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Bookshelves of the Rich and Famous

If money were no object, what would your book collection look like? Would you own an original Hobbit, a signed Einstein or the ultimate Joyce collection for six figures? I find myself dreaming about this from time to time. I love books so much, in so many different ways – the pleasure of reading (chiefly), […]

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The value of annotated manuscripts

Yesterday Britain’s University of Reading bought an annotated manuscript copy of Samuel Beckett’s Murphy for 962,500 pounds ($1.4 million) at a Sotheby’s auction. As the Associated Press reports the manuscript spreads over six exercise books and contains notes, doodles, sketches and heavy reworking of the text. The manuscript provides amazing insight into Beckett’s creative process, […]

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AbeBooks 10 most expensive sales – June 2013

Every month AbeBooks lists the ten most expensive books that have been purchased on the site, it’s a very interesting list that keeps a finger on the pulse of what collectors are adding to their libraries around the world.  I look forward to putting the list together each month because, not only does it give […]

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Antiquarian Medical Books: Bloodletting and Beyond

We’ve just done a feature on collectible medical books, and it was fascinating to find all of the old techniques and beliefs about medicine and the human body in the books from decades and centuries ago. While medicine has been practiced in various forms for thousands of years, the constant evolution of its tools and […]

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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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The Most Expensive Book Sales in May

Our most expensive book sales in May tell a fascinating story. The British Empire still stretched around the world during the Edwardian era. The British traveled and imposed their colonial ways, but a few were also taking photographs. John Claude White was part of a military expedition to Tibet in 1904 and his pioneering photographs […]

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Penguin’s Glorious Science Fiction Covers

One of the reasons Penguin books has been so successful over the years is its history of creating fantastic book covers. Happily, the Penguin science fiction series is no different. From the campy cartoon style creatures and ridiculous buxom babes of space opera, to the darkly stylized futuristic cities in dystopian futures, Penguin embraces all […]

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Bookseller of the Week: Churchill Book Collector

Marc Kuritz of Churchill Book Collector was kind enough to answer our questions about his bookselling business. Churchill Book Collector is located in San Diego and it’s a partnership between Marc and Paul Shelley. Read on and you will also gain an insight into Winston Churchill himself, the business of rare bookselling and the people […]

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Beautiful Devotion: Illuminated Manuscripts

First created over 2000 years ago, illuminated manuscripts had drawings or paintings of ornate initials, borders, flowers, vines and other decoration to accompany text. A true illuminated manuscript was made without machines. Frequently in devotional prayer books, the most exceptional art served as a status symbol. Nowadays, original illuminated manuscripts are highly scarce. But due […]

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Annotated Philosopher’s Stone sells at auction for £150,000

The English charity PEN held an auction yesterday where they acquired a large number of first editions from various authors and then had the authors sign, annotate, and in some cases illustrate these editions.  The auction, which was entitled “First Editions, Second Thoughts” raised £439,000 for the charity whose goal is to fight censorship and […]

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