The world of rare books (which is a world all its own, with weather, and a magnetic North and the occasional extinction event) seems finally to have hit its stride and achieved some degree of comfort with the blistering pace of current progress. Not me personally, obviously, every forward step I make is accompanied gleefully by a little dog and depicted on this playing card:
Others though, are making leaps and bounds in the adoption of new strategies and the creation of new ways to make the accumulation of the very loveliest and most exciting of the universe’s most important objects (I’m referring to books, for those of you who came here looking for Womble Bondage or tips on building gazebos) as angst free as possible.
This for example, is Alembic Rare Books, they are amongst my current favourite new, young dealers, and their blog is just sumptuous. Also, they have a photo of a first world war Zeppelin raid on London, which for future reference to anyone out there, is just basically history porn. Their site is well worth a long visit, they have some excellent advice for collectors and you should sign up for their newsletters, put your name down for catalogues and send them Christmas gifts because at some point you are going to win the jackpot (see how I encourage and nurture you?) and when you do you are going to need Victorian Anatomy flap books with a fiery, burning need.
Moving from Alembic’s small, elegant and streamlined footprint more into the realm of the Category Five Kaiju, we move on to the next bit of news.
Peter Harrington Rare Books is launching, as we speak, a new website devoted entirely to their customers in the US and other dollar reliant parts of the world: www.peterharringtonbooks.com is the US wing of their already pretty hardcore rare books website, offering amongst other things; pricing and payment in dollars with no fees and free shipping to the USA and elsewhere.
speaking from the cockpit of his private chrome airship said:
“We’re delighted to have launched a U.S. dollar website this year, which we hope will be far more convenient for customers in America and elsewhere. Everything on the website is priced in dollars, and payment is taken and settled in dollars too – no currency conversion at all. We’re happy to offer free shipping for every book sold through the website, or for a small fee can send books by express delivery.”
The rare book world (a place usually only visited by an obscure ritual, or unwise reading of THE LATIN) is a large, lush world with room on it for all shapes and sizes of book-dealer. On the one hand there’s people like myself whose book of the month (more to follow) is an anonymous pamphlet by Elizabeth the First’s spymaster about exactly how screwed the Spanish Armada was the minute it came nigh to Britain, and on the other end of the continent there’s Peter Harrington Rare Books with this gorgeous beast, and this incredible thing, which I’m sure we can all agree is really no big deal. Then there’s this, my favourite from the stock of Blair Cowl Books, again well worth a visit; this beautiful archive from Between The Covers; and this pretty set from Honey & Wax in far off Brooklyn.
That turned into a bit of an update on everyone else. There’ll be a book of the month from me in a couple of days, and then hopefully some news about my first catalogue and some York Antiquarian Book Seminar updates.