AbeBooks' Reading Copy » collecting http://www.abebooks.com/blog AbeBooks book blog Mon, 29 Sep 2014 20:27:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Rare Titles from Archibald Rutledge, First Poet Laureate of South Carolina http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/09/25/rare-titles-from-archibald-rutledge-first-poet-laureate-of-south-carolina/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/09/25/rare-titles-from-archibald-rutledge-first-poet-laureate-of-south-carolina/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 15:31:23 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=21647 Love's Meaning by Captain Archibald Rutledge
American poet Archibald “Archie” Rutledge (1883-1973) has enjoyed moments in the spotlight here on AbeBooks. South Carolina’s first poet laureate, Rutledge wrote extensively, with most of his books dedicated to his first love, poetry. He also wrote prodigiously about hunting, wildlife and the outdoors. Rutledge grew up in South Carolina on a plantation, where he had ample time to explore and hunt with his father and brothers. His passion for poetry was also formed in childhood, and he wrote his first piece of poetry when he was just a young boy of three years:

“I saw a little rattlesnake
Too young to make his rattles shake.”

From those auspicious beginnings came a prolific and very successful poet. Rutledge penned over 50 books in his lifetime. Perhaps his best-known work is Home By the River, a fond remembrance of his family home, Hampton Plantation, in South Carolina. Many of Rutledge’s works have become rare treasures, prized and hunted by book collectors.

California bookseller Salvaged-treasures is lucky enough to have four such Rutledge listings up for sale. The first, Love’s Meaning, is a signed copy of the 1943 title, priced at $100. Love’s Meaning is a tribute to human love and nature’s place within it, and much more. A slim volume, this lovely little book is nonetheless packed with thought-provoking life lessons. Salvaged-treasures are located in Canyon County, California, and have been in operation since 2011. You can see all of Salvaged-treasure’s listings currently available.

Another fantastic find on offer from Salvaged-treasures is this rare, signed copy of the author’s first book, The Heart’s Quest. One of only four copies available on the site, this one is in very good condition, despite some slight fading to the suede. It would make a lovely addition to any poetry lover’s shelf, and is on offer for $2,800.

The Heart's Quest by Captain Archibald Rutledge

In October 2011, AbeBooks saw a swell of Archibald Rutledge’s work selling, with three of the sales cracking our top ten most expensive sales of that month. The three skookum sales were:

The Heart’s Quest by Archibald Rutledge – $7,995
This is a signed first edition copy of Rutledge’s earliest work; the book itself is undated but it has been recorded that it was published in 1904 making it the South Carolinian poet’s first published work by nearly two years.

Under The Pines and Other Poems by Archibald Rutledge – $7,200
Under the Pines was Rutledge’s second publication having been published in 1906; this copy was signed and inscribed “O to recall/What to recall Myhew Phillips.”

How Wild Was My Village by Archibald Rutledge – $5,995
Published in 1969 by Wing Publications, this first edition copy was inscribed by the South Carolina Poet Laureate “With the love of your friend, Archibald Rutledge.” In addition to Rutledge’s text the book is illustrated throughout by D.P. McGuire.

To learn more about Rutledge, explore the book A Hunt for Life’s Extras: The Story of Archibald Rutledge by Idella Bodie.

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For Auction: Shaw’s Shovel, Bradbury’s Poem About Same http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/09/22/for-auction-shaws-shovel-bradburys-poem-about-same/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/09/22/for-auction-shaws-shovel-bradburys-poem-about-same/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 21:09:12 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=21625 George Bernard Shaw's garden spadeThis is the second bit of good bloggery we’ve had as a result of George Bernard Shaw objects. Longtime Reading Copy readers may remember that we once had George Bernard Shaw’s typewriter for sale on the site. This time around, the item of interest is George Bernard Shaw’s garden spade, with which he apparently planted a mulberry tree in 1936, on the occasion of his 80th birthday. There is a plaque on the handle of the spade, which reads: “‘With this spade Bernard Shaw planted a mulberry tree in the public garden in Great Malvern on his 80th birthday, the 26 July 1936. He then presented it to Harry Batchelor Higgs, his gardener and faithful friend for 34 years.’”

The spade was later gifted to Ray Bradbury, who was a tremendous fan of the playwright’s work. Bradbury (who dabbled in much more, writing-wise, than just science fiction and fantasy, you see) was so moved by owning such a powerful object that he wrote a poem, appropriately titled “G.B.S. and the Spade”. The poem, rumored to be quite lengthy, imagines the spade imbued with powers to facilitate a conversation between Bradbury and the Nobel Prize-winner, who Bradbury once named as the one person he would choose to meet, if he could. Bradbury himself passed away in 2012 at the age of 91, and the garden spade, along with the accompanying poem, are now up for auction by Nate D. Sanders Fine Autographs & Memorabilia, and will come complete with a Certificate of Authenticity from the Ray Bradbury estate for the winning bidder. As of the writing of this post, there is one bid at $5,000, and just over three days left in which to bid.

If you’re here for the Ray Bradbury more than the George Bernard Shaw, you may also be interested in Nate D. Sanders’ other Ray Bradbury memorabilia auctions, which include much art – lithographs, book cover art, drawings, a suit jacket and projection slides, and much more. One more item worthy of note is this 16 X 20″ painting of Ray Bradbury himself by L.J. Dopp. Good lord I want to own this.Ray Bradbury painting by L.J. Dopp

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Don’t Miss The 2014 Vancouver Book Fair http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/09/17/dont-miss-the-2014-vancouver-book-fair/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/09/17/dont-miss-the-2014-vancouver-book-fair/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 16:37:26 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=21580 Books at the Vancouver Book Fair

Books at The Vancouver Book Fair

The 2014 Vancouver Book Fair is coming up quickly, and booklovers who have attended in past years know this is an event not to be missed. As Western Canada’s only book fair dedicated to rare, collectible and antique books, there is sure to be something for everyone from dabbling novices to serious and established collectors. This year’s fair takes place Saturday October 4th and Sunday October 5th, and will once more be held at UBC Robson Square in Vancouver. Along with the Alcuin Society, AbeBooks is once more a proud sponsor of the event.

Attendees of the fair will be treated to a wide variety of literary rarities. From the Vancouver Book Fair web site:

“A wide selection of antiquarian, collectible and rare books, ephemera, maps, prints, manuscripts, photographs and works on paper will be on offer at the fair – including Canadiana; children’s and illustrated; fine press and limited editions; history and military history; literature and fine arts; modern first editions and signed copies; natural history; travel and exploration; science and technology as well as many other subject areas. The items on offer will range from 15th century incunabula to 21st century modern first editions.”

Some of this year’s exhibiting booksellers include:

When: Saturday, October 4th 1pm-7pm, and Sunday, October 5th 11am-4pm
Where: UBC Robson Square, 800 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC (convenient parking both nearby and underground)
How much: $8.00 Admission (good for both days – and if you register your attendance beforehand on the web site, you can receive a $2.00 discount)

If you love the smell of old books or have an empty shelf spot just begging for something beautiful, make sure to include the Vancouver Book Fair in your weekend plans for October 4th-5th.

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1951 manual to the first computer game sells for $4,200 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/08/20/1951-manual-to-the-first-computer-game-sells-for-4200/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/08/20/1951-manual-to-the-first-computer-game-sells-for-4200/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 19:44:31 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=21433

The Ferranti Nimrod Computer Manual from 1951 (pic supplied by Any Amount of Books)

A copy of the manual for the first computer game has been sold for £2,500 (around $4,200) by Any Amount of Books in London via AbeBooks. The Ferranti Nimrod Digital Computer Manual is a key piece of technology and gaming history. The game in question is a long way from Minecraft and Angry Birds – it’s a match-stick game called Nim that was played in the French movie L’Année Derniere a Marienbad and is said to have originated in China. Here’s a link to a game.

The computer was built to play the game alone. The manual was used at the Festival of Britain in 1951 and the cover offers a little early branding with the words ‘Faster than Thought’.

To quote the manual:

 The game is for two players, being played nowadays with matches. At the beginning of the game one of the players arranges the matches in any number of heaps in any way he chooses. The players then move alternatively taking any number of matches from any one heap but at least one match must always be taken. In the normal simple game the player who succeeds in taking the last few matches wins but in the reverse simple game the player who takes the last match or matches loses.

At the exhibition the public could play against the machine. The famous Enigma codebreaker Alan Turing beat it. At the conclusion of each game, the machine flashed up the message ‘Computer Wins’ or ‘Computer Loses.’ It’s interesting to hear that the manual referred to ‘memory’ as ‘storage’.

Any Amount of Books posted about the manual at its excellent Jot 101 blog – I love the picture of the two dancers from the Windmill Girls playing against the computer.

L’Année dernière à Marienbad is a cult 1961 film known for its hard-to-understand narrative. Two men play the match game as the movie explores the relationship between them and a woman through flashbacks. Ferranti was an electrical engineering firm that began in the Victorian era but went bankrupt in 1993. The best bibliography of computer literature is The Origins of Cyberspace by Diana Hook and Jeremy Norman but it’s not cheap.

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My used bookstore find – a vintage Penguin edition of The Gun by CS Forester http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/08/12/my-used-bookstore-find-a-vintage-penguin-edition-of-the-gun-by-cs-forester/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/08/12/my-used-bookstore-find-a-vintage-penguin-edition-of-the-gun-by-cs-forester/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 16:54:19 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=21405

The Gun by CS Forester

During my family’s recent road-trip vacation, I picked up this beautiful vintage Penguin paperback of The Gun by CS Forester in a little used bookstore in Cranbrook, British Columbia. It’s a 1959 edition and looks as if it has not been read as the spine is not creased. Not bad for $2 used book. I cannot wait to read it.

I had been reminded about this novel after recently reading a biography of Cary Grant.

Poo-Poo and the Dragons by CS Forester

Grant starred in the movie adaptation of The Gun in 1957 along with Sophia Loren in her first English language role. The movie was titled The Pride and the Passion and also stars Frank Sinatra with Stanley Kubrick directing. I watched a lot of Cary Grant movies in my childhood and The Pride and the Passion was often shown on Sunday afternoons.

This historical novel, first published in 1933, is about an 18-pound cannon during the Peninsular War (1807-1814) where Spain and Portugal struggled to free themselves from Napoleon’s all-conquering French forces.

The 1933 Little Brown US first edition has a lovely dust jacket. I tend to think CS Forester is rather forgotten these days in the era of Game of Thrones, but he is  the man who wrote the 12-book Horatio Hornblower series,  The African Queen and, my personal favorite, Poo-Poo and the Dragons.

(Poo-Poo and the Dragons is the story of a little boy called Poo Poo (real name Harold) and how his family’s life is changed when he brings home Horatio the dragon for a pet.)

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Copy of Das Kapital sells for $40k just as Dow Jones hits record high http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/07/04/copy-of-das-kapital-sells-for-40k-just-as-dow-jones-hits-record-high/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/07/04/copy-of-das-kapital-sells-for-40k-just-as-dow-jones-hits-record-high/#comments Sat, 05 Jul 2014 01:53:29 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=21280 On Thursday,  the day that the Dow Jones index closed at an all-time high of 17,068 points, AbeBooks.com sold a first edition of Karl Marx’s Das Kapital for $40,000.

Published in 1867 by Otto Meissner with German text, this copy of Das Kapital was the only one published in Marx’s lifetime (he died in 1883). The book is housed in a slipcover with cloth wrapping.

Das Kapital famously attributes the growth of capitalism to the exploitation of labor and the book became the basis for Marxism, which influenced many subsequent political systems and labor movements, including Communism. Marx lived in London from 1849 until his death. He is buried in Highgate Cemetery.

It’s not the first time that a copy of Das Kapital has sold for a high price via AbeBooks. In November 2011, a very rare copy in three volumes sold for $51,739. Interest in Marx’s book, which arguably did indeed help change the world, remains as strong as ever.

The $40,000 sale is AbeBooks’ second most expensive sale of the year. A collection of French Art Nouveau posters sold for $43,450 in March.

On a bumper day for the stock markets and used bookselling, a copy of the first ever Rupert the Bear annual from 1936 sold for $8,497 on Thursday. The first edition, illustrated by Alfred Bestall, was unmarked with the “Belongs to” box left empty, a rarity for this children’s favorite.

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Signed copy of Robert Galbraith’s Silkworm sells for $1,720 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/06/20/signed-copy-of-robert-galbraiths-silkworm-sells-for-1720/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/06/20/signed-copy-of-robert-galbraiths-silkworm-sells-for-1720/#comments Fri, 20 Jun 2014 13:42:39 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=21245 One day, that’s all it took for The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith to become a collectible book. Yesterday, the day of the novel’s release, a signed copy of The Silkworm written by JK Rowling under the Galbraith pen name sold for $1,720 on AbeBooks.

The book was sold shortly after being listed for sale on the marketplace. It had been signed on the title page by ‘Robert Galbraith’ with a JK Rowling hologram attached to the opposite page. It appears a small number of signed copies were distributed to certain bookstores in the UK.

The Silkworm is Rowling’s second novel writing as Galbraith. The book is a crime mystery starring Cormoran Strike – a one-legged ex-military policeman. The sale confirms that the Rowling magic has not dimmed and that book collectors are still interested in anything that carries her signature. There are currently five signed copies for sale on AbeBooks ranging from $1,600 to $2,100 in price.

Yesterday, AbeBooks also sold a first edition of The Cuckoo’s Calling – the first Robert Galbraith novel – for $1,206. The book was not signed. It appears only a small number of first editions of The Cuckoo’s Calling were printed, perhaps 1,500.

The most expensive Rowling book to ever sell on AbeBooks was a rare first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which sold for $37,000 in 2005.

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Coming soon, the 2014 Twin Cities Antiquarian & Rare Book Fair http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/05/29/coming-soon-the-2014-twin-cities-antiquarian-rare-book-fair/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/05/29/coming-soon-the-2014-twin-cities-antiquarian-rare-book-fair/#comments Thu, 29 May 2014 19:33:16 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=21193 Twin Cities Antiquarian & Rare Book Fair is coming up soon. It takes place on June 27 and 28 in the Progress Center at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, and AbeBooks.com is proud to support the event. More than 50 booksellers will be offering antiquarian, fine, and rare books covering many subjects and genres. Visitors will be treated to first editions, fine bindings, vintage books, ephemera, and maps.

Legendary bookseller Ken Sanders from Salt Lake City will be speaking at the fair on Friday evening at 6pm. Sanders is much more than a seller of rare books, he is also the enemy of book thieves. His efforts to capture John Charles Gilkey were documented in the book, The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett. His talk will be worth the admission alone.

On Saturday, visitors can have up to four books from their own collection evaluated by an expert. There will also be other speakers and the chance to win a $25 gift certificate by showing your book trivia knowledge.

“Aside from the rare books, there are also a good number of very affordable reading books,” said Rob Rulon-Miller, one of the Fair’s past organisers. Rulon-Miller Books is based in St Paul, Minnesota. “You will see many local history books and books about Minnesota. We partner with the Minnesota Historical Society with dealers submitting book lists to the society. I’ve seen book dealers come from as far away as Los Angeles to look for stock.”

Booksellers who are exhibiting include Midway Used & Rare Books from St. Paul, MN, David Christenson from Minneapolis, MN, and Steve Thorson from Austin, MN, as well as Sanders and Rulon-Miller.

  • Friday, June 27, 3pm to 8pm, $7 (which also includes admission on Saturday)
  • Saturday, June 28, 10am to 4pm, $5
  • Children 12 and under have free admission
  • High school and college students have free admission on Saturday with school ID

Visit the event’s website for more details. Dealers can still sign up for a booth at the event and anyone interested should contact Valerie Urban at valerie@urbanantiquaria.com

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Copy of first Playboy Magazine sells for $2,000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/05/16/copy-of-first-playboy-magazine-sells-for-2000/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/05/16/copy-of-first-playboy-magazine-sells-for-2000/#comments Fri, 16 May 2014 18:05:09 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=21156 A copy of the first ever Playboy Magazine, published in December 1953, has sold for $2,000 on AbeBooks.com. Aside from being a landmark moment in popular culture, the magazine famously features Marilyn Monroe on the cover (clothed) and on the centerfold (naked) against a red velvet background.

This issue is undated and cost 50 cents at the time. Apparently 53,991 copies were printed. The magazine had been produced by Hugh Hefner from his kitchen.

This is the only time that I have heard of a copy of the first Playboy for sale on AbeBooks since I joined in 2005, and it’s by far the most expensive copy of the magazine to sell through this marketplace. I think $2,000 might be a bargain.

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Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar 2014 contest http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/04/22/colorado-antiquarian-book-seminar-2014-contest/ http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/04/22/colorado-antiquarian-book-seminar-2014-contest/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 18:02:08 +0000 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/?p=21077 Are you thinking of becoming a rare bookseller? Or have you just started to sell collectible books? The Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar is a week-long educational event held in Colorado Springs in August, 2014 for booksellers, librarians and collectors that offers expert discussion about rare books.

This is your opportunity to enter for a chance to win admission to attend the event, including instructional materials, breakfasts and lunches, and accommodations. There will be two lucky winners. Each prize package is worth U.S. $1,610.00. Transportation to and from the event is not included.

More details about the contest.

Contest rules.

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