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]
The Bookseller of Kabul
The Bookseller of Kabul
By Åsne Seierstad. Translated by Ingrid Christophersen
Advertisements for the English translation of Åsne Seierstad’s “astounding international bestseller” originally titled Bokhandleren i Kabul quote reviewers who have called it, correctly, “An unblinking account of the inner workings of an Afghan family” and “A searing attack on the way Afghan men treat women.” After seeing the English translation, the titular bookseller, Shah Mohammed Rais, flew to Oslo to denounce the book’s indiscretions about his family and to have his “honor restored.” [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]
Time was Soft There
Time was Soft There
A Paris Sojourn at Shakespeare & Co.
By Jeremy Mercer
Time Was Soft There pleasantly surprised me, as much as life surprised its author. Mercer, who started his career as a journalist in Canada, found himself under a vendetta from a thug whose crimes he had reported. He fled to Paris and, not unlike scores of writers and artists who make a pilgrimage to the city, found himself out of work and homeless. Running out of money, he was offered a bed and a job by George Whitman, the proprietor of Shakespeare & Co., the legendary bookstore on the Left Bank. Mercer, who has a journalist’s crisp style and a good eye for human details, recognizes the real story is Whitman’s. [read more]