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My used bookstore find – a vintage Penguin edition of 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 […]

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25 Years On: Rare Photographs of Tiananmen Square Protests Go on Sale

Twenty five years after the Tiananmen Square massacre, a remarkable collection of photographs documenting the events surrounding the government crackdown on pro-democracy protesters has been listed for sale on AbeBooks.com. Sixty-five photographs from the student-led protests in Beijing are for sale from Upper Valley Books & Paper in Ascutney, Vermont, for $6,500. The collection includes 12 […]

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Letter signed by Joseph Stalin sells for $4,500

A letter signed Russian dictator Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) has sold for $4,500 on AbeBooks. The “confidential” two-page typed letter dates from World War II, and is dated April 1943. It commands the creation of a ‘Major General’ position within the tank section of the Soviet military. Stalin has signed in red, “I, Stalin”  “National Commissar […]

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Rare copy of Twelve Years a Slave sells for $3,500

A rare second printing of Twelve Years a Slave — Narrative of Solomon Northup has sold for $3,500 on AbeBooks. The full title of this book is Twelve Years a Slave — Narrative of Solomon Northup. A Citizen of New York, Kidnapped in Washington City in 1841, and Rescued in 1853, From a Common Plantation Near […]

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The ultimate philanthropist: David Rubenstein spends $14.2m on Bay Psalm Book

As predicted by almost everyone, this small book of psalms from 1640, known as the Bay Psalm Book, has become the world’s most expensive printed book after being auctioned by Sotheby’s last night in New York for $14.2 million. The Bay Psalm Book is the first known book to be printed in what became the […]

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America’s first printed book visits Amazon in Seattle

Yesterday I attended a reception for the Bay Psalm Book hosted by Amazon to celebrate Sotheby’s forthcoming auction of this historic book. Seattle was the latest stop on a tour of the United States that has delighted bibliophiles from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. The interesting juxtaposition of the first book printed in what became the […]

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A Beautiful Mystery – Vivian Maier, Street Photographer

Our latest video lets you have a glimpse inside the most exciting photographic discovery so far this century. The mystery part begins in 2007 when an amateur historian took a chance at an auction house and bought some negatives and film. The wonder part begins in 1926, with the birth of Vivian Maier, who only […]

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If The Smiths Sang About Charles Dickens…

In one of our Ask AbeBooks videos, we answered a letter from a woman seeking suggestions to keep her attention-span-challenged kid engaged when reading about school subjects. One of the suggestions that my colleague Richard made was for Terry Deary’s Horrible Histories series . Featuring titles such as The Vile Victorians, Ruthless Romans and Awful […]

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80 years since Nazi book burnings

Today marks the 80th anniversary of the Nazi book burnings.  On May 10, 1933 70,000 people gathered in central Berlin to burn tens of thousands of  books which were deemed to be un-German by the National Socialist regime.  These ranged from works of socialists, pacifists, Jewish writers or simply works that sympathized with another ideology.  An article […]

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Things Fall Apart Writer Chinua Achebe Dies at 82

Chinua Achebe, the Nigerian novelist credited with helping to develop African literature, has died at 82. Achebe wrote novels, poetry and essays, and is most famous for his first novel Things Fall Apart, published in 1958. Things Fall Apart has sold more than 10 million copies and is one of the great novels of the […]

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