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Collectible Irish Literature

By Audrey Golden. Nov 12, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Literature

 Whether you already have a collection of Irish literature or you are thinking about starting one, you should begin thinking about where you want to start and, ultimately, where you want to end up. There are many different ways you could approach an Irish literature collection, from eighteenth-century Irish literature up to the present. You might, for example, consider a collection made up entirely of Irish poetry. Or you might develop a collection that focuses on Irish independence and is linked to the 1916 Easter Rising. There are a lot of different possibilities. We don’t want to frame your collection for you—that’s your job! But we do want to give you insight into some of the most collectible and sought-after works of Irish literature. If you ultimately want to add these texts to your collection, you’ll need to do some serious reconnaissance work, and you’ll need to start saving your money.

     
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Nine of the Best Quotes from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

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

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature, Movie Tie-Ins

J.R.R. Tolkien was born in South Africa in 1892. He spend his early years there, returning to his parent's native England to visit, but staying permanently after the death of his father. It was during this time that he became familiar with the landscape of the country he would come to love, visiting villages and countrysides that would become he basis for the most famous of his creations: Middle Earth, the setting for The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit, the language and mythology of which would become his life's work. One such place was his aunt Jane's farm, called Bag End, which he later used for the name of Bilbo Baggin's home in The Shire. After his mother's death, he and his brother were raised in Birmingham where Tolkien continued his education. It was during this time Tolkien first became interested in creating languages, an interest that followed him into adulthood and is clearly seen in The Lord of the Rings series, which utilizes several invented languages, most famously, Tolkien's Elvish. He went on to study English language and literature at Oxford where he graduated with honors. After serving in World War I, he began his career in academia, serving as a professor at University of Leeds. He published several notable works of scholarship during this time. He also wrote The Hobbit and the first two volumes of The Lord of the Rings. He published the final volume of The Lord of the Rings in 1948. Tolkien's works took on a near-cult popularity during his lifetime, creating a boom in the fantasy genre and inspiring other works and games, such as roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons. The books have been adapted into animated films and famously, two sets of trilogies directed by Peter Jackson. They continue to be immensely popular today and a television series based on the mythology of Middle Earth is in the works for Amazon Prime. Today we take a look at some of the best quotes from each of the books in The Lord of the Rings trilogy:

     
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The Life and Work of D.H. Lawrence

By Adrienne Rivera. Nov 3, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Poetry, Literature

This month we celebrate the birthday of writer, playwright, poet, critic, and painter, D.H. Lawrence. While today, Lawrence is acknowledged as a brilliant observer of human sexuality and modernity, in his time he was censored, banned, persecuted and scorned for his art. Let's take a look at this amazing writer who unfortunately did not live to see the impact his work would make on literature:

     
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How to Find the Value of a Rare Book

By Audrey Golden. Oct 29, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Literature

Whether you have your own rare book collection and have questions about the overall market value of the items, or you recently inherited some older books or purchased a book that seems like it might be valuable at a flea market, you’re probably trying to figure out how to determine that book’s value. When you’re hoping to figure out how much a book is worth, it’s important to distinguish between market value and other forms of value. To be sure, a book may be considered rare or valuable to a particular person, but it may not necessarily have significant market value. We’re assuming that you’re trying to find the market value of a rare book, so we’ll tell you about some options and issues to consider.

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Beni Montresor

By Adrienne Rivera. Aug 27, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books, Literature

The Caldecott Medal for outstanding children's book illustration is awarded every year to the illustrator who has proven themselves to be at the forefront of what is possible in the world of children's literature. 1965's winner is notable not only because his art style was vivid and unusual, but also because he was inspired almost entirely by his work in another field. Beni Montresor's illustrations, often done in a variety of mediums, were heavily influenced by his work as a set designer for ballet and opera. This lead to illustrations both dynamic and compelling, a clear testament to his love of the dramatic that led to such success in his primary career as a set designer. Today we continue our Caldecott Winning Illustrators series by taking a closer look at Beni Montresor's artwork for the book, May I Bring a Friend?

     
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A Tribute to John Updike

By Kristin Masters. Apr 18, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Book Collecting, Literature

Best known for the Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom series, John Updike published in a variety of genres beyond fiction, including poetry, literary criticism, short stories, and even children's books.

     
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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.

     
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Visiting Ralph Ellison's Papers at the Library of Congress

Are you interested in learning more about the life and literary work of Ralph Ellison? If you find yourself in Washington, D.C., there are many reasons to plan a visit to the Library of Congress. One of those reasons, though, should certainly be to explore the Ralph Ellison papers, which include materials from 1890-2005. There are a total of 74,800 items in the collection, such as correspondence, drafts for essays, short stories, novels, lectures given by and about Ellison, a wide variety of resources documenting his literary career, and Ellison’s final unfinished novel, Juneteenth.

     
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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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On Gratitude: Ten Quotes for a Literary Thanksgiving

By Nick Ostdick. Nov 28, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States, and that means friends and families are coming together to give thanks and express gratitude for what and whom they have in their lives. A day focused on gathering around a shared table to indulge in extravagant food and drink, one could argue Thanksgiving is the purest of all holidays where the pressures of a commerce-driven culture are set aside in favor of breaking bread, telling stories, and celebrating a communal moment of peace and good will—that is, at least until the Black Friday sales begin. 

     
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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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