Member Blogs > Books Tell You Why

  • 10 Books to Read This Summer

    Fri, 22 Jun 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    What is it about summer that makes it the perfect time to pick up a new book or to reacquaint ourselves with an old favorite? Perhaps it’s the longer days and warmer nights that give us the illusion that we have more time to spend reading for leisure. Maybe it’s a vacation on the horizon that will provide some uninterrupted down time to dig into a good book. If you’re looking for summer book recommendations, we’ve got you covered. From mysteries and thrillers to classics and young adult literature, our list has something for everyone. Here are ten books that Read More
  • Lengthy Books to Read or Add to Your Collection on the Summer Solstice

    Thu, 21 Jun 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Summer is officially here in the northern hemisphere!  What better way to spend your extra daylight than by grabbing a favorite book to read or exploring a used or rare book store in search of a collectible? We love a good summer read, whether you plan to enjoy it on the beach, in your backyard, at a lake house, or in the comfort of your air conditioned home. Check back tomorrow for some of our favorite books to read in the summer months. For now, we got thinking about some of our favorite "long" books. After all, today marks the Read More
  • A.A. Milne's Complicated Relationship with P.G. Wodehouse

    Wed, 20 Jun 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Alan Alexander Milne is best known for creating the characters of Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin, and company. Yet A.A. Milne wrote much more than children's stories; he penned detective novels, screenplays, and poetry. His complex relationship with P.G. Wodehouse had a significant impact on both authors, but frequently gets overlooked. Read More
  • Literature's Best Quotes About Fathers and the History of Father's Day

    Fri, 15 Jun 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Celebrations of fatherhood exist around the world. The U.S. celebration of Father's Day has become popular in many nations and most commonly is celebrated on the third Sunday in June (that's in two days, if you still need to purchase a gift!). While the U.S. celebration has its modern roots in the early 20th century, days devoted to celebrating fatherhood can be traced back to the Middle Ages. Read More
  • How Harriet Beecher Stowe (and Lincoln) Freed the Slaves

    Thu, 14 Jun 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    In the mid-eighteen hundreds, women had no voice in American politics. Yet one woman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, played a central role in triggering the Civil War and bringing about the abolition of slavery. Prior to Stowe’s novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, abolitionists were considered an extremist group—even in the North. Yet the publication of Uncle Tom changed everything. In honor of her birthday, let's take a look at Harriet Beecher Stowe's influence. Read More
  • Collecting the Works of President and Peace Prize Winner, Jimmy Carter

    Tue, 12 Jun 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    “To be true to ourselves, we must be true to others.” ~Jimmy Carter, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1977 Do you have a collection of books by U.S. presidents? Or, are you interested in Nobel Peace Prize winners, twentieth century history, or human rights? If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, the works of Jimmy Carter should be on your radar. Read More
  • Collecting the Works of Saul Bellow

    Sun, 10 Jun 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    "A novel is balanced between a few true impressions and the multitude of false ones that make up most of what we call life." So spoke Saul Bellow, one of the greatest American authors of the twentieth century. Rare book collectors have consistently been interested in Bellow's works, and that interest will only grow as his books get more scarce over time. Read More
  • Ten Facts about Legendary Author Charles Dickens

    Sat, 09 Jun 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Born on February 7, 1812, Charles Dickens hardly seemed destined for greatness. Yet he rose to become one of the preeminent authors of Victorian England, and his works are now beloved by readers and rare book collectors around the world. Dickens passed away on June 9, 1870. In honor of his life and work, here are ten facts about the legendary author.  Read More
  • Caldecott Winning Illustrators: Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire

    Thu, 07 Jun 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Teamwork makes the dream work. And in the case of Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire, that dream became beautiful illustrations that reached a world-wide audience. Indeed, the d’Aulaire’s are a remarkable artistic pair, completing almost all of their well-known work together. Continuing our quest to examine Caldecott award-winning artists more closely, today we turn our attention to Ingri and Edgar d’Aulaire. The couple won the Caldecott Award in 1940 for their book Abraham Lincoln. What about their artistic style appealed to so many? What else are they famous for? What should you know if you’d like to begin collecting their Read More
  • The Importance of Remembering D-Day

    Wed, 06 Jun 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Today marks the anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. The day is commonly referred to as D-Day, and nearly everyone knows that. But, do we remember its significance? Or are we quick to dismiss it as another marker of a long-past historic battle? Have the intermittent years of war since numbed us to the cost of it all? As the years tick on, we have fewer and fewer first-hand witnesses of these events in our midst. The unimaginably brave men who stormed the beaches and survived that gruesome day (and the ensuing Battle of Normandy, Read More
  • An Economist for the People: John Kenneth Galbraith

    Tue, 05 Jun 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    John Kenneth “Ken” Galbraith was one of the most well-known economists and diplomats of the 20th century. Born in Ontario, Galbraith received his masters and doctorates in agricultural economics from University of California Berkeley. He went on to teach at both Harvard and Princeton University, and he held fellowships at the University of Cambridge in England. Galbraith published widely and became well known for his positions as a diplomat and as the editor of Fortune magazine during World War II. His role was exceedingly important at a time when understanding the politics and economy of agriculture was necessary for a Read More
  • FAQ – Book Care and Storage

    Fri, 01 Jun 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    We receive many emails from book collectors and individuals who have purchased books from our inventory. We’re asked a lot of questions about book collecting, the history of a certain collectible or title, etc. We love hearing from you, and we try our best to answer your inquiries. Recently, many of you seem to be wondering about book care, particularly book storage, and how to store your books in a way that ensures the preservation of your collection. We thought we’d share some answers and some of our favorite resources. Read More
  • An Introduction to McSweeney's Publishing Company

    Thu, 31 May 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Have you heard of McSweeney’s publishing company? Perhaps you’re familiar with the humor website titled McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Or perhaps you subscribe to Timothy McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern. Have you read any of the books that McSweeney’s has published? The company has helped many authors get their start in the industry. For this reason, and many more, McSweeney’s publishing company may be of interest to book collectors and humorists alike. Read More
  • Collecting Franz Kafka's The Trial

    Wed, 30 May 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    If you haven’t read Franz Kafka’s 1914 masterpiece The Trial, we recommend picking up a copy today. But if you have read the work and have considered its significance not only as a piece of modernist fiction but also as a literary work that comments upon the bureaucratic idiocy of government and the perceived rule of law, then you might want to do more than just read this book. Indeed, you might want to start a collection of various editions and translations of the novel. Collecting copies of the book, as well as ephemera related to it, won’t be an Read More
  • Did You Know? Nine Facts About Ian Fleming and James Bond

    Mon, 28 May 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Born on May 28, 1908, Ian Fleming would go on to create the most enduring literary figure since Sherlock Holmes. Rare book collectors are fascinated with the legacy of Ian Fleming and James Bond. Here's a look at little known facts about Fleming and his world-famous protagonist. Read More
  • Five Books for Children on Memorial Day

    Fri, 25 May 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    While decorating the graves of the deceased is a common and ancient custom, the American practice of decorating the graves of fallen soldiers dates back to the end of the Civil War. The first recorded instance took place in Virginia in 1861. Women in Savannah, Georgia did the same the following year, decorating the graves of Confederate soldiers, and in 1863, a commemoration was held in Gettysburg. Honoring soldiers lost in battle became even more common after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. While the practice, originally referred to as Decoration Day, became very common in the south, it did Read More
  • Legendary Author Philip Roth, Age 85, Has Died

    Thu, 24 May 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    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 Read More
  • Collecting the Works of Philip Pullman

    Wed, 23 May 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Collecting the works of a present-day author is appealing to many collectors. For starters, if the author is alive, a collector’s chance of meeting him or her in person is significantly higher than if the author was dead. Likewise, he or she may be putting more signed books into the world, just waiting to be scooped up by a diligent collector. Living authors may hold speaking events, book signings, etc. which are great opportunities for collecting ephemera. And, if the author in question is still publishing new work, then a collector can still feel the thrill of adding yet-to-be-seen titles Read More
  • Collecting Books by Buzz Aldrin

    Tue, 22 May 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    In 1969 American astronaut Buzz Aldrin inspired people all across the nation when he and Neil Armstrong became the first two people to walk on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. He was born Edwin Aldrin Jr. in Glen Ridge, New Jersey in 1930, and he got the nickname “Buzz” (which he legally adopted in 1988) from his sister who struggled to pronounce the word “brother” and said “buzzer” instead. Upon graduation from high school, Aldrin turned down a full academic scholarship to MIT in favor of attending the United States Military Academy at West Point. He graduated with a Read More
  • The History of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

    Fri, 18 May 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    While the Hans Christian Andersen Medal is often touted as the Nobel Prize of children’s literature, the $600,000 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award is the actual title holder for the richest prize in children’s lit—and with a list of honorees that includes Maurice Sendak and Philip Pullman, it may one day grow to match the earlier prize in prestige. After all, the award—which is given “by the Swedish people to the world” to one or more international authors, illustrators, oral storytellers, or organizations each year—resembles the Nobel in its lofty aims of promoting literary idealism in its mission to promote children’s Read More
  • Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Thomas Handforth

    Thu, 17 May 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    The Caldecott Medal was first awarded in 1937 and in the years since, it has honored some of the best and and most innovative artists working in the field of children's literature. For collectors, Caldecott Medal books are some of the most sought-after picture books. Likewise, these titles serve as a guidepost for parents searching for quality books to purchase for their children. Continuing our series on Caldecott Medal winners, we turn our attention to illustrator Thomas Handforth. Read More
  • Tom Wolfe: Fiction, Journalism, and Legacy

    Wed, 16 May 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Tom Wolfe, acclaimed journalist and writer, has died at the age of 88. In his honor, we revisit his life and work today. The prospect of writing a blog post on Tom Wolfe and his influence is daunting. The man who has been such a presence in the world of American letters these past forty years, having authored The Bonfire of the Vanities (1987) and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1968), looms large, not just over a new generation of writers and journalists, but over the blogosphere in particular. He did, after all, call out blogs for being "a universe Read More
  • A Glossary of Book Binding Terms

    Tue, 15 May 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    For anyone interested in book collecting, understanding the terminology used in the book buying and selling industry is essential. When it comes to a book’s binding, there are many descriptors that are used. Do you know the difference between half bound and quarter bound? What does it mean if a book’s been shaken? Can you describe the difference between Octavo and Quarto? Let us help with this glossary of book binding terms. Read More
  • Who Is Mother Goose? The Curious Mystery of Everyone's Favorite Mother

    Fri, 11 May 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    With Mother's Day approaching, we thought it would be a fine time to revisit the history of everyone's favorite mother: Mother Goose. Whether she exists in your mind as a clucking bird, a gentle elderly woman, or a combination of both, the image of Mother Goose is universally synonymous with joy, childhood, storytelling, and safety. Her origins reach back to the sixteenth century, prior to the birth of the fairy tale, and her future attaches to the minds of millions of young children every year. But who is Mother Goose? Who came up with her, and what exactly does she Read More
  • Best Books From Kenya

    Wed, 09 May 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Are you traveling to Nairobi or hoping to learn more about nations in East Africa through fiction? We have some literature recommendations for you to check out. Keep reading for a list of just a handful of the best books from Kenya. Read More
  • Six Interesting Facts About Anne Rice

    Tue, 08 May 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Horror novelist Anne Rice is best known for her Vampire Chronicles and Mayfair Witches series. Since publishing her first novel, Interview With the Vampire in the 1970s, she has published extensively in both the horror and erotic fiction genres, becoming one of the most popular writers living today. Her work has explored the nature of good, evil, and humanity through the lens of horror fiction and monsters like vampires, witches, werewolves, and mummies. Her work has been adapted into movies, comics, musicals, and she and her son Christopher Rice are currently working to adapt her fiction into a television series Read More
  • What Is a Frontispiece?

    Fri, 04 May 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    We think it’s safe to assume that if you’re reading this article you enjoy books. You also probably believe, as we do, that books are important physical objects: they are important collectibles and keepsakes that you can feel, hold in your hand, page through, and examine the condition of. Indeed, we like to place an emphasis on the physical copy of a book as an object to be treasured. In our efforts to do so, we’d like to examine some of the features that make books, especially rare books, so special. Today, we’re focusing on frontispieces. What is a frontispiece? Read More
  • Collecting the Works of Dean Koontz

    Thu, 03 May 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Like the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, Dean Koontz is a man of many names. Following the advice of an early publisher, Koontz determined that he might alienate fans of one genre by publishing under his own name in another. Given how many genres Koontz was going to publish in, it was necessary to have a whole host of pseudonyms (like David Axton, Leigh Nichols, and Brian Coffey) to preserve his image across his various milieus, which ranged from horror and thrillers to satire, science fiction, and mystery. Given that he was, during his era of peak productivity, publishing as many Read More
  • "Bulgakov Diplomacy" and Redesigning the Contemporary Russian Literature Canon

    Wed, 02 May 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    Generally speaking, 19th-century Russian novels have been read in literature classes across the globe for many decades. From Tolstoy’s War and Peace and Anna Karenina to Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, lists of classic literature would not be complete without numerous additions from the Russian “canon.” But what do most of us know about contemporary Russian literature? That’s the question that was posed in an article that appeared in Foreign Policy Magazine. In short, literature from the Cold War era and the fiction from the years following the disintegration of the Soviet Union has not been circulated Read More
  • A May Day Round-Up

    Tue, 01 May 2018 08:00:00 Permalink
    May 1, commonly known as "May Day", is upon us. For many, this is an unofficial start to the warm weather season, a chance to get outdoors and celebrate, maybe even dance around a traditional maypole. For many others, this day symbolizes much more and is spent remembering or participating in labor protests and worker's rights movements. After all, May 1 is not only May Day but also International Worker's Day in many locations. We've written in the past about literature that deals with this particular day in history, and we thought we'd share some noteworthy articles and titles with you today. Read More
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