Modern Firsts

How fortunate native English-speaking booksellers are to have English as their mother tongue! English is the lingua franca of global business. Not surprisingly, the official language of ILAB, (The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers), is English. However, the organization maintains that this stature is shared equally with French; hence the old ILAB motto “Amor librorum […]

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Factor #1: Scarcity in supply. The year was 1965; the war in Vietnam was escalating, the space race was in full swing, and the Rolling Stones were on a world tour. America’s counter-culture movements were embracing drug use, liberal sexuality and obscenity in their writings and works. It was during this year that a novelist […]

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During the golden age of detective fiction, when classic murder mystery novels were at the peak of popularity, Sir Godfrey Collins, started the Collins Crime Club (1930–94), as an imprint of British book publishers William Collins & Sons.  Until then, the Scottish printing and publishing company found success as a printer of Bibles and other […]

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There is no doubt that 20th-century genre novels which inspire unforgettable film productions, are on collectors’ target lists. And there is no better group of novelists that continue to inspire an endless procession of films than the ones that include Stephen King, J.G. Ballard, Phillip K. Dick, Elmore Leonard, and of course, the ringer of […]

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Forty years ago, John Lennon, in his Christmas melody song “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” wished everyone: So this is Xmas And what have you done Another year over And a new one just begun …. A very Merry Xmas And a happy New Year Let’s hope it’s a good one Without any fear As […]

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Here is a question for all Hunter Thompson collectors out there: If you had to choose between being the proud owner of Thompson’s first or second book which would you choose? The choice, of course, is between Thompson’s famous 1967 Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs or the 1971 […]

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In the introduction of Robert Frank’s landmark photography collection The Americans, Jack Kerouac described Frank’s plaintive black and white images as: “That crazy feeling in America, when the sun is hot on the streets and the music comes out of the jukebox or from a nearby funeral.” It was originally published by Robert Delpire in […]

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There has scarcely been a time when the name F. Scott Fitzgerald and the title The Great Gatsby has been so frequently mentioned with curiosity and awe. While the 1925 debut of the modern first novel certainly received its due fame, and while the 1974 film rendition made its premiere to the “watching” world, the […]

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Dune, Science Fiction Epic

by Admin on May 10, 2013

In June of 2011, Abebooks sold a first edition of the science fiction epic Dune, signed by the author, for $7,500. The amount matched the Chilton Book Company editor’s advance offer made to the book author, Frank Herbert, back in 1963. It proved to be a tough sell at the time, as publisher after publisher […]

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Let’s assume for a moment that we are in the market for a first edition copy of Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald from 1934. We may be an American literature collector of modern first editions or a fan of Fitzgerald or even a beautiful art dust jacket collector. We want to purchase […]

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