Member Blogs > Books Tell You Why

  • Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Roger Duvoisin

    Thu, 06 May 2021 07:00:00 Permalink
    Every year, the Caldecott Medal is awarded by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association. The committee reviews children's books published throughout the year and selects one book whose art exemplifies the best of American illustration. To be named winner of the Caldecott Medal is a massive achievement and often comes as a sign that the book is destined to be loved by generations of children. These distinguished books are sought after by both children and collectors, and they occupy well-loved places on numerous shelves. Continuing our ongoing Caldecott Medal Winning Illustrators Series, Read More
  • Five Facts About Romantic Adventure Writer Janet Evanovich

    Tue, 20 Apr 2021 08:00:00 Permalink
    Janet Evanovich was born in South River, New Jersey in 1943. Evanovich has become a household name thanks to her much beloved adventure series featuring bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. A prolific writer, she has published over sixty novels, many of which have topped the New York Times Best Sellers list. Her novels are published all over the world and have been translated into more than 40 languages. In celebration of this writer's amazing career, here are five things you might not know about one of America's most loved adventure novelists. Read More
  • Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Berta and Elmer Hader

    Tue, 06 Apr 2021 07:39:00 Permalink
    Why is it that the books we read as children have such an impact on our lives? Is it because they offer some of the first reflections of the thoughts and experiences that we encounter early on? Is it because they grant us the opportunity to take in stories in a way that educates and entertains in a format perfectly geared toward that point in our development? Or maybe it's the way children's literature can transcend time and space. After all, even as we grow, it offers us an opportunity to connect with our histories as well as with the Read More
  • An Essential Guide to Dr. Seuss

    Tue, 02 Mar 2021 12:34:05 Permalink
    March 2 marks the birthday of legendary children's author and illustrator Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. Check out this collection of articles about Geisel's background, influences, and evolutio. Read More
  • Redefining the Rare Book: An Interview on Andrew Stauffer's Book Traces

    Fri, 26 Feb 2021 11:37:13 Permalink
    What makes a book rare? Can books have afterlives? And when might markings and ephemera in well-loved texts actually increase the worth of the object? Andrew Stauffer's new book, Book Traces: Nineteenth-Century Readers the Future of the Library (U of Pennsylvania Press, 2021), investigates the personal and collective narratives that arise out of nineteenth-century library books in circulation at varied institutions. Read More
  • Rare Books We Love, Just in Time for Valentine's Day

    Thu, 11 Feb 2021 08:00:00 Permalink
    When Pope Gelasius established Saint Valentine’s Day in 496 AD, he certainly had no idea that the holiday would persist for centuries. The holiday was first associated with romance and love during the High Middle Ages, thanks to the burgeoning tradition of courtly love in Geoffrey Chaucer’s day. And nothing says “love” like giving the perfect book! Here’s a look at some favorite Valentine’s Day gift ideas for the bibliophile and rare book collector. Read More
  • Top Books by State: Missouri

    Wed, 10 Feb 2021 08:00:00 Permalink
    Today we continue our literary road trip by taking a look at some of the best books set in the state of Missouri. Known for its bustling cities as well as the Ozarks, Missouri is a diverse and beautiful natural state of Missouri. St. Louis is one of the largest and most important cities in the Midwest, full of history and landmarks. The Missouri River flows into the Mississippi River here as well, which is especially notable considering the books we're focusing on today. Join us as we take a closer look at the work of Mark Twain in our Read More
  • Is My Inherited Book Collection Worth Anything?

    Thu, 04 Feb 2021 08:00:00 Permalink
    So you say you recently inherited a book collection from your grandparent, your parent, a distant family member, a neighbor, or a family friend? If you’re not familiar with the rare book trade and you don’t have too much experience buying or selling rare books, you might feel lost among the boxes or shelves. Most likely, you’re wondering if this inherited book collection is worth anything. Many rare booksellers and archivists have tales about being approached with old books that the owners believe to be valuable solely based on age or incorrect assumptions about the book’s provenance. Of course, terms Read More
  • The Best Quotes from Kate DiCamillo

    Tue, 02 Feb 2021 08:00:00 Permalink
    Good children's books focus on real, difficult topics. Love, loss, death, separation, forgiveness. The kind of issues we as adults still find ourselves struggling with long after we stop turning to books for children's to teach us the nature of such things. The best children's books address these issues while still offering up beauty and hope in their stories. One of the masters of walking this line is Kate DiCamillo. Born in Philadelphia, DiCamillo's family relocated to Florida in hopes that the climate would be better for her chronic pneumonia. Being forced to spend much of her time indoors as Read More
  • Thomas Harris: Biography and Important Works

    Thu, 28 Jan 2021 08:45:37 Permalink
    Thriller and horror have long been a part of readers’ diets. From the Gothic to Edgar Allan Poe to Stephen King, readers find joy in the macabre. One of the most popular thriller writers is Thomas Harris. Already popular through his writing, the film adaptations of his work helps to build his devoted audience. His creation of Hannibal Lector has led to television series, plays, and parody musicals about the world’s favorite cannibal and catapulted Harris into fame.  Read More
  • Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Margot Zemach

    Tue, 26 Jan 2021 08:00:00 Permalink
    The Caldecott Medal is given to one book each year that exemplifies the best work being done in children's literature. The Caldecott Medal is the highest honor for American children's books. Today we continue our Caldecott Medal Winning Illustrator Series by taking a closer look at the 1974 winner, who not only proved herself by winning this major award, but by receiving nominations for numerous other honors, such as the National Book Award, and the Hans Christian Anderson Award, for which she was nominated twice. Without further ado, the life and work of Margot Zemach: Read More
  • Should I Buy Rare Books at Auction?

    Thu, 21 Jan 2021 08:00:00 Permalink
    If you are a rare book collector, or if you’re thinking about starting a rare book collection, you might be wondering about buying at auction. Whether you’re going to travel to an auction in person or you’re browsing online auction offerings, you’ll need to think about the pros and cons of buying rare books at auction. Certainly, adding to your collection by participating in an auction can be great fun, but we want to make sure you know precisely what it is you’re getting yourself into. Here are some key questions to consider before you place a bid. Read More
  • Top Books by State: Mississippi

    Tue, 19 Jan 2021 08:00:00 Permalink
    Today in our Top Books by State series, we're taking a closer look at one of the vibrant states of the American south: Mississippi. From the Mississippi River Delta to the Gulf Coast, Mississippi is a state rich with history and natural beauty. The Delta is considered the birthplace of the blues. Numerous locations throughout the state have important sites relating to the Civil War. Mississippi is also home to a rich literary history as the home state of authors such as Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams, and John Grisham. Join us today as we explore some of the best books Read More
  • Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Gail E. Haley

    Thu, 14 Jan 2021 08:00:00 Permalink
    Since it was first established in 1938, the Caldecott Medal has been awarded annually to one book out of a carefully curated selection. The Caldecott-winning illustrators and the illustrations they so lovingly craft are representative of the best and most innovative works produced for children's books that year. These books are desirable for both parents and collectors alike, but also serve as a benchmark of quality, pushing the industry forward to greater heights each year. Continuing our Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series, today we look closer at Gail E. Haley, who both wrote and illustrated 1971's medal winner, A Story A Story. Read More
  • Fore-Edge Gilding and Decorating

    Tue, 12 Jan 2021 08:00:00 Permalink
    Storing books standing on their edges is a relatively new practice. The most common storage prior to the 16th century was to pile them horizontally with the fore-edge facing out. The fore-edge is the edge opposite the spine of the book. Identification issues were resolved by marking the books with a design on this edge or writing the book's title there. Read More
  • Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Blair Lent

    Thu, 07 Jan 2021 08:00:00 Permalink
    Established in 1938 by the American Library Association, the Cadecott Medal is given annually to “the most distinguished American picture book for children,” a book that represents the best and most innovative work in the field. Looking through the list of winners throughout the years reveals classic after classic, books that are still in circulation in libraries or sold in bookstores today. In 1973, this honor was given to Blair Lent for his illustrations in The Funny Little Woman by Arlene Mosel. Join as as we take a closer look at his career as part of our Caldecott Winning Illustrators Read More
  • The Best Literary Quotes about Winter

    Tue, 05 Jan 2021 08:00:00 Permalink
    Winter is one of the best times of year to curl up with a good book. The nights are longer, darker, and colder, and many of us spent the winter months inside trying to keep warm and turning to indoor forms of entertainment. There's just something comforting about a winter evening spent under a blanket while it's snowing outside. The following books all have something to say about the quieter, colder part of the year. If you're like me and want to spend the winter reading, let this list of some of the best literary quotes about winter serve as Read More
  • The Best YA Books by BIPOC Authors

    Thu, 31 Dec 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Today more than ever, it is important to shine light on some of the amazing works of fiction being published by BIPOC writers. The world of young adult literature has in recent years become increasingly dedicated to publishing Own Voices novels, or books in which the main character shares experiences, race, and culture with the writer, offering marginalized groups to tell their own stories from their own perspectives. Join us as we explore some amazing young adult novels by Black writers. These books will fit perfectly on the shelves of teens who deserve to see themselves reflected back on the Read More
  • Building Your Rare Book Collection During a Pandemic

    Tue, 29 Dec 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    A global health pandemic is devastating for a wide variety of reasons, from tragic illnesses and deaths to the closures of beloved community businesses. Of course, not being able to add to your rare book collection during a pandemic due to limited travel and funds is probably the least of your worries. Yet we also know that thinking about your rare book collection can be a welcome reprieve from a world that feels as if it’s in chaos with no clear light at the end of the tunnel. So, if you’re following all of the social distancing rules, and you’re Read More
  • 'Twas the Night Before Christmas: The Authorship Question

    Thu, 24 Dec 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    It is a fact that this stalwart Christmas poem, now considered a tradition, was initially published as an Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas in New York's Troy Sentinel newspaper on December 23, 1823.  It was published anonymously. The poem is credited with connecting St. Nicholas to Christmas and planted the seeds that led to our idea of Santa Claus. It also established most of the reindeer names. Read More
  • Top Books by State: Michigan

    Wed, 23 Dec 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Today we continue our journey through the literary United States by taking a look at some passages from books set in Michigan. Michigan is known for its lakes, frigid winters, industry, though the latter has decreased considerably over the past several decades, for which the state is also known. While Michigan is a beautiful state with much to offer, the following passages focus on the particular details, like the difficulties of winter in Michigan or the smell of a Midwest town after the rain: Read More
  • What is a Bookplate?

    Thu, 17 Dec 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Let’s say you found a rare book you want to add to your collection, and the bookseller’s description says it has a bookplate. You might be wondering precisely what a bookplate is, whether it is a newer addition to the book, and how it affects the value. These are all good questions, and there’s not a single answer to any of those inquiries. In all cases where a book contains a bookplate, it depends. We’ll give you some basic information about bookplates to help you understand how these additions to books came to be and how they can affect the Read More
  • Top Books by State: Minnesota

    Wed, 16 Dec 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Minnesota is one of the northernmost states that make up the American Midwest. Known for its cold winters, beautiful landscapes, industry, and art scene, Minnesota is is the setting for a variety of novels. Today we take a closer look at two very different novels set in two very different literary versions of Minnesota. While both feature children as the primary protagonist, one features Minnesota in the late 1800's, depicting a life made both beautiful and difficult by nature. Set nearly one hundred years later, the second novel depicts a town torn apart my tragedy, lies and violence. We continue Read More
  • Boston's Rare Book Scene

    Thu, 10 Dec 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Are you thinking about a trip to Boston at some point in your future? Boston’s rare book scene is unparalleled when it comes to a city featuring stellar rare bookstores, literary historic sites, and fabulous special collections libraries and archives. Whether you are planning to shop for rare books while you’re in the historic city or in Cambridge just across the Charles River, or you’re hoping to learn more about rare books and ephemera through research in archival collections, Boston has more than something to offer. If you’re traveling to the Boston area for work or pleasure, there are a Read More
  • Top Literary Quotes About Food

    Tue, 08 Dec 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    As C.S Lewis famously wrote, “Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.” As the weather gets colder and more of us turn to both food and reading as entertainment, it's safe to say most of us will be combining the two. Whether your pairing your books with something sweet or salty, the following quotes should lend some inspiration or at least make you hungry. Here are some of the best passages about food in literature. Enjoy them as they are or use this list as a guide for some great books that also address the subject of food Read More
  • Visiting Zine Archives in New York City

    Thu, 03 Dec 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    When you’re making plans to visit a special collections library, you’re likely aiming to spend at least a couple of days in the archives, exploring the collection. And if you’re interested in rare books, when you visit a city, you might plan to delve into the rare book archives in that place. When you’re visiting New York City, there are certainly more than a handful of rare book options to meet your needs. From archives to museums to bookshops to book fairs, there’s almost no limit to what New York’s rare book scene has to offer. Yet today, we want Read More
  • Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: William Steig

    Tue, 01 Dec 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    Each year, the Caldecott Medal is awarded to the best example of children's book illustration. Today, we take a look at 1970's winner, William Steig, who not only had a massively successful career later in life as a children's book writer, but also was wildly successful in his first career as a cartoonist. Keep reading as we continue our Caldecott Winning Illustrators series with Willaim Steig: Read More
  • Rare Book Terminology You Should Know

    Thu, 26 Nov 2020 08:00:00 Permalink
    When you first enter into the world of rare books, you might think you’ve encountered a new language in some ways. Rare booksellers, collectors, and archivists use many words and phrases that can be difficult to parse. In addition, there are simply a lot of those words and phrases to learn. Some refer to the condition of the book, others refer to the way the book was made or to its style and aesthetic, and yet others still reference information about the book’s publication or ownership. And in many cases, there are multiple terms in use that refer to the Read More
  • 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
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