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Howard Greenberg Gallery Presents "Vivian Maier: The Color Work"

New York - The color work of street photographer Vivian Maier will be the... read more

Bonhams Introduces the Griffith J. Davis Photography and Archives

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Modern African-American Art Shines in Oct 4 Sale at Swann

New York—African-American Fine Art sales at Swann Galleries offer the opportunity to see marketplace... read more

The First Book Published and Printed in Antarctica at Bonhams NY

New York− On September 25, Bonhams sale of Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana will... read more

The First Western Book on Cosmetics & Scents will be Sold in Paris

Published for the first time in Venice in 1555, it was a precious asset... read more

Printed Matter Presents the NY Art Book Fair Sept. 21-23

Printed Matter, Inc. presents THE NY ART BOOK FAIR, September 21-23, 2018 Preview:... read more

Rarities Reach Six Figures at Heritage Auctions' Rare Books & Maps Auction

Dallas, TX - An extremely rare first edition considered one of the most significant... read more

Winners of the 2018 Dayton Literary Peace Prize Announced

Dayton, OH - Salt Houses, Hala Alyan's debut novel about a displaced Palestinian family,... read more

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2015 Bookseller Resource Guide
Dear Reader

The Reading Life

Fine Books and Collections editor Ann J. Loftin
Editor Ann J. Loftin

This month, in recognition of New York’s 49th annual Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA) fair, we’re dwelling on the city where people still value the printed word. I could write a book—I should’ve written a book—on the writing life in New York. I lived as a writer in Greenwich Village, the subject of Nicole Pasulka’s featured essay, for most of 15 years. I lived in a railroad tenement apartment, a fifth-floor walkup, with a grimy little bathroom looking out onto an airshaft. (This was an improvement over my friends’ Little Italy apartments, where one bathed in the kitchen sink.) I had messed around in grad school at Columbia University for longer than I could afford, and I had to get a job. But full-time editorial jobs were hard to come by in the late 1970s, whereas freelance jobs could be had for the asking, leaving plenty of time for patrolling the city’s bookstores—the Strand, Gotham Book Mart, Books & Company (founded in 1977 by IBM heiress Jeannette Watson), and the great, grimy Coliseum Books off Columbus Circle. The chains didn’t exist yet. Wherever you went in the city, independent bookstores teemed with readers and writers.

I wrote whatever I could to make my $250 a month rent. I wrote reviews of screenplays for Jane Fonda’s film company, IPC. I wrote essays about Matthew Arnold, when not fetching jelly doughnuts in Times Square for my notoriously coked-up boss, the late Saturday Night Live writer Michael O’Donoghue. I wrote film treatments for the son of the great movie director Emeric Pressburger. I wrote short stories for long-gone literary magazines; poems, for…well, for my boyfriends. I wrote articles about the winners of the New York Lottery celebrating at TGIF; about some Presidents’ wives holding séances in the White House; about corporate executives buying islands somewhere to the south of me. I was living Saul Steinberg’s New Yorker cartoon of Manhattan, a place where the world ends just shy of New Jersey. My newfound hometown was—and, I think, will always be—a feverish, moody place, perfectly captured by John Rosenthal’s photographs, shown in this issue.

Last time I checked I was not a famous writer, but all of the above is simply to illustrate that the authors of rare books are born every day. They move to New York and start getting published. Their names are Dylan Thomas, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Henry James, Michael Cunningham, Nicole Pasulka. They ask one thing only of you, dear reader.

Keep reading.

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