What's a Booker Prize worth?

 Source, The Sydney Morning Herald


signed narrow road deep north flanagan Whats a Booker Prize worth?

Clever you if you bought The Narrow Road to the Deep North and asked Richard Flanagan to sign it on publication last year (and even better if you read it). The online rare book dealer AbeBooks sold a rare "unread", mint-condition, signed, Australian first-edition copy for $US1313 ($A1500) after his Man Booker Prize win last week - the company's best ever post-Booker price.

"Today a signed first edition of a Booker Prize-winning book is worth three figures as soon as the announcement is made," says Richard Davies at AbeBooks. "The phenomenon of signed copies selling like hot cakes in the immediate aftermath of a book prize announcement is a relatively new thing" - a product of online bookselling, he says and the Booker is the only prize with that effect.

AbeBooks has no sales record for True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey after it won the 2001 Booker, though a copy sold for $US475 this year. But signed copies of Life of Pi by Yann Martel sold online for $US250 immediately after its 2002 win and reached a top price of $US3,720 in 2008.

Davies says the only "highly collectible" Booker winner is Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie from 1981: an uncorrected proof sold for $US14,000 last year and signed first editions sell for about $US4000.

MidnightsChildren Whats a Booker Prize worth?

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/undercover-book-news-whats-a-booker-prize-worth-20141021-119k0z.html#ixzz3HCNzOBKg

Tough read: World's smallest book

Tough read: World's smallest book is more for mice than men at John Rylands Library

| By Glen Keogh
smallest book Tough read: Worlds smallest book

World's smallest book.

Manchester’s bookworms may have difficulty reading John Rylands Library’s newest acquisition  as it now owns a copy of the world’s smallest book.

Measuring just 2.4 by 2.9mm, the tiny leather-bound text is said by library curators to be the smallest mechanically-printed book on the planet.

Unlike other miniscule manuscripts, this ABC-picture book was painstakingly crafted using conventional book-binding techniques – giving it a real spine, leather cover and 26 traditional paper pages.

Readers need tweezers to turn the tiny pages where they will see uniquely designed letters drawn by renowned German typographer Joshua Reichert.

IN DEMAND: Only 300 copies of the book were made and published for as little as £100 (© Cavendish Press)

The book, produced in Leipzig, Germany, in 2002, was created as a feat of printing expertise to commemorate the work of Jonannes Gutenberg who was widely credited for the invention of printing technology in Europe.

Much smaller printing presses than usual were used to craft 300 copies which were later sold for as little as £100.

It pips smaller ‘books’ – one fitting on the width of a human hair and another created using the same technology as money printers use to prevent forgery – because of its delicately traditional creation.

The Guinness World Records smallest reproduction of a printed book measures just 70 micrometres by 100 micrometres but was created using an ion beam on a pure crystalline silicon page rather than conventional ink on paper.

 Tough read: Worlds smallest book
THE REAL DEAL: With 26 paper pages, a real spine and leather cover the text is officially the world’s smallest mechanically-printed book (© Cavendish Press)

Held in Manchester’s John Rylands Library in partnership with the University of Manchester, the book is kept safe from giant fingers in a box alongside other small books from their collection and has been part of the collection since 2012.

Julianne Simpson, Rare Book and Maps Manager at the library said that when it emerged there was a smaller book than their previous record-holder – a tiny edition of the Lord’s Prayer – they had to buy it.

“We love it as a library interested in printing and fine printing so it’s the sort of thing that is attractive to us,” she said.

“Some of the other really small books in the world aren’t what we would consider proper printing.

“This even has its own little leather binding. It’s made like a normal book. We have a small collection of small books and keep them all together in a box. We get them out occasionally but have to keep a very close eye on them.

“It’s a very quirky typeface and it’s printed in multiple colours which sets it apart from most others like this. It’s just showing off really!”

 Tough read: Worlds smallest book
CAUGHT SHORT: The book measures just 2.4mm by 2.9mm (© Cavendish Press)

The John Rylands library has an astonishing collection of around half a million old and rare texts.

Ms Simpson added: “If you have good eyesight you can just about make the letters out. It’s probably not the right book to curl up with alongside the fire.

The winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize for Fiction is...


Source: ManBookerPrize.com    14 October 2014

australian author richard flanagan wins man booker prize The winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize for Fiction is...

Richard Flanagan is tonight, Tuesday 14 October, announced as the winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for The Narrow Road to the Deep North, published by Chatto & Windus.

The Tasmanian-born author is the third Australian to win the coveted prize which, for the first time in its 46-year history, is now expanded to include entries from writers of all nationalities, writing originally in English and published in the UK. He joins an impressive literary canon of former winners including fellow Australians Thomas Kenneally (Schindler’s Ark, 1982) and Peter Carey (Oscar & Lucinda, 1988 and The True History of the Kelly Gang, 2001).

The Narrow Road to the Deep North is the sixth novel from Richard Flanagan, who is considered by many to be one of Australia’s finest novelists. It centres upon the experiences of surgeon Dorrigo Evans in a Japanese POW camp on the now infamous Thailand-Burma railway. The Financial Times calls it ‘elegantly wrought, measured and without an ounce of melodrama… nothing short of a masterpiece.’

Named after a famous Japanese book by the haiku poet Basho, The Narrow Road to the Deep North is described by the 2014 judges as ‘a harrowing account of the cost of war to all who are caught up in it’. Questioning the meaning of heroism, the book explores what motivates acts of extreme cruelty and shows that perpetrators may be as much victims as those they abuse. Flanagan’s father, who died the day he finished The Narrow Road to the Deep North, was a survivor of the Burma Death Railway.

Richard Flanagan was announced as the 2014 winner by AC Grayling, Chair of judges, at an awards dinner at London’s Guildhall, which was broadcast live on the BBC News Channel. Flanagan was presented with a trophy from HRH The Duchess of Cornwall and a £50,000 cheque from Emmanuel Roman, Chief Executive of Man Group. The investment management firm has sponsored the prize since 2002.

AC Grayling comments: ‘The two great themes from the origin of literature are love and war: this is a magnificent novel of love and war. Written in prose of extraordinary elegance and force, it bridges East and West, past and present, with a story of guilt and heroism.

‘This is the book that Richard Flanagan was born to write.’

In addition to his £50,000 prize and trophy, Flanagan also receives a designer bound edition of his book, and a further £2,500 for being shortlisted.

On winning the Man Booker Prize, an author can expect international recognition, not to mention a dramatic increase in book sales. Sales of Hilary Mantel’s winning novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, have exceeded a million copies in their UK editions, published by Fourth Estate. Her novels have subsequently been adapted for stage and screen, with the highly acclaimed theatre productions of both novels arriving on Broadway in April 2015. Granta, publisher of Eleanor Catton’s 2013 winner, The Luminaries, has sold 300,000 copies of the book in the UK and almost 500,000 worldwide.

AC Grayling, philosopher and author, was joined on the 2014 panel of judges by: Jonathan Bate, Oxford Professor of English Literature and biographer; Sarah Churchwell, UEA’s Professor of American Literature; Daniel Glaser, neuroscientist and cultural commentator; Alastair Niven, former Director of Literature at the British Council and at the Arts Council, and Erica Wagner, former literary editor and writer.

- See more at: http://www.themanbookerprize.com//news/winner-2014-man-booker-prize-fiction#sthash.hvWyKiVI.dpuf

Emory acquires archive of author Flannery O'Connor

flannery oconnorwise blood1 Emory acquires archive of author Flannery OConnor

Emory University will house the archives of acclaimed American author Flannery O'Connor, university officials said Tuesday.

The school's Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library acquired the archives of the novelist and short story author from the Mary Flannery O'Connor Charitable Trust in Milledgeville, university officials said in a release.

Among other honors, the author posthumously won the 1972 National Book Award in the fiction category for "The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor." O'Connor, who was born in Savannah and lived in Milledgeville, died of lupus at age 39 in 1964.

Rosemary Magee, director of Emory's Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library, said in a written statement that the collection of writings, artwork, photos, journals and more will "provide new opportunities for teaching and research about O'Connor and modern literature."

The collection also includes more than 600 letters between O'Connor and her mother, university officials said.

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Tretheway, who directs Emory's creative writing program, said O'Connor's work influenced her own growth as a writer.

"I carried her collected stories with me when I went off to graduate school, and I learned a great deal form the precision of her stories — her clear-eyed look at the world around her, her unflinching investigation of human nature," Trethewey said in a statement. "This archive is a great resource for those wishing to see the inner workings of the mind of a great writer dealing with the ongoing issues and difficult knowledge of our historical moment."

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/entertainment/celebrities/article2560634.html#storylink=cpy

On the Market: MONTAIGNE, MICHEL DE. The Essayes

Source:  19th Shop.com

Montaigne small On the Market: MONTAIGNE, MICHEL DE. The Essayes

FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH. John Florio’s translation of Montaigne’s essays is the most important Elizabethan translation of any continental or classical text. The influence of Florio’s Montaigne on English writers and thinkers of the time was immense. Shakespeare’s considerable debt to Florio’s Montaigne is well-documented: King Lear andThe Tempest in particular owe much to Florio. “Upon his version of Montaigne’s Essays[Florio] exhausted his gifts and lavished his temperament…. Turn where you will in his translation, and you will find flowers of speech” (Cambridge History of English and American Literature).

“The brilliance of Florio’s achievement was so generally acknowledged that even those English readers with very good command of French – John Donne, Walter Raleigh, Francis Bacon, and Robert Burton, to name a few – chose to encounter Montaigne through Florio’s English. To read the Essays in Florio’s translation is to read them, as it were, over the shoulders of some of England’s greatest writers” (Greenblatt, Shakespeare’s Montaigne).

The Essays of Montaigne is the first collection of essays, a literary form that Montaigne invented to express his personal convictions and meditations. Montaigne’s Essays are the “consummate representation of the enlightened scepticism of the sixteenth century.”The essay is “a form in which he can hardly be said to have been anticipated. The most elaborate essay, Apologie de Raimonde Sebonde, is second to no other modern writing in attacking fanaticism and pleading for tolerance” (PMM).

“His influence pervaded three centuries and four continents … Montaigne was the grandfather, as Bayle was the father of the Enlightenment. Through him the psychological analysis of mind entered into French literature, from Corneille and Moliere, La Rochefoucauld and La Bruyere to Anatole France. Thoreau took much at this fountainhead, and Emerson bathed himself in it before writing his own essays. Of Montaigne, as of few authors before the eighteenth century, it may be said that he is read today as if he had written yesterday” (Will and Ariel Durant , The Age of Reason Begins).

This is an exceptionally appealing copy in its original Elizabethan binding with a crowned Tudor rose and laurel leaves. The Folger Shakespeare Library has two bindings with very similar crowned Tudor rose and laurel medallions (Cicero, Three Bookes of Duties, London, 1596, and Certain Sermons, London, 1595), both without the I.S. initials.This splendid volume is an excellent, tall copy measuring 11½ x 7½ inches. The better of the two Pforzheimer copies of the 1503 Montaigne, also in contemporary calf with a center medallion, has identical dimensions.

High-quality examples of Florio’s Montaigne in period bindings have become rare in the market. The last example in a contemporary binding without extensive restoration was the Berland copy (2001).

Grolier/English 102. Pforzheimer 378. Printing and the Mind of Man 95 (French). STC 18041.

$30,000   (Click link for more information)

“Montaigne’s essays have scriptural status, competing with the Bible, the Koran, Dante, and Shakespeare” – Harold Bloom, The Western Canon


Celebrating the Freedom to Read: Sept. 21-27, 2014

<h2>Banned Books Week</h>

abffelogo4 Celebrating the Freedom to Read: Sept. 21 27, 2014

Banned Books Week

Booksellers around the country have joined with librarians, publishers, writers, teachers and other advocates of the freedom to read in kicking off the latest celebration of Banned Books Week.  Hundreds have created displays of banned and challenged titles, and many have organized events.  Books Inc., an independent bookseller in San Francisco, has released a video as part of its program of events.  On Friday, two booksellers from Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, helped get things started by discussing their fight against the censorship of emily m. danforth’s Miseducation of Cameron Post.  The book, which is the story of a young lesbian, was dropped from a summer reading list in the local schools.  Susan McAnelly, the manager of the bookstore, and Madison Bacon, an employee who just graduated from the local high school, were interviewed on the Project Censored radio show, which originates on KPFA, a Pacifica network station in Berkeley, California.  (The program is available online, and the 12-minute segment featuring the McAnelly and Bacon begins at 34:56.)

Ursula K. Le Guin to Receive NBF Lifetime Achievement Award

Source:   Publisher's Weekly

The National Book Foundation, presenter of the National Book Awards, announced that it will award its 2014 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters to Ursula K. Le Guin. Neil Gaiman will present the award to Le Guin at the 65th National Book Awards ceremony on November 19, in New York City.

ursala and neil Ursula K. Le Guin to Receive NBF Lifetime Achievement Award

Ursula K. Le Guin and Neil Gaiman

 Ursula Le Guin has had an extraordinary impact on several generations of readers and, particularly, writers in the United States and around the world,” said Harold Augenbraum, the Foundation’s executive director. “She has shown how great writing will obliterate the antiquated—and never really valid—line between popular and literary art. Her influence will be felt for decades to come.”

Le Guin is the 27th recipient of the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, established in 1988. Previous recipients include John Ashbery, Joan Didion, E.L. Doctorow, Maxine Hong Kingston, Elmore Leonard, Norman Mailer, Toni Morrison, and Tom Wolfe.

James Wells, former Newberry Library Expert, Dies

Source: Chicago Tribune


James Wells, former Newberry Library expert, dies


ct met obit well31 James Wells, former Newberry Library Expert, Dies

James Wells


James Wells (Newberry Library photo)
By Graydon Megan,,
Special to the Tribune
LibrariesHistoryUniversity of ChicagoColumbia UniversityWest Virginia UniversityNorthwestern University


Obituary: James Wells was known as a real bookman.
Obituary: 'He was one of the most important rare book specialists in the U.S.'  In more than 30 years with Chicago's Newberry Library, James W. Wells gained a wide reputation as an authority on the history of printing, typography and calligraphy.

"He was one of the most important rare book specialists in the U.S. from the late 1950s through the 1970s," said Paul Gehl, the George Amos Poole III Curator of Rare Books with the Newberry. Gehl said Mr. Wells was known as a real bookman — the term for such a specialist used by those in the field.

He had an inexhaustible knowledge and a remarkable memory for every book that ever passed through his hands.
- Alice Schreyer, interim director of the University of Chicago Library
"He was in so many ways the epitome of the old-fashioned bookman," said Alice Schreyer, interim director of the University of Chicago Library. "He had an inexhaustible knowledge and a remarkable memory for every book that ever passed through his hands."

A bookman looks at the physical characteristics of books, which Schreyer said can include "former ownership, bindings, typefaces — things that distinguish them as physical artifacts as well as conveyors of information. He was just a fount of knowledge."

Mr. Wells, 96, died of natural causes Monday, Sept. 1, in Chicago's Warren Barr Gold Coast, where he had resided for several years.

He was born and grew up in West Virginia. After earning an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, he went on to Columbia University, where he got a master's degree in English.

He taught English at West Virginia University for a year, then held a fellowship before his academic career was interrupted by service in World War II in the Navy Reserve. He returned to Columbia after the war to study and teach before receiving a Fulbright fellowship that took him to London to study for two years.

"He used to say he set out to … study and teach Victorian literature," Gehl said. But along the way, Mr. Wells shifted his focus from the stories in books to the books themselves.

"This happens to people who start out with an academic interest and then move into the library world," Gehl said.

In London, Mr. Wells met the late printing historian and typographer Stanley Morison, who had a connection with the Newberry and recommended Mr. Wells for a post there.

The independent Newberry Library offers readers and researchers an extensive noncirculating collection of rare books, maps, music, manuscripts and other printed material spanning six centuries.

"He started as curator of our specialized collection on the history of printing," Gehl said. In 1951, Mr. Wells became custodian of the John M. Wing Foundation on the History of Printing, a post Gehl took on after Mr. Wells retired in 1984.

Mr. Wells had several jobs at the Newberry, including a stint as custodian of the Rare Book Room in 1963. The next year he became the library's associate director. In 1975 he became vice president and in 1981 added the title of George Amos Poole III Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Mr. Wells worked closely with area collectors to bring a number of important collections to the Newberry. A landmark in Mr. Wells' career came in 1964 when he was instrumental in the library's acquisition of the Louis H. Silver Collection of English and Continental early and first editions.

Gehl said Mr. Wells did important work not only in helping the library acquire rare and antiquarian books but also in the acquisition of important map collections and in the collection of modern literary manuscripts.
Mr. Wells made regular book-buying trips to Europe. "He knew so many legendary figures (in the field) and he had great stories about everybody," Schreyer said.

Gehl noted that Mr. Wells played a key role in drumming up support for the Newberry as it and other nonprofits found themselves facing dwindling endowments.

"They had to shift a lot of attention to fundraising," Gehl said. "Jim was in the first generation of special collection librarians who did that."

As part of that effort, Mr. Wells created the Newberry Library Associates when few libraries had those kinds of supporting membership groups.

Mr. Wells was a longtime member of the Caxton Club of Chicago, founded by and for book lovers in 1895. He joined the club in 1951, the same year he came to Chicago and began his Newberry career.

In a 2007 profile in the club's journal, Mr. Wells described himself as a "reader, not a collector."

But Schreyer said Mr. Wells did have some collectible volumes, not all of which went to the Newberry. "Jim was the quintessential example of sharing and generosity that exists in this community," Schreyer said.

While he was an important person and supporter of Newberry, she said, he was also a "very good friend of the University of Chicago Library."

"In some of his gifts the Newberry may have had first picks," Schreyer said, "but the University of Chicago also got some wonderful things from him as well."

There are no immediate survivors.

Mr. Wells will be remembered with an exhibit and party at the Newberry next year.

Pacific Northwest Book Fair Week

Source: Vancouver Book Fair on LinkedIn


Within one week and 225 kilometers (140 miles) apart there will be two antiquarian book fairs and one art book fair.

The Vancouver Book Fair (Oct. 4-5) is the only antiquarian, collectible and rare book fair in Western Canada, and will feature many of Canada's top booksellers. Around 30 exhibitors will offer a wide selection of antiquarian, collectible and rare books, ephemera, maps, prints, manuscripts, photographs and works on paper at the fair. For more details please see: www.vancouverbookfair.com

On the same weekend and taking place next door at the Vancouver Art Gallery will be the Vancouver Art Book Fair. The VA/BF is the only international art book fair in Canada and is a two-day festival of artists’ publishing featuring nearly one hundred local, national and international publishers. For more details please see: 2014.vancouverartbookfair.com

Then on the following weekend, the Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair (Oct. 11-12), an international event and one of the largest independent antiquarian book fairs with around 100 exhibitors featuring thousands of rare books, prints, maps, photographs and ephemera for sale will take place. For more details please see: www.seattlebookfair.com

Also, there are 25 ILAB members as well as many other independent rare and used booksellers in British Columbia, Oregon and Washington State and many of them could easily be visited in the five days between the Vancouver and Seattle Book Fairs.

First Superman comic is expected to fetch millions on eBay

The copy of Action Comics #1 is said to be in the best condition of any copy currently in existence.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor - By Weston Williams,  Contributor 

07 24 14superman full 600 First Superman comic is expected to fetch millions on eBay

Superman # 1

How much would you spend on a comic book? What if that comic book were one of the rarest comic books in existence, and in fantastic condition? Soon, enthusiasts and collectors will have the opportunity to bid on one such comic book, and the price is expected to shatter records for a comic book purchase. The comic book in question is Action Comics #1, first published in June of 1938. The issue is known particularly for the first appearance of Superman.

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Superman, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, had his first outing in the issue. His image, raising a car above his head, makes the cover of Action Comics #1 instantly recognizable. The hero would go on from that first outing to set the standard for the superhero archetype in pop culture, and eventually become a household name across the nation and the world.

Any copy of Action Comics #1 is of interest to collectors, regardless of its condition. However, the book in question is not a tattered, faded comic. In fact, it is reported to be in amazing condition. According to Cnet, the copy soon to be auctioned on eBay was rated by the Certified Guaranty Company, a well-known comic book quality rating company, as having a condition of 9.0 out of 10, the highest quality rating a copy of Action Comics #1 has ever received. The colors are said to be vibrant, and it even has white pages where most existing copies have long since yellowed. Only about 50 unrestored copies are believed to exist, according to Cnet. Of those, this one is considered the best. "The quality and preservation of this Action #1 is astounding," Paul Litch, CGC Primary Grader, said in a statement, according to Cnet. "The book looks and feels like it just came off the newsstand. It is supple, the colors are deep and rich and the quality of the white pages is amazing for a comic that is 76 years old." The high quality and the rarity of the comic book means that this copy of Action Comics #1 could sell for as much as three million dollars, according to the Economic Times. That's quite a bit more than the comic's original selling price of 10 cents in 1938. According to Today, the last Action Comics #1 was sold for over two million in 2011. And this copy is in far better condition, having spent most of its existence in a dry, dark chest with very little air for much of its existence.According to a video advertising the auction on eBay, such conditions are ideal for preserving comic books. The copy was later moved to a bank vault and later sold to Darren Adams, the current owner. Adams says that he chose to make the comic available on eBay so that the issue would theoretically be available to anyone, not just to a small circle of collectors, which is the case with many of the most valuable comic books. "I felt this book deserves to have as much publicity as possible because of what it is," said Adams in the eBay video. "It is the cream of the crop, and it doesn't get any better than this." While the book is technically available for purchase by anyone with a few million dollars to spend on it, Adams did also express his hope that a museum might purchase the issue so that the public could enjoy seeing the debut of an American icon in such a pristine format. A portion of the proceeds of the sale will go to the Christopher and Diana Reeve Foundation. Christopher Reeve was best known for playing Superman in the 1970s and 80s. News of the upcoming sale comes at a particularly auspicious time for comics, with blockbuster after blockbuster based on various superheroes raking in millions at the box office over the past several years. The next movie featuring the Man of Steel will be "Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice," set to come out on May 6, 2016. (Superman's apparent nemesis for this film, Batman, is also making headlines. As the Monitor previously reported, the Caped Crusader is celebrating his 75th year of dealing out justice to criminals with events and celebrations happening throughout this week.) As for Superman's Action Comics #1, bidders still have a few weeks to pull together a few million dollars. The eBay auction will open on August 14 and will last until August 24.