How about the most recent book?
Historical and Descriptive Account of Persia, from the Earliest Ages to the Present Time by James B. Fraser (1860). It’s a small book that came to my collection with some damage to the spine but a great foldout map in the front cover.
And your favorite book in your collection?
Come, Tell Me How You Live by Agatha Christie (1946), one of her autobiographical works. In it, she writes of her time accompanying her husband and eminent archaeologist, Max Mallowan, on a series of excavations in Iraq. Christie’s time in Iraq would also influence her mystery novels, Murder on the Orient Express and Murder in Mesopotamia.
Best bargain you’ve found?
When cleaning out the shelves and shelves of books from my grandmother’s house, I came across 6 books that fit my collection, including A History of Egypt by James Henry Breasted. Going through her books was like being in a used bookstore.
How about The One that Got Away?
I had an opportunity to purchase a first edition of The Rise and Progress of Assyriology by E.A. Wallis Budge. I was standing right in front of it but walked away. I came back the next day and it was already gone.
What would be the Holy Grail for your collection?
I’ve heard rumors of a set of Heritage Resource Preservation playing cards focused on Egyptian antiquities that would complete the set I have of decks focused on Iraq and Afghanistan. I have yet to be able to track one down or find significant writing on them, but I’m always on the lookout.
Who is your favorite bookseller / bookstore?
I can always count on finding something interesting and cool at Paper Nautilus in Providence, RI. Even though they closed earlier this year, I have to shout out Cellar Stories, also in Providence, their absolutely packed shelves that I used to spend quite a bit of time exploring.
What would you collect if you didn’t collect books?
Probably analog or film-style cameras, or records. I guess I have a thing for older technologies.