From the author of A Gentle Madness , the book that delighted bibliophiles everywhere, comes a twenty-first-century guide to book collecting that deals with both the traditional methods of acquisition and the electronic tools now available on the Internet.
Sharing the superb insight he has gathered from booksellers over the years, Nicholas A. Basbanes offers a refresher course on the fundamentals that endure, while questioning certain practices of doubtful validity. Topics include how to determine if a book is a first edition, how to spot book club editions, the significance of dust jackets, scouting the flea markets, how to work the book fairs, and the importance of handling the goods, as well as discussing less tangible issues like spotting trends and shaping a focus. Then he takes a careful look at Internet buying, pro and con, illuminating how you can use these electronic tools to your advantage, and making this the book no modern collector will want to be without.
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Nicholas A. Basbanes is the author of A Gentle Madness and Patience & Fortitude. He lives in North Grafton, Massachusetts.
Basbanes's guide to book collecting is a more practical, but no less impassioned, complement to his earlier history of bibliophilia, A Gentle Madness. He presents useful tips illustrated with charming anecdotes about the collecting habits of everyone from Winston Churchill to Umberto Eco. To Basbanes, book collecting isn't about making money, but "about gratifying a passion in a sensible way." He urges collectors to buy books that they know and develop specific areas of interest to avoid "buying blind-the most frequently committed transgression in book collecting." He insists that it is possible to acquire first-rate collections on modest budgets, and extols the virtues of select Internet sites. Particularly intriguing are Basbanes's descriptions of the most interesting collections he has encountered. Among these are the George Arents Collection at the New York Public Library, which consists of several hundred thousand objects in 20 languages on the history, literature and lore of tobacco, as well as the Jay Miller Aviation History Collection at the Central Arkansas Library, consisting of 6,000 books on flight history and 50,000 aviation journals, along with hundreds of aircraft operation manuals. Basbanes also offers some startling figures. A first issue copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, for example, recently went for $15,000. Though targeted primarily at prospective collectors, this lively book will appeal to any book lover, as Basbanes's enthusiasm is infectious.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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