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Daniel_B
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Resources & Books About Books

[ Edited ]
In a previous post, I mentioned one of the best general books about book collecting: Ian C. Ellis’s Book Finds: How to Find, Buy, and Sell Used and Rare Books. I thought that we could use this thread to talk about other resources for collectors and books about books. A book dealer I know once told me that a dealer without a shelf full of reference books and bibliographies isn't worth his or her salt. The same might be said of collectors.

One absolute classic that every collector should have is ABC for Book Collectors by John Carter and Nicolas Barker. There is an incredible amount of obscure terminology that surrounds books and book collecting, and this slim and handy glossary covers just about everything you'll need to know -- from "a la grecque" to "yapp edges".

Another favorite is the well-known Among the Gently Mad by Nicholas Basbanes. Basbanes is an inveterate collector and book scout. His war-stories from the world of book collecting also make excellent reading, as anyone who has read his earlier book, Gentle Madness, will atest.

Ironically, some of my favorite books about collecting are out-of-print. But that doesn't mean that you can't find them. Most are readily available in B&N's Used & Out of Print store. One such book is Book Collecting 2000 by Allen and Patricia Ahearn.

There are many many more excellent books about book collecting and books in general that I could mention here, but I thought that I would let our fellow participants post the names of some of their favorite titles as well. This thread would also be a good place for collectors searching for a reference book on a particular subject to ask for advice.

Daniel

Message Edited by Daniel_B on 06-22-2007 05:38 PM
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Everyman
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Re: Resources & Books About Books

Daniel - I'm a bit confused about the B&N Used and Out of Print section. Seeing you mention it, I went to that link on the BN website, saw the Folio Books mentioned (I used to be a member back before I got married and had children and could no longer afford them), and realized that many of the books you offer are new books and some are still available directly from the publisher, who now sells direct without requiring membership. In what way are these used or out of print books?

Second, it appears that your search engine is linked to other booksellers. Not to be crass about this, but do you have different sources than are offered by the other major online used book sources? And how do your prices and shipping generally compare to those sources?

I admit that I haven't been using BN used book service for my out of print searches. What are the reasons, other than supporting you and this site, which is a pretty good reason in its own right, that I and others here should?
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Daniel_B
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Re: Resources & Books About Books



Everyman wrote:
Daniel - I'm a bit confused about the B&N Used and Out of Print section. Seeing you mention it, I went to that link on the BN website, saw the Folio Books mentioned (I used to be a member back before I got married and had children and could no longer afford them), and realized that many of the books you offer are new books and some are still available directly from the publisher, who now sells direct without requiring membership. In what way are these used or out of print books?

Second, it appears that your search engine is linked to other booksellers. Not to be crass about this, but do you have different sources than are offered by the other major online used book sources? And how do your prices and shipping generally compare to those sources?

I admit that I haven't been using BN used book service for my out of print searches. What are the reasons, other than supporting you and this site, which is a pretty good reason in its own right, that I and others here should?




Hello again Everyman,

These are fair questions .... The "Used & Out of Print" store on B&N.com was formerly called the "Used, Out of Print & Rare" store, and in some ways that is a better description of what we sell -- but it's kind of a mouthful and it's certainly too long to fit on the little tab at the top of the page. The reason that you'll find Folio books in this area is that our customers generally come to Used/Out of Print to find rare and collectible books. We generally sell trade editions of recently published books in our new books area and so it stands to reason that customers interested in fine reprints of books like "Lord of the Rings" wouldn't necessarily find the Folio editions among the pages and pages of results they get using our new book search.

In answer to your second question, yes: we work with independent used, rare and out-of-print book dealers to provide customers with these types of books. This is common practice these days and is to my mind the best way to bring books that B&N would have no other way of acquiring or selling to our customers. Some of the most prominent book dealers in the country currently list their items on our site. Given that there are several thousand dealers listing with BN at present, it is safe to say that we have different sources than our competitors. (The Folio Society, by the way, is a great example: we're currently the only site in the US that sells their books to non-members ... for those who don't know, Folio publishes fine editions of classics that are usually only available to their members).

There are many advantages to buying used, rare and out-of-print books from B&N.com. Since you asked, here's the sales pitch: First off, we only work with professional booksellers. You won't find other individuals listing a few books at a time on the site. This ensures a much higher quality of service than the competition -- the book descriptions are more accurate, the shipping is faster, the packaging is better, the customer service is more reliable, etc. Our dealers pay the lowest commissions and listing fees in the business, and we don't mark up their prices, so yes, the books are less expensive. And because you're purchasing through B&N, our usual satisfaction guarantee applies (you can return the books for any reason) and your payment is processed through our secure servers.

If you have any other questions on this subject, let me know.

Daniel
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Re: Resources & Books About Books

I purchased "First Editions: A Guide to Identification" by Zempel and Verkler, in its 2001 fourth edition (having had to wait a few months for my order, as it was out of print). I have found it to be very helpful since the statements in the book come from the publishers themselves. However, I have noticed on a couple of occasions that important publisher exceptions to their own rules are not included in the volume.  The guide includes statements from all North American and British Commonwealth publishers on the history of how they have designated first editions. I don't know yet if it is a "must have", but it is nice to have such a wealth of information in a single volume.
 
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