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.
Letterpress Printing
Letterpress Printing
A Manual for Modern Fine Press Printers
By Paul Maravelas
The editor of this magazine thinks there are some of you who not only read books but also entertain thoughts about printing them in your own home workshop. He is probably right. The urge to print sometimes erupts at a very young age and then is suppressed for years. There are past generations of boys who caught the printing bug from the famous Kelsey Press Co. of Meriden, Connecticut, where back in the good old days a kid could get an entire "printing outfit" for $8.85. Readers of FB&C are advised to aim for something better. If one is serious about it, a medium-sized platen press or, better yet, a Vandercook, is needed to produce any kind of respectable printing or bookwork. [read more]
Manga
Manga
Masters of the Art
By Timothy R. Lehmann
A few years ago, if someone had asked for my opinion of manga, I would have said it was not my favorite tropical fruit. But then I got married, and with my wife came two lovely stepdaughters, one of whom was absolutely mad for manga. [read more]
Edmund Wilson
Edmund Wilson
A Life in Literature
By Lewis M. Dabney,
Edmund Wilson is often referred to as America's last man of letters. He published fiction, poetry, plays, reviews, criticism, and (posthumously) extensive journals and letters, yet he was never affiliated with any academic institution. His reading was prodigious and his writing equally so; in his lifetime he published some forty books over a fifty-year career, with more than a dozen additional titles coming out after his death. [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]
The House of Paper
The House of Paper
By Carlos María Domínguez
I am always attracted to small books about books. This slim volume, originally published in Spanish as La casa de papel, has been expertly translated by Nick Caistor to bring a charming story of books and bibliomania to English-speaking readers. [read more]
The World on Sunday
The World on Sunday
Graphic Art in Joseph Pulitzer's Newspaper (1898-1911)
By Nicholson Baker and Margaret Brentano
One of the sad stories of our information age is the destruction of old newspapers for the sake of saving space. The Library of Congress and the New York Public Library have sold or discarded valuable collections of newspapers, some of which were replaced with the abominable microfilm. This tragedy was presented in detail by Nicholson Baker in his 2001 book, Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper, and is driven home by this book, The World on Sunday, in which the reader can sample what has been deemed by some great institutions as unworthy of safekeeping. A huge debt of gratitude is owed to Baker and his wife, Margaret Brentano, for saving, among many other newspapers, a partial set of Joseph Pulitzer's The World, which they acquired from the British Library at a little-publicized mail auction of its American newspaper holdings. [read more]
Flying Leaves and One-Sheet
Flying Leaves and One-Sheet
Pennsylvania German Broadsides, Fraktur, and Their Printers
By Russell and Corinne Earnest, with Edward L. Rosenberry.
Change to the copy of a review -robWithin the large field of American book history, there is a substantial and scarcely known tradition of ethnic German books stretching from colonial times up through a rich nineteenth century, and even into the present. The Ausbund, a hymnal compiled by sixteenth- century European Anabaptists, would be printed frequently in southeastern Pennsylvania in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and remained in print as recently as 2000. It is still in active use across the American continent by Amish congregations that preserve a German dialect. German Bibles were printed in America well before English versions, and even Benjamin Franklin tried to launch a German newspaper in Philadelphia. [read more]
Bookbinders at Work
Bookbinders at Work
Their Roles and Methods
By Mirjam M. Foot
It's an exciting time to be a bibliographer. For most of the twentieth century, W. W. Greg and Fredson Bowers's work on descriptive bibliography-deducing the nature of the "ideal" copy of a book based on the evidence from copies of the book itself-have influenced the work of book historians. Collectors and dealers use modified forms of Greg and Bowers's methodology to determine that a book is complete and not missing pages. Their work focused almost exclusively on the hand-press period, before printing became automated, and considered only the work of the printer and not of illustrators or bookbinders. The printed page ruled in Greg and Bowers's world. After all, it was believed, once a stack of unbound pages left the printer, anything could happen. The bibliographer's mission was to figure out what the printer intended. [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]
Mongo
Mongo
Adventures in Trash
By Ted Botha
According to Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang, the word mongo was coined in New York in the 1980s. It refers to trash, or more specifically, to treasure found in trash: books, artifacts, furniture, even food. Ted Botha’s book explores a whole culture, and various subcultures, that revolve around mongo. [read more]