Member Blogs > Books Tell You Why

  • Top Books by State: Massachusetts

    Tue, 24 Nov 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    As one of the thirteen original colonies, Massachusetts has a long history dating back to the very beginnings of America. Massachusetts history begins with Plymouth colony and was the setting for numerous events throughout the making of the nation. The state has been a major player history, academics, and industry throughout the entire existence of the country. While numerous important figures—both historical and literary—hail from Massachusetts, today we continue our bookish journey through the America by taking an in depth look at some of the best quotes from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, a book that was not only a Read More
  • Collectible Irish Literature

    Thu, 12 Nov 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
     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 Read More
  • Nine of the Best Quotes from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

    Tue, 10 Nov 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    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 Read More
  • San Francisco's Rare Book Scene

    Thu, 05 Nov 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    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 Read More
  • The Life and Work of D.H. Lawrence

    Tue, 03 Nov 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    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: Read More
  • How to Find the Value of a Rare Book

    Thu, 29 Oct 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    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 Read More
  • Top Books by State: Maryland

    Tue, 27 Oct 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    As one of the thirteen original colonies, Maryland's history is as old as America itself. Know primarily around the country for mining Annapolis, and The Chesapeake Bay, Maryland is a beautiful state with much to offer both in the way of tourism and literature. In today's continuation of our Top Books by State series, we take a look at two books both set in Maryland but that explore two very different sides of the state. Set respectively in a fishing village in World War II or an antebellum plantation, both of these Maryland books belong on everyone's must-read list. Read More
  • Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Uri Shulevitz

    Thu, 22 Oct 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Each year, thousands of children's books are published in America to the delight of parents and children alike. While many of those books are wonderful, an ALA committee comes together each year to honor the best illustrated books of the year. The most innovative books are nominated for the Caldecott Medal. In 1969, The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship, illustrated by Uri Shulevitz was awarded the Caldecott Medal. Join us as we continue our Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series by examining Shulevitz' long and honored career: Read More
  • How to Display Rare Books

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    When you’re developing a rare book collection, chances are good that you want to be able to display it. After all, one of the joys of having a rare book collection is getting a chance to look at it. Yet you may know that some ways of displaying your rare books are better than others for purposes of preservation. To be sure, you don’t want to display your collection in a manner that puts the books at risk of damage. For most collectors, displaying closed rare books requires considerations for exhibiting the objects on shelves (i.e., when you’re not opening Read More
  • Most Wanted Rare Books

    Thu, 15 Oct 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    What are the most wanted rare books? Yes, yes, we know—this is a wholly subjective question. Certainly, the definition of a rare book extends far beyond its market value, and what may be the most desirable rare book to one person might not be desirable at all to another. Today, however, we want to talk about the most wanted rare books in terms of market value and what kind of hefty price you might expect to pay for certain rare books at auction. As times change, rare book values also change. Accordingly, the “most wanted” rare books today may not Read More
  • John McCain's Literary Farewell

    Tue, 13 Oct 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    In the introduction to his last work, The Travails of Persiles and Sigismunda (1617), Cervantes writes what’s often considered to be one of literature’s most beautiful farewell messages. In it, the creator of Don Quixote (1605) discusses his ailing health, and recalls encountering a young admirer on the road to a nearby inn. The two ride together and chat for a while and ultimately part ways, giving Cervantes occasion to reflect poignantly on his life and works. The anecdote, though relatively full of good cheer and fellow feeling on its face, is tinged with a lingering melancholy that makes the Read More
  • Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Ed Emberley

    Thu, 08 Oct 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    The Caldecott Medal is awarded every year to a book whose illustrations represent the highest quality in the field. 1968's winner has dedicated his life not only to producing beautiful illustrations for children's books, but also to creating books that teach children how to create their own art. His dedication to art has inspired countless children, including his own, both of whom have followed his and his author wife's path to become illustrators and writers themselves. Join us as we continue our Caldecott Medal Winning Illustrators series by taking a look at the long career of the 1968 winner, Ed Emberley. Read More
  • The Library of Congress and Rare Books

    Tue, 06 Oct 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Have you ever looked into the resources held by the Library of Congress? Are you interested in a wide variety of archives and exhibits dedicated to rare books, materials, and related ephemera? Washington, D.C. obviously has a number of notable attractions for anyone interested in history—and book history in particular. Yet you’d be crazy to visit Washington, D.C. without making a stop into the Library of Congress. And if you’re interested in conducting research into a specific writer or thinker, there’s a good chance the Library of Congress has some holdings that could be of specific interest to you. We Read More
  • Austin's Rare Book Scene

    Thu, 01 Oct 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    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 Read More
  • John Newbery: The Father of Children's Literature

    Tue, 29 Sep 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    John Newbery was born in 1713 in Berkshire, England. The son of a farmer, he saw to his own education and through his efforts became apprenticed to a printer when he was sixteen years old. Eventually, the business was sold and Newbery's continued efforts with the new owner, William Carnahan, resulted in him being left the business along with Carnahan's brother when he passed away. Now in charge of the press, Newbery saw a place in the market and used his literary and sales sense to create a not only a new genre of literature but cause it to thrive Read More
  • Alice Adams: Master of the Short Story

    Thu, 24 Sep 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Short story writer and novelist Alice Adams was born in 1926 in Virginia. She studied at Radcliffe College during which she also attended writing classes at Harvard University. She worked clerical positions in medical offices for many years and throughout her marriage. Toward the end of her marriage, a therapist suggested she quit writing and continue with her marriage. Adams applied the exact opposite advise and to great success. Throughout her career, she published numerous novels and short stories, twenty-five of which were originally published the prestigious magazine, The New Yorker. Though Adams' novels were never particularly critically acclaimed, she Read More
  • Top Books by State: Louisiana

    Tue, 22 Sep 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Today we continue our Top Books by State series with a close look at some of the best books from Louisiana. Louisiana is an eclectic mix of small town, big city, and bayou, making it a popular destination for American and international tourists alike. Perhaps best known for its annual Mardi Gras festival, New Orleans is a vibrant mix of culture, reflected in its music, food, and people. Its Cajun and Creole cultures have their roots in French, African, and French Canadian cultures respectively and there is also an influence from Haitian immigration. Let's take a look at some of Read More
  • An Eoin Colfer Primer

    Thu, 17 Sep 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Eoin Colfer writes fantasy adventure books intended for kids in grades 5-9. His books appeal to a much broader audience, but that is the target group. Colfer grew up in Wexford, on the Southeast coast of Ireland with four brothers. His father was an artist, elementary school teacher, and historian. His mother was a drama teacher and stage writer. He was encouraged to appreciate the arts and writing and began writing in elementary school by composing Viking stories based on the history he was being taught. His first work was a class play called Norse Gods. He got a university Read More
  • A Look Inside Presidential Libraries

    Tue, 15 Sep 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Today is the anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's birthday. In addition to having been an exceptional statesman, Lincoln, like many of America's forefathers was also a prolific reader, amassing an impressive personal library. In honor of the late, great president, we've put together a post to give you a look inside presidential libraries. Read More
  • Top Books by State: Kansas

    Thu, 10 Sep 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    The next stop on our literary journey throughout America in our Top Books by State series is Kansas. This Midwestern state is primarily known for its location in the heart of the Great Plains. While Kansas is one of the country's largest producer of wheat, corn, soybeans, and sorghum, it's not just farmland. The state is home to several metropolitan centers namely Wichita and Kansas City. Today, Kansas is mostly associated with farmland, but at the time of it's entry into the union, the decision of whether or not to be a free or a slave-holding state led to great Read More
  • The Art and Life of Eric Carle

    Tue, 08 Sep 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Few children's book illustrators create work as recognizable as that of Eric Carle. His work has been published across the world, translated into sixty-six languages. His dedication to creating fun, playful books for young children has spanned over four decades and has resulted in books that generations of children have not only loved, but have grown up to share with their own children. Let's take a closer look at the life and work of one of children's book illustration's most celebrated artists: Read More
  • In Defense of Book Collecting

    Thu, 03 Sep 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    There are so many different ways to collect books, and never-ending variety when it comes to shaping a book collection and deciding what you will collect. Some book collectors focus on completion, or collecting all of a particular author or publisher’s printed works. Other collectors are more esoteric, making their own rules for what belongs (and what doesn’t) in the collection. Book collectors have widely disparate sums of money to spend on book collections, and developing a collection certainly does not have to involve spending a substantial amount of money. To be sure, many collectors do spend a lot of Read More
  • Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Evaline Ness

    Tue, 01 Sep 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    The Caldecott Medal is awarded annually to one of the best illustrated children's books published that year. Additionally, a handful of other worthy books are given the Caldecott Honor as runners-up.The winner of the 1966 medal has the unique of being named a Caldecott Honor recipient not for three years in a row before she finally was given the medal for Sam, Bangs and Moonshine. Join us today in our Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series as we take a look at the art and career of Evaline Ness: Read More
  • Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Beni Montresor

    Thu, 27 Aug 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    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 Read More
  • The Difference Between Having a Book Collection and Having a Library

    Wed, 26 Aug 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Do you have a personal library, or do you have a collection? And is there really a difference between the two? It depends on who you ask. In general, we do think a book collection is distinct from a personal library, although the two are not necessarily separate from one another. Why does it matter? Well, the way in which you might conceive of and shape a personal library is likely to be quite different from the way in which you might conceive of and shape a book collection. Read More
  • Unexpected Meetings Between Legendary Authors and Celebrities

    Thu, 20 Aug 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Authors are contributors to their culture, and as part of the job, they tend to cross paths with their famous contemporaries. These can be other authors, artists, actors, leaders, and cultural icons, and at times can create some rather unlikely pairings. Here are a few of these moments immortalized on camera. Read More
  • Do I Have a First Edition?

    Tue, 18 Aug 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Is it a first edition? This is a question that many people ask when they discover what they think might be a rare and valuable book at a flea market, in a thrift shop, or in a box in a family member’s attic. Even if you’re not a rare book collector and you don’t know much about rare books in general, you’ve probably heard the term “first edition,” and you likely associate the phrase with an item of value. Everybody wants to have a first edition, right? Generally speaking, a first edition of a book often will have significantly more Read More
  • Remembering Neil Armstrong

    Thu, 13 Aug 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    On August 25, 2012, the world lost a truly great man: Neil Armstrong. The first man to walk on the moon, Armstrong inspired a nation--and generations--with the hope and excitement of space exploration. Born August 5, 1930 in Wapakoneta, Ohio, Armstrong discovered his love for flight very early. By the age of 16, he'd already earned his student license. When he began at Purdue University, it was to pursue a degree in aeronautical engineering under a full scholarship from the US Navy. However, when the Korean War broke out, Armstrong's education was interrupted by the call of duty. He flew Read More
  • Best Bookish Podcasts for Collectors and Book Enthusiasts

    Wed, 12 Aug 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Would you currently describe yourself as a book collector? Are you interested in becoming a book collector anytime soon? If you’re intrigued by book collecting and you also like podcasts, we have some recommendations for you. For example, perhaps you want to learn more about tips for book collecting while you’re jogging, riding public transit, or driving in your car? There’s a podcast for that. Or, maybe, you’re interested in learning more about recent rare book acquisitions at special collections libraries. There are also podcasts that can give you access to the information and stories you’re seeking. The following are Read More
  • Top Books By State: Kentucky

    Tue, 11 Aug 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Next up on our state-by-state tour of America is Kentucky. This southern state is most internationally known for being the headquarters of the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant chain, but within the United States, we know there's a lot more to it than that. Kentucky is right on the Mason Dixon line, marking the end of the north and the beginning of the south. Kentucky is bluegrass music and bourbon, the Kentucky Derby and college basketball, moonshine and coal mining, and so much more. It's both rural and metropolitan. Eastern Kentucky is home to part of the Appalachian Mountains while further Read More
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