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Veterans Day Spotlight: The Life & Works of Tim O'Brien

"I carry the memories of the ghosts of a place called Vietnamthe people of Vietnam, my fellow soldiers. More importantly, I carry the weight of responsibility and a sense of abiding guilt." Tim O'Brien, in an interview with NPR.

Tim O’Brien, most notably acclaimed for his stories on the War in Vietnam, was born on October 1, 1947. Today, as the United States celebrates Veterans Day, we thought we'd take a closer look at O'Brien's life and work.

     
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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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J.D. Salinger's Place in Modern Literature

By Kristin Masters. Aug 29, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature, Modern First Editions

J.D. Salinger authored Catcher in the Rye (1951) and numerous short stories. Known for being reclusive following the massive fame garnered by The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger rarely gave interviews. In 1974, after a 20 year break from the media, Salinger spoke via telephone to the New York Times. The interviewer asked him about his absence from publishing and the public eye and he responded: "There is a marvelous peace in not publishing. It's peaceful. Still. Publishing is a terrible invasion of my privacy. I like to write. I love to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure." 

Because Salinger fiercely guarded his privacy, we're left with many more questions than answers about his life and experiences. We can turn to Salinger's biographers or to the memoir written by his daughter, Margaret, titled Dream Catcher for some telling information, but each written discussion of his life has in turn been disputed by other family members. 

     
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Books That Inspired Award-Winning Movies and Performances

By Kristin Masters. Aug 25, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Movie Tie-Ins, Modern First Editions

Since the invention of cinema, directors and producers have borrowed stories from the pages of books to grace the silver screen. And exceptional books often make exceptional films, as evidenced by the number of award-winning moviesand performancesbased on books. In honor of legendary actor Sean Connery's birthday, here's a look at some favorites, which have remained popular both on screen and among collectors of modern first editions. 

     
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Remembering Legendary Author Ian Fleming

Everyone has a favorite super spya character whose cunning nature, quick thinking, or pure mental and physical strength keep us rooting for them long after their books, TV series, or films have reached "the end." Before common names like Jack Bauer, Ethan Hunt, and Jason Bourne dotted the super spy landscape, another famous spy arrested our imagination: James Bond. The dashing and debonair 007 was the creation of Ian Fleming, who has earned a reputation as a legendary author. Yesterday marked the anniversary of Ian Fleming's death. In his honor, we take a look back at his life and his inspiration for writing the iconic James Bond series.

     
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Seven Favorite (Unexpected) Romance Authors

It is officially wedding season. June is one of the most popular months to get married, and nothing says "love" like a romantic book. These authors have delivered true tales of romancethough many of them aren't considered "romance writers."

     
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Legendary Author Philip Roth, Age 85, Has Died

Philip Roth, award winning author and literary innovator, has died at the age of 85. Roth is well known for his semi-autobiographical texts which often blur the line between fiction and reality. What isn't blurry is Roth's influence and impact on the literary community and on readers and book collectors around the world. With well-known novels like American Pastoral and The Plot Against America, among numerous others, Roth proved himself an astute observer of American culture with all its cracks and flaws. His are novels of satire and American-Jewish life, each complex in the journey it takes readers on. Even though we're afraid we'll only scratch the surface, today, we'd like to look at Roth's many literary contributions and achievements. 

     
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Tips For Collecting Mark Twain Books

Born November 30, 1835, Samuel Langhorne Clemens (pen name, Mark Twain) would become one of the most beloved American writers of all time. As a writer, humorist, speaker, and publisher, Mark Twain became a household name. His works are perennial favorites among readers and collectors, and in recent years, rare Mark Twain books and ephemera have gained even more value. Let's reexamine his remarkable life and work.
     
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Franklin Library Editions: Ideal for Book Collectors?

By Kristin Masters. Apr 16, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Modern First Editions, Rare Books

The Franklin Library, affiliated with the Franklin Mint, produced classic books, designed especially for collectors. Many of these publications have become more scarce over the years, but they've remained perennial favorites among many collectors. Why are Franklin Library editions so sought after? What should you know if you're hoping to collect Franklin Library editions?

     
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First Books vs. First Editions: The Difference and Significance

By Nick Ostdick. Apr 7, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting, Modern First Editions

Everyone thinks they understand the value of a first edition. The first printing of a book automatically makes it rare, right? Because X or Y novel is a first run, it’s immediately valuable and worthy of collecting, yes? While this is certainly the case with a number of books throughout the literary landscape, first editions are not necessarily sought after by collectors just because they’re the first run. In fact, when you think about it, every book ever published has a first edition printing, but some were not lucky enough to see a second or third.

One factor that truly makes a book rare, valuable, and the apple of a collector’s eye is the combination of a first edition and a first bookthat is, the first printing of an author’s first novel, usually an author of great regard or with a long, profound literary career. These literary Easter eggs are usually printed in small quantitiesremember: we’re talking about first novels from predominantly debut authorsand are often hardcover and ornate or individualized in cover design as subsequent printings tend to reduce artistic quality for mass reproduction. By the time these authors publish their second, third, or fourth books, first print runs usually increase based on demand, which makes the first editions of these first novels even more rare and valuable.

     
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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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