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.
A Pound of Paper: Confessions of a Book Addict
A Pound of Paper: Confessions of a Book Addict
By John Baxter
Recently published in the U.S. (following the British first edition), A Pound of Paper combines an author’s understanding of the book world with stories from several decades of inspired collecting—a combination bound to keep the stampedes at library and estate sales as lively (and brutal) as ever. John Baxter, an Australian cinema biographer, conjures a cast of richly drawn literary characters from his adventures in the book trade. The portraits of cocaine-addled bookman Martin Stone and novelist Kingsley Amis (who gives Baxter a proof copy of Ian Fleming’s You Only Live Twice, with Amis’s own notations) are the best parts of a volume that sometimes lags, though ultimately offers a satisfying take on one collector’s journey into books. [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]
A Splendor of Letters: The Permanence of Books in an Impermanent World
A Splendor of Letters: The Permanence of Books in an Impermanent World
The Permanence of Books in an Impermanent World
By Nicholas Basbanes
The arrival of the last volume in Nicholas Basbanes’ trilogy of books about books is cause for celebration. Basbanes’ trilogy is actually a quartet: in addition to A Gentle Madness and Patience and Fortitude, he also wrote Among the Gently Mad, a kind of foreword to the series, even though it arrived third in the chronology. This book quartet serves three purposes. It is a concise history and survey of book culture. It’s a current snapshot of the state of books, and the people who love and work with them. And it offers insights from the world’s leading authorities on trends, past and present, in the book world. [read more]
A Valiant Enterprise
A Valiant Enterprise
A History Of The Talisman Press, 1951–1993: Printers, Publishers, And Antiquarian Booksellers
By Robert Greenwood
I loved this book. In almost twenty years of reviewing a wide range of books for many publications, I have never bluntly used those four simple words to describe any book.,p> [read more]
ABC for Book Collectors
ABC for Book Collectors
Eighth Edition
By John Carter and Nicholas Barker
ABC for Book Collectors is the standard primer and glossary for book collecting in the English-speaking world. It enumerates the terminology used, commonly and uncommonly, among collectors, booksellers, auction houses, librarians, and scholars. It describes the life of the book, from the original holograph manuscript, through galley proofs, to issue as parts in wrappers, until binding and distribution. The history of books and book collecting in the West is indirectly retold in the biographical entries for major printers, binders, collectors, and notable figures such as Roger Payne, Edwards of Halifax, and William Lowndes. ABC also delineates the canon of bibliographical literature, frequently abbreviated or referenced only by surname: ABPC, ISTC, NUC, McKerrow and Gaskell. Reading ABC is a course in Book Collecting 101. [read more]
Adaptations
Adaptations
From Short Story to Big Screen: 35 Great Stories That Have Inspired Great Films
By Stephanie Harrison

I vividly remember the first time I saw David Cronenberg's remake of The Fly. We arrived late on opening night, and the place was packed. It was one of those giant Los Angeles movie theaters, filled with a thousand people. My friends and I ended up sitting in the front row, the huge screen looming over us, and George Lucas's THX sound system—still relatively new at the time—vibrating the seats. I actually ducked when the gore began to fly during the dramatic climax. You'd think I'd never seen a movie before. At that moment, watching the best special effects Hollywood could throw at the screen, I understood how audiences must have felt the first time they saw a moving picture.

[read more]
Alexis de Tocqueville
Alexis de Tocqueville
A Life
By Hugh Brogan

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859), a French magistrate who visited the United States in 1831 to report on our prison system, was propelled to fame as a writer and thinker upon the publication of his De la démocratie en Amérique in 1835. Joseph Epstein, a former editor of the American Scholar who is widely known for his essays on American life and letters, has contributed a volume on Tocqueville for the Eminent Lives series from HarperCollins. Epstein's purpose was to "get at the quality of the extraordinary mind that wrote Democracy in America… [and to] understand better why Alexis de Tocqueville is one of the most engaging figures in intellectual history." The result is a finely drawn portrait of Tocqueville's mind, with the events of his life as a backdrop. Epstein concludes that "no one has yet gone beyond [Tocqueville's] portrayal of the weaknesses and strengths of democracy; no one has had a surer sense of what a democratic government is likely and unlikely to accomplish. He understood, as we put it today, the trade-off of what was gained and what was lost with the advent of equality in modern life; and it is doubtful if anyone since has understood it more deeply."

[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.

[read more]
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]