The Who is Who of rare book collecting. Why does Charlie Woods never attend rare book auctions? What do Led Zeppelin and Crowley have in common? Who has bought a lock of Rupert Brooke’s hair? And how much did it cost? Bookride reveals the “hidden” secrets of the antiquarian book trade and explains what is worth collecting in a glossary from A to Z: animals, Attenborough, auctions, Beatles, Boer War, Bloomsbury, Celine, Chesterton, colour printing, cookery, cricket, Crowley, design, Dracula, engineering, false books, flowers ... Some snippets:
“‘They’re very dangerous places for me. I tend to get carried away. I went to one recently and ended up with over 270 books, which was a very bad day. No-one wanted one particular lot, and so I bought it on spec. Later, I sifted through this lot and found just half a dozen books of value. The rest are still in cardboard boxes.’”
“Denis Healey bought a first of Virginia Woolf’s Kew Gardens in Italy during the war for the equivalent of two shillings (10p), which was a good investment for the future Chancellor, who is a devoted Bloomsburyite, even down to choosing a house a few miles from Charleston Farmhouse ...”
“William Cobbett will always be collected for the simple reason that he has never really been in fashion. Richard Ingrams is a great fan, as was the late Paul Foot …”
“Legendary ex Stone Charlie Watts has a purse long enough to afford the great rarities of cricketiana, which along with other sports memorabilia, will always find wealthy collectors ... Colleague Bill Wyman, Penge’s most famous son, is also a cricket fanatic, though he seems to prefer metal detecting to collecting cricket books.”
“Not much reading matter here, but possibly a rewarding subject to collect. A better bet than tiresome contemporary crime fiction, anyway. Dickens had false books in his library with witty labels on their spines. For instance, the multi-volume Wisdom of Our Ancestors consisted of volumes dedicated to Superstition, Ignorance, Disease and Instruments of Torture; whereas The Virtues of Our Ancestors was a volume so narrow that its title had to be printed vertically ...”
The A-Z of Celebrity Book Collecting has been posted by Bookride. The series will be continued. Don’t miss it.
Read the first three parts on Bookride: