Las Vegas is also a great city for rare book hunting. You may be able to find a rare book gem in the world famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, or you might find something new to add to your collection in a bookshop or antique store.

     
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Los Angeles's Rare Book Scene

Los Angeles has a rare book scene all of its own. With the city’s deep roots in cinema and Hollywood production, not surprisingly, many rare bookstores in the city have an incredible selection of film books, screenplays, and other materials tied to the silver screen. At the same time, Los Angeles is also a beacon for contemporary art, and many of the city’s rare bookshops reflect the modern and contemporary art scene. Like other major urban areas in the U.S., if you visit at the right time, you may find yourself in Los Angeles during a book fair. From shops to annual fairs, the Los Angeles rare book scene has much to offer.

     
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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.

     
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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.

     
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Top Books by State: Indiana

By Adrienne Rivera. Mar 10, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Movie Tie-Ins, Literary travel

Today we continue our literary road trip through the United States by taking a closer look at my home state, Indiana. For many people, the Midwest is little more than a flyover region and simply considered farm country. It's easy to think of Indiana by the things its most known for: NASCAR, basketball, corn, and perhaps the infamous level of violence located in the Gary, Indiana area. While Indiana is definitely known for those things, it's also a state rich in history. Abraham Lincoln lived a large portion of his childhood in southern Indiana, and President William Henry Harrison and Native American leader Tecumseh led their respective sides in the Battle of Tippecanoe. Indiana is also a beautiful state, home to the Indiana Dunes near Lake Michigan, numerous protected areas of woodlands like the Hoosier National Forest and the Lincoln National and Lincoln State forests, and a rich network of limestone caves. One of America's oldest theme parks, Holiday World, is also in Indiana. Let's take a look some of the best books set in the Hoosier state.

     
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Visiting the Homes of Victor Hugo

By Audrey Golden. Feb 26, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature, Literary travel

Planning a trip to France or the U.K. anytime soon? While many famous writers have called these places home, perhaps no author’s experiences living in both regions better reflect a life lived, in many ways, on the margins, as those of Victor Hugo. As you might know, Victor Hugo was a central figure in the Romantic movement, and he remains one of the most well-known French novelists and dramatists today. He published his first works in the 1820s, but it wasn’t until the publication of the novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame [Notre Dame de Paris] in 1831 that Hugo gained fame throughout Europe. Indeed, the work was translated into numerous languages for public consumption. Shortly after using the novel to highlight a need for Paris to attend to important structures such as the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, Hugo turned toward a broader reaching political endeavor. He started writing Les Misérables (1862), which dealt with matters of class and social justice. As it turns out, his town homes in Paris and Guernsey are now museums that the public can visit.

     
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Top Books by State: Idaho

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 13, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Pulitzer Prize, American Literature, Literary travel

Today we continue our literary road trip by taking a closer look at some of the best books from the state of Idaho. This Pacific Northwest state is known for its impressive, mountainous beauty and its sweeping forests. In fact, approximately 38% of the state is actually owned and preserved by the United States Forest Service. Idaho is unique in that it shares natural characteristics with both the Pacific Northwest and geological features more associated with the American West. This beautiful state is known for its national park tourism, agriculture, mining, and rich Native American cultures. The books we're looking at today focus in on Idaho's incredible vistas. Come travel the Gem State as we continue with the next stop in our Top Books by State series:

     
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Top Books by State: Hawaii

By Adrienne Rivera. Dec 28, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature, Literary travel

Today we continue our literary journey through the United State with our Top Books by State series. The next stop: Hawaii. Hawaii is one of very few states to have been a sovereign nation before statehood. While the U.S. had acknowledged Hawaii as an independent nation and had established treaties, the U.S. and European businessmen organized a coup to overthrow the Kamehameha monarchy. The U.S. government supported the coup, stating that military demonstrations in Hawaii and the queen's new constitution expanding her personal power were a threat to U.S. citizens; however, control of the sugar trade was a primary motivation. Hawaii existed as a republic until its incorporation into the United States in 1959. Since then, Hawaii has become a major tourist destination, sporting some of the most beautiful lands in the world. Home to many plants and animals unique to the islands, Hawaii is an important natural habitat and one ever changing and at risk from volcanoes and tourism-related expansions.

     
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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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