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Smaug and Friends: Dragons in Literature

It’s been over a decade since Peter Jackson released his blockbuster film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Then in 2012, the first installment of Jackson’s three-film treatment of The Hobbit, called An Unexpected Journey, hit the theaters, followed last year by part two, The Desolation of Smaug. And now, at long last, […]

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Introducing Crap Taxidermy, the must-have coffee table book

The blog Crappy Taxidermy has spawned a book, Crap Taxidermy. If you thought no more damage could be done to an animal after its death, think again. This book features many examples of oddly posed animals, badly stuffed animals and bizarre animal hybrids created on some person’s kitchen table.  If you enjoy this book, then you […]

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Paws for thought: bronze Scottie dog bookends sell for $6,000

A pair of bronze Scottie dog bookends sculpted by famed animal artist Marguerite Kirmse (1885-1954) have sold for $6,000 on AbeBooks. They are the most expensive bookends to ever sell on AbeBooks and were the 10th most expensive item to sell on the marketplace in July. The Scottie pictured to the right is signed by Kirmse. […]

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Seattle’s Twice Sold Tales, Used Books and a Cat on Your Head

Last week, we were in Seattle and stopped by Twice Sold Tales, a used bookstore and AbeBooks bookseller. Twice Sold Tales is located just a short walk from the Elliott Bay Bookstore, which still gets the majority of Seattle’s press when it comes to independent booksellers. Twice Sold Tales is a classic used bookstore serving […]

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A Letter from E.B. White – Charlotte the Spider was Real

And now, in news to delight children and adults alike, it turns out there really was a Charlotte the Spider in E.B. White’s life. The news comes from a 1952 letter White wrote to his editor when asked to provide background as to what inspired him to write Charlotte’s Web. His explanation reads as follows: […]

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The Cat (in the Hat) Came Back, the very next….decades?

I love a feel-good story out there in the book world, and this one is sure to give you the warm fuzzies. It takes place here on Vancouver Island, where you’ll find AbeBooks headquarters nestled just a hop, skip and jump away from downtown. Fans may know that Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, […]

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Prancercise: The Book by Joanna Rohrback

By now, if you are someone who finds themselves mired in internet from time to time, you may well have already experienced the joyous phenomenon that is Prancercise. If you are yet unfamiliar, let me help you – Prancercise is much what the name implies – a fitness program that combines prancing, sashaying, cantering, trotting […]

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Winnie-the-Pooh and Other Animals at the New York Public Library

Last week I was in New York for the ABAA New York Antiquarian Book Fair and also the Manhattan Vintage Book & Ephemera Show. As always, New York offered amazing bookstores and a buzzing city. I had some spare time, and in keeping with the book theme, decided to visit the main branch of the […]

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Les plus beaux contes a Rudyard Kipling, illustrations by Kees van Dongen

I happened across this 1920 French edition of a Rudyard Kipling book of stories – Les plus beaux contes – which translates to “The Most Beautiful Tales” or similar. It could perhaps be Just So Stories. Either way, this edition is illustrated with 24 engravings by Dutch painter Kees van Dongen. I loved the ones […]

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Louis Wain and His Cats

Louis Wain was a British artist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, best known for his whimsical and chaotic drawings of cats. If you’ve come across any of Wain’s art, you know it’s memorable. The cats and kittens are depicted with large, wide eyes, often with crazy, spiky fur, and with psychedelic patterns […]

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