Meet the booksellers who answer your questions in each issue of The Avid Collector.

Up Country Letters, South Lake Tahoe, CA, USA
Up-Country Letters is an Internet book shop specializing in rare and fine books and manuscripts of nineteenth century American and English literature, with an emphasis on Emerson, Thoreau, and Transcendentalism. Ralph Waldo Emerson, in particlular, is deserving of study, and his work deserving of preservation, for his impact, worldwide, on the way people think about human life.

Michael Laird Books, Brooklyn, NY, USA
Michael Laird Rare Books, specializing in Rare Books and Manuscripts, Fine and Historic Bookbindings, and Illustrated Books of every description. Our inventory is characterized by superlative condition and imaginative selection. We continue to be enchanted by the world of books in its broadest possible sense; it is our goal to bring this same feeling of joyful discovery to our clients worldwide., Ione, California, USA

Peter Harrington Antiquarian Booksellers, London, UK

Neil Cournoyer - Bookseller (ABAC, ILAB), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

John K. King Used & Rare Books, Detroit, Michigan, USA
We are Michigan's Largest Used & Rare Bookstore, open to the public since the 1960s, with over 750,000 titles in stock and 25,000 rare books.

Black Ace Books, Los Angeles, CA, USA
I deal in vintage collectable paperbacks, ones published from the 40's through about 1970, and reference materials about them. These books were most often sold in drug stores or at news stands. The early ones were priced at .25 and touted as a cheap alternative to their costly hardbound versions. Now, a significant number of buyers seek PBO's (paperback originals--aka First Editions). Collectors who are seeking certain authors are surprised to find that the true First Edition is the cheap (and 'discardable') paperbound, the PBO. Not a retail store. I'm available by appointment and I still issue set-sale catalogs and paperback auctions (bids are made from the pictured books in the list). Most popular categories are Mystery, Sleaze (softcore), Juvie (Juvenile Delinquency), SciFi, Western and Lesbiana. Many are bought for their non-PC points of view and their often-outrageous cover art. Please call or email if I can provide help in this area of books.

The Portable Bookstore, Hopkinton, NH, USA

Gravelly Run Antiquarians, Dorothy, NJ, USA

The Bookman of Kent, Kent, OH, USA
I sell antiquarian books over the internet (with one or two bookfairs), specializing in pre-1900 travel and exploration, Americana, and manuscript materials (mainly travel diaries). I have been a book dealer since 1978 and a founding member of the Northern Ohio Bibliophilic Society (NOBS).

hank the singing bookman, London, ON, Canada
We have been purveyors of the rare, the odd and the unusual in print material for 28 years: first in the retail end of it and for the last 10 years, out of our home. OUr services include: buying, selling and appraisal of rare and out-of-print books and ephpemeral items, as well as offering a consultation service for book collectors.

The Old Book Shop, Tubac, AZ, USA
We have been in business since 1990, specializing in hardback out of print, hard to find, rare and 1st edition books in very good or better condition. We both have attended the Book Seminar in Colorado Springs to better our knowledge of the field. We avoid book club editions, ex library and damaged books. We have an open shop in Tubac, AZ, a historic village founded in 1752 and now mostly unique shops and art galleries. Tubac is about 45 miles south of Tucson and not far from the border of Mexico.

Printers Row Fine and Rare Books, Chicago, IL, USA
Printers Row Fine and Rare Books features a carefully selected stock of high quality Antiquarian Books, Modern First Editions, Classical Literature and other select items including Philosophy, Exploration, Bibliography, Books about Books, Non-Fiction, Travel, Fine Press Books, Leatherbound Sets and the Natural Sciences, as well as a usually complete run of Modern Library editions and Library of America editions. Our bookshop specializes in nineteenth and twentieth century fiction including Mark Twain, Henry James, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, Saul Bellow, Phillip Roth, Toni Morrison, and many others. In addition, we have an enormous stock of Modern First Editions of American, British and Continental Fiction.

ALMARK & CO. - Booksellers, ABAC, ILAB, Thornhill, ON, Canada
Part of a family business which began in 1974, ALMARK & CO. - Booksellers was initially designed as a by-appointment-only/catalogue book business, but in 1993, we became one of the very first Canadian booksellers to embrace the new technology of the Internet and the World Wide Web and by the time that AbeBooks began in 1996, we already had 80% of our sales from on-line sources. As a Heritage Bookseller with AbeBooks, we take pride not only in our longevity, but because of our numerous professional associations, most notably A.B.A.C. (Antiquarian Booksellers Association of Canada) and through them I.L.A.B. (International League of Antiquarian Booksellers). We are also proud that among an ocean of amateur dealers, our buyers can be assured of professionalism from us. From the detailed entries for our books, to the way we handle communications to our buyers, answering questions and dealing with problems, or even our clear and concise invoicing. When any items gets shipped from here, we take extra-ordinary care, whether a $10 mass market paperback or a thousand dollar first edition.

John Lewcock (Maritime Bookseller), Ely, CAM, UK
One of the foremost dealers specialising in books of a maritime content.

Alexander Rare Books, Barre, VT, USA
After more than a quarter century selling books for the largest trade publisher, visiting many of the nations best bookstores new and used, and buying many books both to read and collect, I took an early retirement to become an antiquarian book dealer. It was something I had been preparing to do from the time I discovered catalogs by the great modern first dealers. Maybe by the time my children find the many copies left of my first catalog production it will be worth something more than it cost to produce. I buy and sell literary firsts with a particular passion for the works of Vladimir Nabokov and of modern and contemporary poetry. Still a few years from when most people begin to retire, I hope to be selling interesting books via internet, catalog and book fairs for another quarter century.

Trophy Room Books, Agoura, CA, USA
We deal in antiquarian books on travel and exploration in Africa and Central Asia (mainly Africa south of the Sahara) and books on big game hunting in Africa, Asia and North America. On the huntng side we deal in antiquarian as well as some of the more recently published items. In additional we publish a signed, numbered, limited edition big game hunting book each year - typically one authored by a noted Professional Big Game Hunter.

Books by the Falls, Derby, CT, USA
A premier book auction service that strives to offer the very best in antiquarian & rare books, ephemera, manuscripts, autographs, maps and prints. We are continuously seeking consignments and offer expert appraisals. We handle entire libraries from estates & personal collections. Visit our open shop on Rt 34 in Derby, Connecticut. We are liquidating our general book stock to clear shelves for our auction books. Come and take advantage of bulk-buying at fantastic prices! Our store hours are 10 to 5, seven days (it is advisable to call first). Established 1981.

The Inklings Collection, Indianapolis, IN, USA
The Inklings Connection is solely an online bookstore, its stock shrinking rapidly by design, and now limited, with a few exceptions, to first British editions of C. S. Lewis - most of which are Narnia titles. The one major exception is a beautifully rebound set of the first British edition of The Lord of the Rings. Pending the completion of my own website on ABE (where some of my stock is already listed), most of my stock is shown in my eBay Store, accessible by searching for 'C. S. Lewis Signed First Edition'. This is the listing for my new book, In Pursit of C. S. Lewis: Adventures in Collecting His Works, which will be running continuously, and which lisitng leads to My eBay Store. Half of the book is devoted to the many adventures over 30 years of collecting that culminated in my being acclaimed 'the world's foremost C. S. Lewis collector' by Rare Book Review of London. The other half is the most comprehensive bibliography of Lewis first editions ever compiled, with detailed descriptions of every British and American first edition, both book and dust jacket -- with a color insert of 80 mini-photos of the front and spine of the jackets of all his first editions up to and immediately following his death. As those who have bought it kindly report back to me, it's a very interesting and exciting read for everyone, and an invaluable asset to the Lewis collector.

221 Books, Westlake Village, CA, USA
221Books specializes in books about Mr. Sherlock Holmes, the world's first Consulting Detective, his friend and colleague, Dr. John H. Watson, and their literary agent, Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle.

Spirit Dancer Gallery Books, Westlake Village, CA, USA
Opened in 1981, Spirit Dancer Gallery emphasizes rare books, primarily books from the Age of Printing through the 19th century. Fine bindings, fine press/limited editions, colorplate books, author/artist-signed books, illuminated manuscript leaves and leaf books. In addition, we handle important printers, binders, illustrators. We make a market in archaeology/anthropology, literary incursions, science - both physcical and biological - Western Americana. We are certified as an expert in rare books by a Federal court judge in the State of Colorado. We are appraisers in all catagories of rare books.Presently I am writing a book entitled CABBAGES & KINGS: The Art of Appraising Rare Books. I recently delivered a lecture/seminar on rare books at the College For Appraisers Annual Collectors Conference XIII.

Optos Books, New York City, NY, USA
Buying and selling rare, out-of-print, hard to find books on design, with a modernist bent and an eye for the unusual. Optos Books specializes in books on the history of modern design and the decorative arts. Our focus is on the visual, exploring the roots of modernism in architecture, industrial design, interior design, photography, graphic design (typography, book arts & printing), illustration and modern fine art (with emphasis on the period from Late Victorian to the mid-20th C). In addition, we offer books on New York City (specifically ones strongly visual in format); illustrated humor (concentrating on illustrators who contributed to the New Yorker Magazine); and a category dubbed Odds & Sods (usually smaller tomes, chosen for no other reason than we couldn't resist!). As well as our books on design, we list related ephemera and trade catalogs. Optos Books customers are collectors of many stripes and usually share our passion for the visual evolution of modernism. We work with designers, architects, artists, art directors antiques dealers, or practitioners in any one of our many categories, providing them with reference materials pertinent to their design projects. We welcome the opportunity to research on behalf of our clients' needs or to locate titles for collectors. We are an online bookstore and open by appointment to those who would like to personally peruse our inventory (all of which is not necessarily listed).

UHR Books, Hollis Center, ME, USA
We have over 50,000 books in all areas of the medical sciences. Our real specialty is the history of nursing with many rare titles relating to nursing in the Civil War. In addition to a large stock in nursing, we also have very large stocks in pediatrics, medical biography, surgery, public health, pharmacology, and psychology. We also have many titles in tropical medicine, virology, bacteriology, OB/GYN, ophthalmology, endocrinology, nutrition, neurology, cardiology, anatomy, oncology, radiology, gastroenterology, hospitals and the history of medicine.

Books on High / TriVillage Book Company, Columbus, OH, USA

Narnia Books, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Revere Books, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, USA

Hawthorne Blvd Books, Portland, OR, USA

Edward Ripp, Bookseller, Chicago, IL, USA

Clayton Fine Books, Baltimore, MD, USA

Herbalist and Alchemist Books, Washington, NJ, USA

Carol Trowbridge, Hot Springs Village, VA, USA

Bow Wow Books, Green Valley, AZ, USA

Leonard Fox, Ltd., New York, NY, USA.

Librairie DOLCEL, Paris, France

Antiquarian Golf, Pepperell, MA, USA

Jett W. Whitehead Rare Books (ABAA), Bay City, MI, USA

JCA Books, New York, NY, USA