November 2011 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Raptis Rare Books

Catalogue Review: Raptis Rare Books, #1

Raptis-Cover.pngMatthew Raptis is a congenial young bookseller in Brattleboro, Vermont. I had the pleasure of meeting him last year at a book fair. From his age and his casual personality, you might not guess that his stock is exceptional high points of modern literature. Some examples: a $550,000 Great Gatsby (inscribed, in the elusive jacket); a $45,000 signed first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone; a $27,500 Catcher in the Rye, in an unrestored fine dust jacket; and a $25,000 signed first edition of To Kill a Mockingbird in a very good dust jacket.

With full color illustrations and clear descriptions, this first catalogue is delight to look at. There are 77 pages, brimming with books, so this review is just the tip of the iceberg. I enjoyed seeing some out-of-the-box titles like Ernest Callenbach's Ecotopia ($1,500) and Leonard Cohen's Beautiful Losers ($1,250). A first edition of Gregory Maguire's 1995 book, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, is signed with a line from the novel and a drawing of a witch ($650). Very cool!

The signed first edition of John Fowles' The French Lieutenant's Woman ($950) is tempting (because I love that novel) even if the jacket on the signed first edition of The Magus is prettier ($2,000). A signed first edition of Stephen King's The Shining would be a neat acquisition ($3,000).  

A complete set of Dick Francis--forty volumes, all signed--is impressive ($19,500), but for me not quite as enticing as the John Updike collection of first editions of each of the four Rabbit books ($2,750).

In the second half of the catalogue, there are sections on literature and children's books--neat to see a signed first edition of The Outsiders there ($3,250)--as well as photography, and a non-fiction section with many modern economic and political titles. I couldn't do it justice by naming a few here. Take a look for yourself -- there is so much to see! Download it here: