Friday, March 23, 2007

Nicholas Basbanes & Book Collecting

I found Nick's Book Patience & Fortitude at my Remainder shop several months ago. A Book about Books. I was intrigued. I'd never heard of him before. I also had not realised that collecting books could be such a serious and enjoyable vocation. A short time later, I found another of Nick's books, A Splendour of Letters. Also at the remainder shop - the one that is now closed down.

Then I found his website. (see Links). From that I discovered he has written 4 books, and so far I have 3 of them. Last week I went to Indigos and paid out $30 for a new copy of Nick's first Book, A Gentle Madness. This book was published in 1995, but I have the second edition published in 1999. Nick also writes a column in the Fine Books and Collections Magazine.

I wrote an email to Nick last week, just telling him that I liked his books, that I also collected books, and that I was thinking about maybe opening a shop. I received a reply within 24 hours. Two replies in fact. The first email was nice and chatty and answered my questions. The second email was short and funny. You'll have to forgive the typos in my earlier email, I'm writing before my caffeine has had a chance to kick in. nick. I definitely like this author.

Also on my visit to Indigos, (at the same time I was buying Nick's first book) I found a book on the shelves called Book Row by Marvin Mondlin & Roy Meador. It's all about the Antiquarian booksellers trade in New York City over the last 120 years. It turned out to be a great read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

While Book Row talks about Booksellers in New York City, Nick writes about Book Collectors all over the USA. But sometimes both books have mentioned the same people. Such as Leona Rostenberg and Madeleine B. Stern from New York City.

New York Times March 24, 2005 Obituary
Leona Rostenberg, a rare-book scholar and dealer who with her partner of 50 years, Madeleine B. Stern, discovered a series of racy novels written by Louisa May Alcott under a pseudonym, died on March 17 at her apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. She was 96. [...]

These 2 ladies wrote 2 memoirs. Old Books, Rare Friends: Two Literary Sleuths and Their Shared Passion (Doubleday, 1997) and Bookends: Two Women, One Enduring Friendship (Free Press, 2001). I want to read these books as well.

I also want to read the books listed under the heading - Customers who bought this item also bought - on the Book Row link I posted above.

I want to be a Book Collector.
Maybe I already am a collector.
I already have a huge pile of Books.
No rare or old books - I can't afford them.

I want to be like Leona and Madeleine, and discover a long lost Book or Manuscript. I guess I can always dream.


Stephen said...

If you love books about books the best source in all the world is Oak Knoll :

Anonymous said...

Hi. That's very cool that you got a reply from Nick Basbanes. I've read part of Patience and Fortitude but that's it. I definitely want to read them all.

Historia said...

Hey Sylvia,
Thanks for your comment. I am very impressed with your Bookworm blog. I have added it as a link in my Sidebar. I havent read much there yet, mainly because there are so many choices and I simply cannot decide which section I want to read first. Historia.