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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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English PEN Auction at Sotheby’s: A Booklover’s Dream Collection

Our friends at English PEN, an organization devoted to literary freedom, are staging an exciting event later this month when 50 modern first editions are to be auctioned. However, these are no ordinary first editions. All the books have been annotated, usually at length and in great detail, by their authors specially for the ‘First […]

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Bar guest book sells for $11,900

March’s most expensive sales on AbeBooks reveals the broad scope of collectible books. The list of top 10 sales includes a guest book but it’s no ordinary guest book. The book belonged to the Castello Bar from the Castle Schloss Mondsee near Salzburg in Austria, and it sold for $11,900. Castle Schloss Mondsee, now an […]

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Postcards from Famous Writers

Openculture.com has a post up called Six Postcards From Famous Writers: Hemingway, Kafka, Kerouac & More. It’s a neat collection and worth looking at: Perhaps the most curious and amusing of the cards is the whimsical note F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote to himself. (See above.) Fitzgerald was working as a screenwriter in Hollywood during the […]

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Happy Birthday to Jules Verne, Father of Steampunk

Happy birthday to Jules Verne, born 185 years ago today, on February 8th, 1828. Verne was a French science fiction author, most famous for Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. His imagination ran just as deep, and throughout his career he contributed immeasurably to the genre of science fiction. He is often called the father […]

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JK Rowling minus her stilettos

One of our booksellers AlmostAll1stEditions attended yesterday’s book signing in London by JK Rowling for The Casual Vacancy.  They took this photograph of the author – I love how she’s taken off her stilettos while doing the signings.  Signed copies of the book are now available.

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Bestselling Books and Bestselling Signed Books, August 2012

The bestselling signed book on AbeBooks.com for August was The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce, the debut novel from English author Rachel Joyce. The top 10 bestselling books on AbeBooks.com in August included two titles by Toni Morrison – her first and fifth novels, The Bluest Eye and Beloved, respectively. The surge […]

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Frankenstein: To Lord Byron, From Mary Shelley

One of our booksellers, Peter Harrington has come into possession of a most wonderful and rare item – an association copy of Frankenstein, inscribed by Mary Shelley… to Lord Byron. The story of Frankenstein’s inception is legendary, and this copy clearly has its own to story to tell. What an incredible find. My colleague Richard […]

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August’s Most Expensive Sales on AbeBooks

The Old Man and the Sea was published 60 years ago this week and one lucky person has marked the anniversary by paying $18,500 for a signed first edition of Ernest Hemingway’s famous novel. The inscription was: “with very best wishes, Ernest Hemingway, Keywest/1958.” If you’d like to know more about Hemingway’s time in Key […]

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Elvis Presley’s Library Card

In 1948, when Elvis Presley was just 13 years old, he checked a copy of The Courageous Heart: A Life of Andrew Jackson out from his school library in Memphis, Tennessee. The card, complete with the young Presley’s signature, was discovered by a librarian while getting rid of old books. It, along with a copy […]

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