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First David Bowie book club pick becomes a used bestseller

David Bowie’s son, Duncan Jones, has launched an online book club to honor his avid reading father, and its first pick, a novel originally published in 1985, is already a bestseller on AbeBooks Jones described his father, who died in January 2016, as “a beast of a reader,” and got the book club up and […]

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When Book Covers Came of Age

We take beautiful book covers for granted these days. Subtly or blatantly, they tell us so much about books’ content and mood. It’s hard to imagine browsing without them! But as Martin Salisbury explains in the introduction to his own beautiful book, The Illustrated Dust Jacket, 1920 to 1970, just published by Thames & Hudson, […]

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Vietnam War documentary turns Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried into AbeBooks’ bestselling book of 2017

Ken Burns’ epic 18-hour documentary on the Vietnam War has turned Tim O’Brien’s 1990 collection of short stories, The Things They Carried, into AbeBooks’ bestselling book of 2017. The series, directed by Burns and Lynn Novick, cost more than $30 million and took over 10 years to produce. The first episode aired in September and […]

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William Carlos Williams – the poet behind the plums in the icebox meme

It’s been fun to watch the numerous Twitter memes riffing on the “This Is Just To Say” poem about plums in the icebox written by William Carlos Williams in 1934. The original poem, a true example of modernist poetry, goes: I have eaten the plums that were in the icebox and which you were probably […]

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8 unscrupulous ways that cigarettes were promoted in vintage adverts

Television and newspaper adverts warning about the risks of smoking are now appearing across the United States as the result of the landmark 2006 legal ruling that finally concluded tobacco firms misled the American public on the dangers of cigarettes. These ads are not being placed by cancer charities or health organisations – they are […]

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China in Print – Asia’s leading fair for rare books, prints, maps & ephemera

China in Print is Asia’s premier international fair and exhibition for rare books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, and ephemera with a particular focus on printed material from Asia itself. The three-day fair is set in the central waterfront location of the Hong Kong Maritime Museum and features some of the leading specialist dealers from Australia, Austria, Denmark, France, […]

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175-year-old fig leaf just sold for $660. Find out why.

This might be the world’s most fragile piece of art – a gouache painting on a Chinese fig leaf from the 19th century that had been mounted on paper. It’s just sold for $660 on AbeBooks.com. To be accurate, it’s from a peepal tree, which is also called Ficus religiosa or the sacred fig, a […]

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When your 67-year-old mom places a personal ad asking for action

Sad news. Jane Juska has died at the age of 84. She is famous for placing the following personal ad in The New York Review of Books: Before I turn 67—next March—I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like. If you want to talk first, Trollope works for me. […]

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Don’t Miss the Toronto Antiquarian Book Fair, Nov 3-5, 2017

The Toronto Antiquarian Book Fair is held this week at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Once again, AbeBooks is proud to be a sponsor. From November 3-5, booksellers from around Canada will be showcasing some of their most interesting items, including maps, prints, manuscripts and other valuable first edition and signed books. Whether you are […]

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Come Visit the Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair: Oct. 14-15, 2017

The Pacific Northwest’s premier book event is back! The Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair is taking place October 14-15, 2017, at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. If you haven’t been before, you’re in for a treat: a chance to meet with specialists from all over the world and browse a veritable museum of cultural and historical […]

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