ABAA bookseller and ILAB member Rebecca Romney of Honey & Wax Books, well known for her TV appearances in the History Channel's "Pawn Stars" has just published her first book "Printer's Error - Irreverent Stories from Book History". This book should be a delight to any collector, dealer or bibliophile in general. A wonderful idea to put together a collection of "absurd" moments in the lives of authors and printers throughout book history.
Harper Collins Publishers (US):
A funny and entertaining history of printed books as told through absurd moments in the lives of authors and printers, collected by television’s favorite rare-book expert from HISTORY’s hit series Pawn Stars.
Since the Gutenberg Bible first went on sale in 1455, printing has been viewed as one of the highest achievements of human innovation. But the march of progress hasn’t been smooth; downright bizarre is more like it. Printer’s Error chronicles some of the strangest and most humorous episodes in the history of Western printing, and makes clear that we’ve succeeded despite ourselves. Rare-book expert Rebecca Romney and author J. P. Romney take us from monasteries and museums to auction houses and libraries to introduce curious episodes in the history of print that have had a profound impact on our world.
Take, for example, the Gutenberg Bible. While the book is regarded as the first printed work in the Western world, Gutenberg’s name doesn’t appear anywhere on it. Today, Johannes Gutenberg is recognized as the father of Western printing. But for the first few hundred years after the invention of the printing press, no one knew who printed the first book. This long-standing mystery took researchers down a labyrinth of ancient archives and libraries, and unearthed surprising details, such as the fact that Gutenberg’s financier sued him, repossessed his printing equipment, and started his own printing business afterward. Eventually the first printed book was tracked to the library of Cardinal Mazarin in France, and Gutenberg’s forty-two-line Bible was finally credited to him, thus ensuring Gutenberg’s name would be remembered by middle-school students worldwide.
Like the works of Sarah Vowell, John Hodgman, and Ken Jennings, Printer’s Error is a rollicking ride through the annals of time and the printed word.
Rebecca gave an interview to AM New York on March 14:
Any tips for would-be rare book collectors in NYC?
There are a number of really great places in New York City where you can look. One of the key things you want to keep in mind, no matter where you are, is that you’ll want to work with a dealer who is experienced and has an established record of knowing their stuff, particularly a problem in the internet age. One of the ways you can tell that is whether they’re a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America. ... That is sort of a seal of approval.
Any tips for rare-book collecting on a budget?
In a lot of ways, the books that aren’t the high spots can be both fulfilling and much more cost effective in some ways. The high spots sort of jump in value compared to other works by the same author. [J.D.] Salinger is a great example of that. “Catcher in the Rye” is way more expensive than his other publications. If your favorite publication from him is actually one of the short stories ... it kind of works to your advantage. Creativity definitely works to your advantage.
>> To read the full interview, please go here.
To contact Rebecca at Honey & Wax Booksellers, please go here.
We hope this wonderful book will be reprinted many times, without any errors ;)