Fine Books’ Top Ten Stories of 2016

Which of our blog posts elicited the most attention last year? Let’s recap:

#1 Found: Lovecraft-Houdini Manuscript
When a 31-page typescript of “The Cancer of Superstition” turned up in a “now-defunct magic shop,” H. P. Lovecraft’s followers went wild with excitement. Update: It sold at auction for $33,600.  

Lovecraft.jpg#2 New California Law Will Make Signed Books & Art Harder to Sell
Scott Brown, proprietor of Eureka Books in Eureka, California, was leading the charge to amend a new state law that requires all autographed material sold for more than $5 to be accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. Update: The law went into effect on Sunday, and Brown is still appealing.

#3 The Book That Inspired Umberto Eco
When Eco died last February, we revisited an interview Nick Basbanes did with him in 1995 when they discussed the soiled sixteenth-century tome that inspired The Name of the Rose.

#4 Software and Apps for Cataloguing Your Book Collection
How do you catalog your books? We asked around and received many replies. Update: Be sure to read the comments too!

#5 Rare Books on Instagram
Crossing social media platforms, we surveyed institutional Instagram accounts that showcase their marvelous special collections.

#6 Beatrix Potter’s Forgotten Tale Published at Last
The recently rediscovered “Kitty-in-Boots” was published by Frederick Warne (a subsidiary of Penguin) on September 6 to coincide with the sesquicentennial of Potter’s birth.

#7 The New ABC for Book Collectors
Oak Knoll Press released the ninth edition of this classic book for book collectors, with a revised text, sleek new design, and illustrations.

#8 New Agatha Christie Stamps Feature Clues
A mysterious set of stamps issued by the Royal Mail in celebration of the author’s 126th birthday pleased Christie fans.

Lot-415-E-Simms-Campbell-Night-Club-Map-Harlem copy.jpg#9 A Map of Harlem’s Speakeasies and Nightclubs at Auction
The original artwork for E. Simms Campbell’s 1932 Night-Club Map of Harlem went to auction at Swann Galleries on March 31. Update: Yale’s Beinecke Library acquired it for $100,000.

 #10 Rare Books of Instagram (Part 2)
This time we surveyed librarians with their own Instagram accounts. Update: Part 3 and possibly 4 are in the works, focused on booksellers and collectors.

Want more top stories? See: 2015, 2014, 2013.

Images: (Above) Courtesy of Potter & Potter Auctions; (Below) Courtesy of Swann Galleries.

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