Monday, January 12, 2015

Adventures at the York Bookfair

Rob and I have just returned from the PBFA York Book Fair. This January fair is the smaller of the two fairs that the PBFA run in York. This one had a mere 120 or so dealers offering around 400,000 books. We've been to this fair before but only as customers, this time we were exhibiting our own stock at stall number 61.

It was hard work, as we knew it would be, but we benefited from lots of advice before hand from the lovely Heather and Jeff at Peakirk Books as well as from the fair organisers. It was lovely to meet lots of new customers as well as the other dealers. It was also lovely to meet one other book blogger...

Read more from Catherine at her Juxtabook blog.

Friday, November 28, 2014

To track or not to track?

In today's Sheppard's Confidential, that excellent weekly trade newsletter, bookseller Richard Moffatt of 'Poor Richard's Bookshop' in Felixstowe writes of the loss of books sent to China.

Ibooknet member Mike Sims writes of similar experiences both to China and other countries in his latest blog post in The Abfar Blog. It seems that even the tracking system within the United Kingdom is not immune from the occasional glitch.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Jacobean Travelling Library to go on Display to the Public in Leeds

Entrance to the Brotherton Collection, University of Leeds Library
Among the many rare books and manuscript treasures in the Brotherton Collection at the University of Leeds, its Jacobean Travelling Library has be one of the most curious and intriguing.  Designed to appear, when closed, as a large folio volume, it’s bound in brown turkey leather and contains three shelves housing some 40-odd miniature books bound in limp vellum with coloured fabric ties.  Gold-tooling on the spine of each volume picks out a flower and a wreath while all the covers are embellished with a golden angel carrying a scroll that reads Gloria Deo, meaning Glory to God.

Library, University of Leeds

A sheet of vellum has been affixed onto the inside of the front cover upon which, between arches, architectural details and four grand Corinthian columns, a catalogue of the small books has been painted.  The arms of the Madden family appear beneath the catalogue, suggesting the little library may have been a gift to a member of that family.  The books, which appear to be in remarkably good condition given their age,  are mainly classical texts on philosophical, theological and historical themes but there are also some works of poetry.  Classical authors feature heavily with works by Cicero, Julius Caesar, Seneca, Horace, Virgil and Ovid included.

17th Century Travelling Library, commissioned by William Hakewill MP in 1617

The little library is thought to have been commissioned by William Hakewill MP for a friend around 1617 or 1618.  Hakewill, who at various times sat in Parliament for seats in Cornwall and Buckinghamshire, was a cousin of Sir Thomas Bodley, founder of Oxford’s Bodleian Library and author of one of the first manuals of parliamentary procedure, The Manner How Statutes are Enacted in Parliament by Passing of Bills,  published in 1641.  He was at the pinnacle of his political career at the point at which he commissioned the little library, having been appointed Solicitor General to Queen Anne, wife of James I, in 1617.   During the next few years, Hakewill commissioned three further similar travelling libraries which are now kept in the British Library, the Huntington Library California and the Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio.

Each of the little books is vellum-bound with gold-tooled decoration and coloured fabric ties

Earlier this autumn, the University Library was awarded a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund which will enable this and other rare manuscripts and books from its Special Collection to be put on display for the public.  Worked is expected to commence on the facility, to be housed in the University’s Parkinson Building in spring 2015 with a provisional opening date for the two planned, climate-controlled new galleries of November 2015.  Interviewed by the Daily Mail when news of the grant was announced, Stella Butler, University Librarian and Keeper of the Brotherton Collection, told the paper 'The Jacobean travelling library - one of only four made - dates from 1617 and is one of the most curious items in the Brotherton Collection. The miniature books are contained in a wooden case disguised to look like a large book. It's essentially a 17th century e-book reader such as a Kindle.'

More images of the travelling library are available on BookAddiction's blog.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Booksellers in the Blogosphere

Another round-up of the many and varied things that booksellers muse on.

Mike from ABFAR has been visiting the Dutch House, the home and studio of the artist Edward Seago at Ludham in Norfolk and exploring his WWII connections. Mike's blog post is beautifully illustrated and makes me wish I was near enough to visit.

Jane Badger at Books, Mud and Compost continues her pony book of the day series and her look at Stranger at Follyfoot by Monica Dickens particularly caught my eye. Not a book I've read but anything that brings back memories of Steve and Dora is a Good Thing.

Barbara of March House Books has a lovely post (all Barbara's posts are lovely) on Judy annuals (my paper of choice as a 9 year old!) and Lucie Attwell and other good things. She also has a moving post on visiting the ceramic poppy display, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London.

Marijana has an erudite post on Charles De Gaulle and Hans Ornstein and the Deutsche BP connection over at Marijana Dworski Books.

Catherine of CL Hawley Books has an offer of free UK postage until Christmas and has been reviewing the hilarious Straight Man by Richard Russo.

I've only just added Plurabelle Books to our blog roll on the right but I recommend you take a look. Recent posts include a very readable piece on Bicycles and Gramophones (I do like a business that multi-tasks!), from which the image at the top of this post is drawn, and another of a beautiful Rabbinic Bible.

Lastly can I draw your attention to the post All the Fun of the Book Fair on Martin Edwards' Crime Writing Blog 'Do You Write Under Your Own Name?'. He's written a lovely review of the PBFA Book Fair in Harrogate last weekend including a great piece about a teacher taking some year 8 children (age 12-13) around which an really inspirational bit of teaching.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Buying for Christmas?

Today, 20th October 2014, I sent a book to USA by Royal Mail's 'International Economy' (surface mail) and I wondered at the time if it would arrive before Christmas. I checked Royal Mail's recommended last posting dates and found that sadly the last day was 14th October. Be warned, if you are buying Christmas presents from any UK bookseller and you are based outside the UK do ask the seller about delivery times and/or check the Royal Mail's last recommended posting dates.

Royal Mail's page about the last posting dates is not the most obvious name nor was it too easy to find on their website. I had to look up international mail and then enter 'Christmas' in their help centre search but I found it eventually. I have an idea they might move that page before the final Christmas rush so I have also included a link to their downloadable .pdf guide as well.

The last thing any seller wants is for you to be disappointed by parcels not arriving in time. On most of the sites we use, where we have that facility, we will warn you about the time it can take for International Economy (surface mail) to reach you. In many cases you may find that International Standard (airmail) is only a little more expensive and that by using it early you can be assured of delivery in good time.

The last posting dates from UK by International Economy (surface mail) to everywhere except Eastern and Western Europe are now in the past and I wouldn't suggest using that service at all when International Standard (airmail) to that region is only fractionally more.

The last recommended posting dates from UK by International Standard (airmail) are:

 3 December - Asia, Far East (including Japan), New Zealand
 4 December - Australia
 5 December - Africa, Caribbean, Central & Sth America, Middle East
 8 December - Cyprus, Eastern Europe, Greece
 9 December - Canada, Poland
12 December - USA
13 December - Western Europe (excluding Greece, Poland)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

New Bookselling Website and a delve into Family History

Catherine at CL Hawley Books has launched a new bookselling website this week with a bit of a fanfare. Read more about book competitions, including one for children, and get a 30% off code over at Juxtabook.

Barbara at March House Books also has a new venture: a family history blog following the Flitney family. Anyone enjoying the current series of Who Do You Think You Are? will find it fascinating. She isn't neglecting her original blog either, which is still the place to go for beautiful vintage children's books.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

PBFA's York Book Fair, 19 & 20 September

This coming weekend you have the chance to be in the same building with the largest number of rare/used/antiquarian book sellers in one place in not just the UK but Europe. They are accompanied by lots and lots of books!

The annual York National Book Fair, the largest in Europe, will open on Friday 19 September 2014 at the Knavesmire Suite, York Racecourse in York. If you have not been to this event before, it is a must for book lovers and buyers seeking books, maps and images, indeed all things to do with paper. Not just for collectors, it is very much for readers too, with items for all budgets, though it is a wonderful opportunity to see and browse some really special items.

2014 is the 40th anniversary of the PBFA and this year's fair features the largest ever number of exhibitors. Over 210 leading dealers will gather to offer rare, antiquarian, unusual and hard to obtain items on all conceivable subjects. This year exhibitors are from as far afield as Germany, Hong Kong and Canada as well as all corners of the British Isles. In advance of the fair, you can take a peep at some of the items exhibitors intend to bring by visiting the website where you can also get a complimentary ticket. Admission on the door is otherwise £2.00 per person.

As well as the books for sale, all the trades, such as paper makers, calligraphers and bookbinders will have exhibition stands at the fair. Andy Moore, for instance, makes one off calligraphy pieces, for a combination of exhibitions, events and commissions.

With over 100,000 books for sale, where else can you look at, touch, enjoy, and even purchase so many rarities under one roof? If you are already a collector then it is a great opportunity to meet new dealers in your area, and again if you have a collector's heart on a student's budget it is great way to meet dealers and discuss their specialisms. The sellers bring just a fraction of their stock but you can pick up leaflets and bookmarks with their website details, where you may find at a later date a regular supply of your favorite authors or areas within your budget.

The Racecourse venue is light and airy with ample parking. For those coming by train, or just wanting access to and from the town, there will be a free shuttle-bus. This operates between York Railway Station and the Racecourse, approximately every 20 minutes. For more information:

It is my first year as a full member of the PBFA and I won't be exhibiting this time, but you can browse this list of my Ibooknet bookselling colleagues who will be there. I would particularly recommend you say hello to Stephen Foster at Stand 4 and Heather and Jeff at Peakirk Books at stand 170!

You'd like to see a picture of Ibooknet bookseller Stephen with Taylor Lautner wouldn't you? Here he is! That is proper bookselling wear that is. Stephen's bookshop was used in the Funeral epsiode of Cuckoo recently.

Back to York bookfair: if you attend we'd love to hear what you think of it, or read about what you bought!

Cross-posted on Juxtabook
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