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Blog posts by Rich Rennicks

Content creator and publicist for the ABAA. 


Browse the latest catalogs, newsletters, and e-lists of rare books, fine bindings, incunabula, print ephemera, and much more from the members of the ABAA below. (Also includes podcasts, blog posts, and other digital formats.) *New* indicates any catalogs added in the last month. AARDVARK BOOKS/EZRA THE BOOKFINDER Recent Acquisitions ABACUS BOOKS Rubaiyat War, Peace, and Protest ABRAHAM LINCOLN BOOK SHOP Catalog 183: Holiday/Winter 2020 CHARLES AGVENT Summer Miscellany 2021 -- SIGNED Items, Rare Americana, Illustrated Books, and more Archibald MacLeish Collection (New Arrivals) ANDERSON BUTLER RARE BOOKS E-List #23. Put N' Take: A Collection of Gambling Sheet Music Scores, 1889-1987 E-list #22: Konstantin Tsiolkovsky: Astronautics as Esoteric Utopian Philosophy ANTIPODEAN BOOKS, MAPS, PRINTS E-list #44 ~ W.W.I., Americana, Australia, Photo... [more Latest Catalogs of Rare Books]

How does one shop an ABAA Virtual Book Fair? Our Virtual Book Fairs combine the convenience of online commerce with the community of in-person book fairs. Just like at an physical book fair, you will be able to: browse the inventory of many exhibitors, but now with the advantage of only having to check out once no matter how many exhibitors you purchase from! speak with the exhibitors in real time, via digital tools like FaceTime and Zoom. be among the first to have the opportunity to buy newly acquired or cataloged items from the most-reputable dealers in the business. shop the fair for a set time only. Our virtual book fairs last for 2-4 days. So arrive early, make a plan to visit the exhibitors you know, and find the material you want! Browsing Options By exhibitor — Browse your favorite booksellers first (organized alphabetically) B... [more How to Shop a Virtual Book Fair]


Weekly Highlights

By Rich Rennicks

Our members list new acquisitions and recently cataloged items almost every day of the year. Below, you'll find a few highlights from these recent additions... Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein New York: Claire Marie, 1914 First edition. Publisher's yellow paper covered boards, green label with green lettering to front cover. Spine toned and cracked with loss to the ends, covers lightly soiled and rubbed, former owner bookplate to front pastedown, mild offsetting to front endpaper, else a good example of a scarce Stein work. Lauded as "a masterpiece in verbal Cubism," Gertrude Stein's 1914 Tender Buttons looks at the mundane in three parts: Objects, Food, and Rooms. She juxtaposes familiar objects and spaces with unconventional descriptions, and this structure encourages the reader to imagine them in a new light, in much the same way Cubis... [more Weekly Highlights]

Virtual book fairs have been embraced by both booksellers and collectors as a way to share new acquisitions and bring the collecting community together during the pandemic. Our next virtual book fair will be the Transatlantic Book Fair -- jointly produced and promoted by the ABAA and our colleagues in the UK, the ABA. The Transatlantic Book Fair takes place from July 22 to July 27, 2021 at transatlanticbookfair.com... The Fair will remain open for six days and will feature rare book dealers from both sides of 'the pond.' Hours: Opens 2pm mid-Atlantic time (9am PDT, noon EDT, 5pm London, 6pm CET) July 22. Closes 8pm mid-Atlantic time (3pm PDT, 6pm EDT, 11pm London, midnight CET) July 27 The fair will be free & open to the public! More details will be announced soon. Join the mailing list for updates about the Transatlantic Book Fair.... Vi... [more Get Ready for the Transatlantic Book Fair]

It is with great pleasure that the Northern California Chapter (NCC) of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA) announces the winners of the 2021 George Robert Kane Memorial Scholarship, Nicholas Pillsbury and Cecelia Shaw. This year, we had two exceptional candidates who were quite similar. Both were highly recommended, both are currently working as booksellers, and both want to continue in the librarian/special collection field. Because the scholarships combined were less than we normally expend due to the courses being online, we decided to offer both of them a scholarship as they were both so deserving. Nicholas is currently working at Bad Animal Books, a combination bookstore / wine bar / restaurant in Santa Cruz, CA, and is handling all of the rare books online. His experience as a librarian and his M.L.I.S. educa... [more 2021 George Robert Kane Memorial Scholarship]

One thing that distinguishes the book collector from the casual reader is a preference for owning first editions. What is a First Edition? A first edition is the format a book took when it was first made available for sale. The ABAA glossary of book terms states: First Edition: “All of the copies printed from the first setting of type; can include multiple printings if all are from the same setting of type.” Collectors distinguish between a first edition (the first printing of a book) and a modern first edition (which more-or-less applies to books printed from 1900 on -- although, the exact definition is open to debate between dealers). What is a First Printing? The first printing is the first batch of books printed from this first setting of type. For a small press, this might be the only printing a book gets, so all copies are first... [more Identifying First Editions]


New ABAA Members

By Rich Rennicks

Meet the latest antiquarian booksellers accepted as members of the ABAA. Full Members: Victoria Dailey, Dailey & Turner Rare Books & Ephemera, Los Angeles, CA Victoria Dailey has rejoined the ABAA as a full member after being an Emeritus Member for a short time. In other news, Victoria has recently been named the Deputy Editor of The Book Collector. Daniel Moyer, Daniel / Oliver Gallery, Brooklyn, NY Dan Moyer is one half of the Brooklyn based gallery Daniel / Oliver (along with co-owner Ollie Lott). Daniel / Oliver handles photographic material and other works on paper, primarily unique collections and comprehensive archives, which chronicle American stories. Dan Moyer is also a playwright and screenwriter. His play “Half Moon Bay” premiered at the Cherry Lane Theatre in NYC and he has written for the Facebook Watch show “Limetown.... [more New ABAA Members]

The 2021 National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest is now accepting entries! Established in 2005 by Fine Books & Collections Magazine to recognize outstanding book collecting efforts by college and university students, the contest is now sponsored by The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA), the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies (FABS), the Grolier Club, and the Center for the Book and the Rare Books and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress. The contest aims to encourage young collectors to become accomplished bibliophiles. Book-collecting competitions are held at more than three dozen colleges and universities across the United States, and some of these contests have been conducted for many decades, dating back to Swarthmore College's first competition in the 1920s. All college or univer... [more National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest 2021]

This fascinating blog post about the history of vellum and parchment is written by Richard Norman, an experienced British bookbinder now living in France, where he runs Eden Wookshops with his wife and fellow bookbinder, Margaret, specializing in Family Bibles and liturgical books. The article originally appeared on www.edenworkshops.com, and is reprinted below with the author's permission. --Editor According to the Roman Varro and Pliny's Natural History, vellum and parchment were invented under the patronage of Eumenes of Pergamum, as a substitute for papyrus, which was temporarily not being exported from Alexandria, its only source. Herodotus mentions writing on skins as common in his time, the 5th century BC; and in his Histories (v.58) he states that the Ionians of Asia Minor had been accustomed to give the name of skins (diphtherai)... [more The History Of Vellum And Parchment]

Robert Jordan was the best-selling author of The Wheel of Time fantasy series, and (because I need to get my utter impartiality out of the way at the start) one of my favorite authors. I've collected his books for the past 25 years. If you're unfamiliar with The Wheel of Time, think of it as a 14-volume The Lord of the Rings set at a future point in Earth's history when society has regressed technologically and forgotten most of our history -- but discovered magic, naturally! Total sales for the series are estimated to be in excess of 80 million copies, although those figures are several years old and at least one of his publishers has suggested the estimate is on the low side. With a total readership of that magnitude, it seems likely there are many people collecting Jordan's books and related items, so we have assembled this guide to th... [more Collecting Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time]