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Peter Rabbit turns 113

On this day in history in 1902, Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit was published. The beginnings of Peter Rabbit was ignited by Potter writing letters to a little boy – the ill child of her former governess.  After several rejections from publishers, Potter privately printed the book in 1901. The book was an instant hit and was printed by Frederick Warne  & Co. in 1902. With over 45 million copies in print, The Tale of Peter Rabbit is considered one of the best selling books of all time.

There are many different lovely editions on AbeBooks of this beloved children’s tale ranging from first editions,  pop-up versions,  board games, puzzles and everything in between.

A selection of The Tale of Peter Rabbit covers:


First Edition (1902)


Printed in 1928 with both color and black & white illustration


This is the second version of the “Wee Books for Wee Folks” edition, printed in 1904


Illustrated by Virginia Albert (1916)


Printed in 1907, this book includes 30 full pages of black and white illustrations – each illustration has another image embedded in it that is obscured or hidden. The end of the book includes a key to deciphering the puzzles. A rare, uncommon version of The Tale of Peter Rabbit.


A facsimile edition printed in 1989

Beautiful Book Covers

Sometimes it’s ok to judge a book by its cover. I would be happy to have every one of these new and vintage books on my shelf. Which one is your favorite?


1. To See Every Bird on Earth by Dan Koeppel

2. Spiders by W.S. Bristowe

3. The Mayor’s Tongue by Nathaniel Rich

4. The Fox and the Sheep by Coralie Bickford-Smith

5. The Migration of Birds by Frederic C. Lincoln

6. Heliogabal by Louis Couperus

Beautiful Broadsides

One of the best parts of my job is being able to spend time looking at different listings on the AbeBooks’ website. Today I learned something new – a type of ephemera called broadsides. The definition of a broadside is a large piece of paper printed only on one side – similar to a poster. In the past, broadsides were used to highlight an event, or advertise a product. Today they are not as popular but are still used by smaller printers and publishers.

AbeBooks has a vast number of broadsides offered for sale, many affordable – all interesting.

What will we discover next on AbeBooks…?


Taffy’s Revised Football Rules. 1895


Baked Bean Benefit. 1917


The Here World Balancing by Clive Matson, 1968


Dracula. Frank Langella in the Edward Gorey production of Dracula Directed by Dennis Rosa. 1977


Issued by the Bauer Type Foundry to celebrate their 125th anniversary. 1962


Come to the Hootenanny Sponsored by Friends of the Children’s Theater Workshop. 1965


The Backshooter – drawing by Fred Mason. 1969

AbeBooks’ Literary Link Lineup


Donald Trump’s new book, secret messages in Harry Potter books and a wonderful essay by author David Sedaris – all in this week’s edition of the Literary Link Lineup:

1. The appeal of magical boarding schools.

2. The Daphne Awards – Celebrates the best book of 50 years ago.

3. The Guardian reports on the sad passing of novelist Jackie Collins.

4. Apparently Salman Rushdie is just like the rest of us says the Globe and Mail.

5. Author David Sedaris talks about A Modest Proposal.

6. Los Angeles Times Jacket Copy says that Donald Trump will publish a new book in October.

7. Harry Potter fans are leaving secret notes in JK Rowling’s books.

8. Huffington Post presents 7 famous novelists who only published one novel.

9. The Guardian blog asked its readers to submit a picture of their favourite book cover. Tell us what your favorite book cover is!

10. Follow this Instagram account: Bookshelf Porn.

AbeBooks’ bestselling signed books

Bestselling Signed Books on AbeBooks - September, 2015

Once a month we like to take a peek at our top-selling signed books. This month’s list features an ex-president, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and an astronaut.  British neurologist Oliver Sacks’ book Awakenings makes a special appearance following his death on August 30th, 2015.

1. A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety by Jimmy Carter

2. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

3. Armada by Ernest Cline

4. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

5. The Martian by Andy Weir

6. The Year of Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota

7. The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz

8. Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett

9. Awakenings by Oliver Sacks

10. Game Changer by Louise Phillips

Stay tuned for next month’s list of bestselling signed books!

A golden ticket? Signed first edition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory sells online for $25,000

This copy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory sold for $25,000

It’s time to dig out your old Roald Dahl books – prices for rare copies of Dahl’s classic children’s books are hitting new heights. Late last week a signed first edition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory sold for $25,000 on the AbeBooks online marketplace.

The book is a first edition that had been signed and inscribed by the author with the words “For Jane and Alex with much love Roald Dahl October 1964.”

The bookseller was Raptis Rare Books located in Brattleboro, Vermont.

The inscription from Roald Dahl

Published in September 1964 by Knopf, just 10,000 copies of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory were published and they sold out within a few weeks.

This copy is by far the most expensive Roald Dahl book to sell via AbeBooks and probably the most expensive Dahl book to ever be sold. In March 2015, a signed first edition of Matilda sold for $5,000 through AbeBooks, and then a month later a signed first edition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory sold for $7,500 indicating that Dahl is more popular than ever with high-end book collectors.

As always, condition plays a vital role in rare book pricing and the copy sold by Raptis Rare Books was in stunning condition considering its age and the fact that it is a children’s book.

AbeBooks has sold 31 Roald Dahl books priced $1,000 or more since 2002. The most expensive Charlie and the Chocolate Factory book currently available on AbeBooks is a signed first edition offered for $17,500. Raptis Rare Books is offering a signed first edition of James and the Giant Peach for $20,000 that is also inscribed to Jane and Alex.

Interest in Roald Dahl, who died in 1990, has not dimmed in recent years. A musical version of Matilda was launched in 2010 and is currently running in London’s West End and on Broadway in New York. In 2005, the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre opened in Great Missenden in Buckingshire – the village where Dahl lived and wrote for 36 years until his death. Also in 2005, Tim Burton released a movie version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory starring Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka.

A memorable illustration from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

The Ultimate Alice in Wonderland Birthday Cake

In honor of the 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, AbeBooks has created a video describing how to make the ‘Ultimate Alice Birthday Cake.’

Have you made a literary cake?

Bookslut blog announces 2015 Daphne Awards shortlist

The Daphne Awards are back. Organised by the Bookslut book blog, these awards celebrate literature from 50 years ago – in this case 1965. This year’s shortlist has just been announced by Jessa Crispin who has run Bookslut for as long as I can remember. AbeBooks.com is thrilled to be a partner once again.

The fascinating thing about these awards is the role that ‘time’ plays. Does a book that was decent in the middle of the 1960s still hold up today? Jessa had a team of judges plowing through hordes of books in order to produce this year’s shortlist. The winners will be announced in early December.


An Area of Darkness by VS Naipaul

Giordano Bruno by Frances Yates

Shadow and Act by Ralph Ellison

A Very Easy Death by Simone de Beauvoir

Bastard by Violette Leduc



Arrow of God by Chinua AchebeThe Ravishing of Lol Stein

The Old Man and Me by Elaine Dundy

The Ravishing of Lol Stein by Marguerite Duras

Albert Angelo by BS Johnson

The Passion According to GH by Clarice Lispector

Short Friday by Isaac Bashevis Singer


PoetryLanguage by Jack Spicer

77 Dream Songs by John Berryman

The Sonnets by Ted Berrigan

Lunch Poems by Frank O’Hara

O Taste & See by Denise Levertov

Language by Jack Spicer

The Dead Lecturer Poems by LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka

Cameron’s Used Books & Magazines is a treasure trove of nostalgia

IMG_8116 - Version 2

At first glance, Cameron’s Used Books & Magazine doesn’t seem all that different from any other used bookstore. Row upon row of well-loved paperbacks and hardcovers fill towering shelves and spill onto the floor, and customers quietly scan spines for their next great read. So when owner Jeffery Frase invited me to browse beyond the ‘Employees Only’ sign, I didn’t expect to discover a treasure trove of pristine magazines dating back decades and decades. Snapshots of a time long since passed, issues of Life, Time, National Geographic, and Popular Mechanics line the walls. Encased in plastic sleeves, the magazines are safe from dust and the oily fingertips of browsers. Beyond the magazines are a set of narrow stairs the lead into a dimly lit hall tall enough only for a hobbit. This is where Jeff keeps his most prized vintage paperbacks – long forgotten pulp fiction all for sale on AbeBooks. Established in 1937, Cameron’s is a must-visit for any bibliophile, and those who aren’t in the Portland area can virtually browse Jeff’s treasures on AbeBooks.

Browse their books.








Watch Cameron’s Books in this video by Universal Magnetic