Member Blogs > Books Tell You Why

  • Important Collections of the Work of Legendary Photographer Ansel Adams

    Thu, 20 Feb 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    You’ve heard the adage "a picture’s worth a thousand words." And it’s true. Pictures have power, and since the dawn of photography as we know it, individuals have been using photos to tell stories, influence others, and make a difference. Read More
  • The Essential Amy Tan

    Wed, 19 Feb 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Amy Tan is arguably one of the most famous Chinese American writers today. Her novels, short stories, and essays are filled with intimate details about growing up as a first generation American and about what it is like to be both separate and a part of Chinese culture. Her unique yet honest and heartfelt examination of the American experience has led to the majority of her books topping best seller lists. She is often lauded and loved, and her work has been anthologized and studied in numerous text books and classrooms in the decades since her first novel was published Read More
  • Toni Morrison...Children's Book Author?

    Tue, 18 Feb 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Toni Morrison is described as an American book editor, college professor, essayist, and novelist. Her first novel was published in 1970. She gained national attention and the National Book Critics Circle Award for the acclaimed Song of Solomon in 1977. She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1987 for Beloved and received worldwide recognition with the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. But did you know she's also a children's book author? Read More
  • Carl Bernstein: Mystery Writer

    Fri, 14 Feb 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    The Big Sleep (1939). The Maltese Falcon (1929). All the President’s Men (1974). These three books represent some of the best mystery writing produced in the last century. And yet, one of these things is not like the others: where Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett honed and perfected a particular kind of detective novel, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward’s account of corruption and fraud within the Nixon administration leverages the conventions of those novels to present us with something all too true. Though All the President’s Men isn't a novel in the strict sense, it often reads like one—a good Read More
  • Is Book Collecting Worth It?

    Thu, 13 Feb 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    As lovers of rare books and ephemera, it can be difficult to hear someone ask the question, “is book collecting worth it?” Establishing a collection can bring a lifetime of joy, from seeking out new objects at home and abroad to cataloguing those items with care. And if you’re lucky, your collection might just have great significance to others, too. A study conducted by researchers at King’s College London determined that upwards of 30 percent of adults participate in some form of collecting, from books and ephemera to travel souvenirs and memorabilia. Psychologists have long attempted to classify and define Read More
  • Top Books by State: Illinois

    Wed, 12 Feb 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Today we continue our literary journey with a stop in Illinois. This Midwestern state is known for being a mixture of urban and rural, city and farmland, as well as for being home to many of the different cultures that make up America. Illinois is famous for corn and Abraham Lincoln, for gangsters roaming Chicago in the 1930s and for sports. Illinois boasts cities, farms, wetlands and forests, all situated in the heart of country. Illinois is home to Chicago, perhaps the most important of the Midwestern cities, and while Illinois is considered by many to simply be a flyover Read More
  • How Much Is My Rare Book Worth?

    Tue, 11 Feb 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Determining the value of a book or an ephemeral object can be very difficult. While certain texts are highly sought after under almost any circumstances, some items can be very tricky. Some old books are extremely valuable, yet some old books have almost no market value at all. Some books with inscriptions have significant market value, while many books with personal or sentimental notes have little to no market value. Although the condition of a book will almost always impact the object’s value on the market, some books in quite poor condition can still be extremely valuable depending upon the Read More
  • Five Interesting Facts About Sinclair Lewis

    Fri, 07 Feb 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    American author and Nobel laureate, Sinclair Lewis, was born in 1885 in the small Minnesota town of Sauk Centre. He was the youngest son of the town doctor. Unlike his two older brothers, he was awkward, gangly, sensitive and bad at sports. He also had very bad acne and was teased mercilessly for his looks. His was a lonely childhood. However, he showed an early aptitude for writing and found an escape in journaling and books. He left Sauk Centre at the age of seventeen to attend Oberlin Academy (Oberlin College) for a year. After his year at Oberlin, he Read More
  • Remembering Ronald Reagan Through the Written Word

    Thu, 06 Feb 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    When one hears the name “Ronald Reagan” many titles come to mind—actor, politician, president. And while in this day and age, many Hollywood stars participate in politics and make their political voices heard (aided, of course, by massive social media platforms and the resulting exposure), thirty years ago when Reagan made the jump from actor to Governor of California and, subsequently, to President of the United States, he was a bit of a trailblazer. Indeed, Reagan’s charisma charmed the Republican party and the American people. When he left office in 1989, his approval rating was a sky-high 68%, making him Read More
  • Is Book Collecting a Dying Art?

    Wed, 05 Feb 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Is book collecting a dying art? The scores of collectors, young and old, who travel long distances and scour the internet for new additions to their collections would certainly tell you, quite vehemently: No! Book collecting is not a dying art. Despite the fact that we’re now in the third decade of the twenty-first century and everything seems to have gone digital, the physical book—and the desire to collect it, to preserve it, to archive it—remains alive and well. From the rise of new rare and independent bookstores to book collecting prizes and coursework in rare books and ephemera, new Read More
  • A James A. Michener Tribute

    Mon, 03 Feb 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    February 3 is James A. Michener's birthday. The legendary American author wrote nearly 50 books in his lifetime, and though he passed away in 1997 at the age of 90 years, he has a strong following to this day. We are big fans of Michener at Books Tell You Why, and it seems many of you are, as well. One of our most read and debated posts to date lists some of our picks of the top Michener works. We followed that post up to include a couple more favorites. In honor of Michener's birthday, we're linking to these posts today Read More
  • James Joyce and the Ulysses Publication Saga

    Sun, 02 Feb 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was one of 10 children of May and John Joyce. He was born in Dublin in 1882. The family is described as a bourgeois Catholic family. James attended a Jesuit boarding school until 1891 when financial worries meant the family could no longer afford to send him there. He was home-schooled for a while, spent a short time at a Christian Brothers school, and started at Belvedere College, a Jesuit day school. Read More
  • The Six Wives of Norman Mailer

    Fri, 31 Jan 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    "Notorious philanderer," "egomaniac," "pugnacious" and "pompous" are a few of the milder epitaphs that have been used to describe controversial and larger-than-life Norman Mailer. His New York Times obituary was even titled, "Norman Mailer, Towering Writer With Matching Ego, Dies at 84." Known in the literary world as one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, Mailer won two Pulitzer Prizes in literature and one National Book Award. He is credited with having pioneered creative nonfiction as a genre, also called New Journalism. During his life he became as famous for his relationships with women as he did for Read More
  • How Do I Establish a Rare Book Collection?

    Wed, 29 Jan 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Are you thinking about starting a rare book collection? The prospect of establishing a collection of rare books, ephemera, and other print objects can be daunting when you do not have much background knowledge about the subject. Yet we want to emphasize that anyone can create a rare book collection. If you have an interest in rare books and the desire to establish a collection, you’re already on your way. We want to give you some important tips concerning the logistics of starting your collection. Read More
  • Susan Sontag: Controversial Cultural Critic

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    “Words alter, words add, words subtract.” Susan Sontag: philosopher, literary critic, academic, political commentator, humanist, essayist, novelist, celebrity, diva, activist, zeitgeist; there is no one label in her repertoire that she didn’t engender a polarizing opinion on. With her trademark hair boasting an austere white stripe, Sontag shot to celebrity status in the 1960s, when she not only branded herself physically, but also made sure to be seen at shows, launches and Hollywood parties, laying the framework for a diva's reputation for haughtiness and mercurial behavior. She was observed berating any clerk or waiter who didn’t treat her with proper Read More
  • Lewis Carroll: A Man of Many Talents

    Mon, 27 Jan 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Perhaps best known as the author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the man born as Charles Lutwidge Dodgson and known as Lewis Carroll was truly a Renaissance man of the Victorian era. Read More
  • Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Marie Hall Ets

    Wed, 22 Jan 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Reading is one of the most fundamental and important skills we learn as children. The books we encounter as children teach us lessons, offer us comfort, and hopefully build a foundational love of reading and story that stay with us for the rest of our lives. For these reasons, children's books are some of the most valued and beloved books in literature. To that end, each year the Caldecott Medal is awarded to a children's book that exemplifies the best and most innovative work in the field of children's book illustration. These books are vibrant, relevant, and crucial stories whose Read More
  • 7 Interesting Facts About Jack Nicklaus

    Tue, 21 Jan 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Jack Nicklaus is such a wildly accomplished golfer that listing out his achievements almost seems tedious. Though, perhaps it would reflect the slow, systematic nature of golf itself to cite each of his 18 major championship victories, his 73 PGA tour victories, and his double and triple career grand slams. After the spirit of his own writings (more on those later), however, we’ll keep the introduction brief: Jack Nicklaus is probably the greatest golfer of all time, and throughout his long and varied life and career he's done and accomplished a number of odd, surprising, and delightful things. Here are Read More
  • Susan Sontag: Controversial Cultural Critic

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    “Words alter, words add, words subtract.” Susan Sontag: philosopher, literary critic, academic, political commentator, humanist, essayist, novelist, celebrity, diva, activist, zeitgeist; there is no one label in her repertoire that she didn’t engender a polarizing opinion on. With her trademark hair boasting an austere white stripe, Sontag shot to celebrity status in the 1960s, when she not only branded herself physically, but also made sure to be seen at shows, launches and Hollywood parties, laying the framework for a diva's reputation for haughtiness and mercurial behavior. She was observed berating any clerk or waiter who didn’t treat her with proper Read More
  • A.A. Milne: More Than Just Winnie the Pooh

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Winnie the Pooh and his friends Piglet, Eeyore, and Tigger have been enchanting children for decades. While these imaginative characters are certainly the most popular creations to come from author A.A. Milne, they are not his only or first work. In fact, Winnie the Pooh came pretty late in the game, quickly overshadowing the collection of writing Milne had already produced. Along with children's literature, this versatile writer also penned adult novels and works of nonfictions, magazine articles, poetry, and scripts for stage and screen. Read More
  • What is a Rare Book?

    Wed, 15 Jan 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    We often hear about people who are starting or adding to rare book collections, but it can be difficult to know exactly what counts as a “rare” book. Indeed, you may find yourself wondering: What is a rare book? The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines something that is “rare” in a variety of ways, and some of them certainly apply to rare books. For example, the OED defines a rare object as “a thing or things . . . occurring infrequently, encountered only occasionally or at intervals, uncommon,” or “of a kind seldom found, done or occurring; unusual, uncommon, exceptional.” Read More
  • A Guide to Collecting the Works of Anchee Min

    Tue, 14 Jan 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Whether you’re just beginning to read the works of Anchee Min or are considering starting a contemporary literature collection that focuses on Min’s works, it’s essential to know more about her background to understand the potential ways of framing your collection. While many people simply collect all books written by a particular author, Min’s life story provides an interesting background for framing a larger collection that includes texts of the Chinese Cultural Revolution or the Chinese-American immigrant community in the U.S. and elsewhere. Read More
  • Top Books by State: Idaho

    Mon, 13 Jan 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    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 Read More
  • Ten Interesting Facts About Jack London

    Sun, 12 Jan 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Jack London's characteristically raw, edgy writing influenced and inspired such literary giants as Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, George Orwell and Upton Sinclair. He was also one of the first writers to gain fame and wealth from his fiction. However, London's short life was one marked by poverty and struggle from beginning to end. Here are 10 interesting facts about this often abrasive American author: Read More
  • The Writings of Former President Richard Nixon

    Thu, 09 Jan 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Former President Richard Nixon has the unique distinction of being the only president in the history of the United States government to resign from office. Known for his involvement in the Vietnam War as well as the Watergate Scandal, Nixon's political legacy is one of the more controversial moments in 20th century American history. Today we take a closer look at Nixon's presidency as well as some of the books written in his post-presidential career as a best-selling author, which detail this complicated man's place in the fabric of the country and the political views that led him to both Read More
  • Six Famous Horror Novels Based on True Stories

    Tue, 07 Jan 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    On July 26, 1984, Edward Gein died in a state mental institution. Gein's case stole the headlines in November 1957, when police went to his farmhouse to investigate the disappearance of local hardware store clerk Bernice Worden. Gein had been the last customer at the store and had been seen loitering on the premises. Officers were horrified to find Worden's corpse hanging in the barn⁠—along with a collection of household items and a suit made out of human skin, and bowls made from human skulls. It seemed that Gein was responsible for the deaths of countless victims, not just that Read More
  • Homage to the Midwest: Building a Carl Sandburg Collection

    Mon, 06 Jan 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    As a poet and writer born in Illinois in 1878, it might seem obvious that a collection of Carl Sandburg’s works would pay homage in some fashion to the Midwest. Yet more than many authors coming out of the Midwest, Carl Sandburg’s works truly conjure images of rolling prairies and Midwestern cityscapes. Although Sandburg ended up spending the last part of his life in rural Western North Carolina, the subject matter of his poems, biographical writings, and other texts always hearken back to the middle part of the country. From visualizations of cornfields and cornhuskers to biographical writings about Abraham Read More
  • Umberto Eco as Consummate Book Collector

    Sun, 05 Jan 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Umberto Eco made quite a name for himself as a philosopher, author, and semiotician. He also earned a reputation for being an enthusiastic collector of rare books. Eco amassed tens of thousands of books, and always observed that he hadn't read most of them. Yet his personal library played an important role for him as a writer, informing his books with a unique—and fascinating—intertextual layer. Read More
  • Ten Magnificent Tolkien Collectibles

    Fri, 03 Jan 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Books are their own little world, and no writer has taken this to heart quite like J.R.R. Tolkien. Through Middle-Earth, the British author imagined a land of such history and vastness that, although he has many imitators, Tolkien still has no equal. Beyond the billion-dollar films and merchandise, Tolkien has left behind an expansive bibliography which can take even the most serious collectors time to navigate. It’s not quite as hard as learning Elvish, but building the perfect Tolkien library requires a bit of enthusiastic study. Here's a look at ten magnificent items for a Tolkien collection. Read More
  • The Best of 2019: Our Top Ten Blog Posts

    Tue, 31 Dec 2019 08:00:00 Permalink
    It's hard to believe another year has come and gone. We hope your holiday season has been a wonderful one and that you're looking ahead to 2020 with joy and excitement. We like to take time at the end of each year to take stock of our work over the past 12 months. We've compiled our top posts from 2019. Thank you for reading and commenting! This community of book enthusiasts is why we do what we do. Here's to a bookish 2020! Read More
  • Showing 1-30 (of 2013 total)
  • Page 1 of 68
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
next >

Looks like you are ready to submit this application

If you are satisfied that your application is complete, go ahead and click "submit this application."
Otherwise, click "review this application" to review your answers or make additional changes.