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Rare spell books sell for $13,865 but beware of the curse

Just days before All Hallow’s Eve, two handwritten, spiral-bound books of spells have sold on AbeBooks.com for $13,865, but the buyer risks being cursed if they are not a believer in witchcraft.  The opening page of the first of the two grimoires (that’s a magical textbook) is inscribed with the haunting warning: “To those not […]

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Booksellers predict Bay Psalm auction will be landmark moment for rare books

Two of America’s leading rare book experts predict that the forthcoming auction of a Bay Psalm Book will break new ground in the world of collectible books. Allan Stypeck, owner of Second Story Books in Rockville, Maryland, has seen and appraised many of America’s finest collections of rare books and historical material. He believes Sotheby’s […]

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Top 10 most expensive books ever sold

With lots of excitement surrounding the Bay Psalm Book that’s coming up for auction at Sotheby’s, this is a good time to step aside and consider the most expensive books that have ever been sold. By saying books, we are including documents and manuscripts, and not just objects published on a press. I would be […]

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Buzz building for Bay Psalm Book auction

Buzz is building for the November sale of an ultra-rare Bay Psalm Book. The book, predicted to become the world’s most expensive printed book when it is auctioned by Sotheby’s, has been touring the United States. It’s interesting to see regional media giving considerable space to the subject of rare books.  David Redden, Worldwide Chairman […]

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The rock star of rare books goes on tour

The book that could become the world’s most expensive book is going on tour. Rather like a rock star except the gigs are in libraries rather than stadiums. However, the Bay Psalm Book actually does have celebrity status within the rare book world and Sotheby’s will auction a very rare copy on November 26. In […]

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Andy Warhol’s Index: The 1967 Pop-up Book for Hipsters

American pop artist Andy Warhol‘s glory days were the 1960s. Warhol was firmly ensconced in the New York art scene and had a decade of exhibitions and acclaim under his belt. Art-wise, he had already worked his way from shoe advertisements and silkscreened record album covers up to what he became best-known for: the iconic, […]

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Books a documentary of Larry McMurtry’s 2012 auction

In the summer of 2012 Larry McMurtry auctioned off about 300,000 volumes from the warehouses of his bookshop Booked Up.  It was the rare book event of the summer and two film makers were there to catch the action.  They have put together a short trailer to promote the film they hope to make if […]

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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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