2010 Bookseller Resource Guide
At Fine Books & Collections, we believe a book (and a book review) remains timeless. For your enjoyment, we've posted online most of the reviews found in Fine Books from recent years.
Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin
Writer and Printer
By James N. Green and Peter Stallybrass
It is too often the case that scholars and librarians do not talk to one another, let alone collaborate. Happily, Benjamin Franklin: Writer and Printer is an exception. Originally conceived as an exhibition catalog, this work sets a new standard for that category. James Green, librarian of the Library Company of Philadelphia, and Peter Stallybrass, an English professor at the University of Pennsylvania, weave a detailed exposition of Franklin’s work as a writer and a printer around 150 full-color images of books, engravings, and manuscripts. [read more]
Book Row: An Anecdotal and Pictorial History of the Antiquarian Book Trade
Book Row: An Anecdotal and Pictorial History of the Antiquarian Book Trade
Marvin Mondlin and Roy Meador
By New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers
In any diner on any street in New York, clusters of old-timers can be found gathered around a Formica table, hashing over the city’s history. A quartet of old socialists argues over Debs, Trotsky and the Rosenbergs. Next to them, a trio of sports fans recalls the Dodgers at Ebbets Field and the Giants at the Polo Grounds. And at the counter, a pair of bibliophiles nostalgically remembers Booksellers’ Row: Fourth Avenue between Astor Place and Union Square in Manhattan, seven blocks that were once home to dozens of the greatest bookstores in the city, perhaps in the country. [read more]
America’s Membership Libraries
America’s Membership Libraries
By (edited by) Richard Wendorf

In Rhode Island, we have more libraries per capita than any other state. Admittedly, as the smallest state in the union, we have a fixation with bragging rights, but it is remarkable that for a population of just over one million people there are twenty-one academic libraries, seventy-one public libraries, ninety-seven school libraries, thirteen hospital libraries, and eight “special” libraries. Two libraries in this last group—the Redwood Library and Athenaeum (established in 1747) and the Providence Athenaeum (founded in 1836)—are represented in America’s Membership Libraries, edited by Richard Wendorf, the director of the Boston Athenaeum.

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Pablo Neruda
Pablo Neruda
A Passion for Life
By Adam Feinstein
The festivities in honor of the centennial of the birth of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda have already exceeded those that surrounded his receipt of the Nobel Prize for literature in 1971. Although the birthday party will soon end, a flurry of books published in connection with the anniversary will enlighten current and future fans of the life and work of Neruda for years to come. [read more]
A Reading Diary
A Reading Diary
A Passionate Reader’s Reflections on a Year of Books
By Alberto Manguel
In the international army of belles lettres, Buenos Aires native Alberto Manguel is general of the bibliographical division. He is a Renaissance bibliophile: essayist, storyteller, collector of tales, champion of good books in any language, and author of two masterpieces on the modern book, A History of Reading (1996) and The Dictionary of Imaginary Places (1980). [read more]
Once Upon a Time
Once Upon a Time
Illustrations from Fairytales, Fables, Primers, Pop-Ups, and Other Children's Books
By Amy Weinstein
The pop-ups and board books of today have their predecessors in the illustrated books of the mid to late 1800s—often called the golden age of children's literature. In the United States, the children's book market was dominated by McLoughlin Brothers of New York, publishers who used chromolithography, a newly affordable technology in the 1870s, to produce hundreds of titles in glorious color. These books entertained children while meeting parents' expectations of educational value. Once Upon a Time is a generously illustrated showcase of the notable collection of children's books (most from McLoughlin) assembled by Arthur and Ellen Liman and recently presented in an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York. [read more]
Melville
Melville
His World and Work
By Andrew Delbanco
Literary biography is a mongrel genre, mixing historical biography with literary criticism. Mediocre literary biographies merely recycle fact and gossip about the author but offer no insight about how their works were written and received, and why they continue to endure. Andrew Delbanco’s Melville: His World and Work belongs among the superlative breed of biography. It’s an outstanding reappraisal of Melville, a reminder of his importance in American literature and his relevance in our time. [read more]
The King’s English
The King’s English
Adventures of an Independent Bookseller
By Betsy Burton
This episodic history of Betsy Burton’s bookstore, the King’s English, reflects the recent story of independent bookselling. Burton and her first partner, Ann Berman, opened the shop in 1977, fueled by an enthusiasm for good literature and a dream of creating a hangout for book lovers in Salt Lake City. Neither partner knew much about running a business, but over time they learn how to negotiate with sales reps, stock inventories, assess and shape the reading tastes of their customers, and thwart the pilfering hands of larcenous employees. When a passion for books is no longer enough to make ends meet, they face the challenges bedeviling all independent booksellers: computerization and the Internet; chain stores and publishing monopolies; and the perennial bugaboo of civilization, censorship. At the King’s English, censorship evolved from objections over feminist literature in the 1970s to the Patriot Act in the 2000s. There are also the challenges unique to running a bookstore so near the headquarters of the Mormon Church. When Jon Krakauer comes to speak about his book on Mormon fundamentalism, Burton finds herself working with a private detective, the local vice squad, and a martial arts expert to provide security. She wonders where the line is between satisfying the wants of customers and squelching free speech. [read more]
Reluctant Capitalists
Reluctant Capitalists
Bookselling and the Culture of Consumption
By By Laura Miller

I once visited a rare bookstore in which I couldn’t buy a book. Not for a lack of trying: I brought nearly a dozen books to the counter, where the owner momentarily glanced at each volume and said, “That’s not for sale.” Selling books is like no other retail business. Even after hundreds of years, there is still a debate: Is a book another saleable commodity, or is it something more?

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The Secret of Lost Things
The Secret of Lost Things
By By Sheridan Hay
Sheridan Hay’s debut novel chronicles a year in the life of Rosemary Savage, a young woman who, in the wake of her mother’s death, moves to New York City, lands a job at the Arcade (a used and antiquarian bookstore modeled on the Strand), and finds herself an unwitting pawn in the quest for a lost manuscript novel by Herman Melville. [read more]