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Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World Paperback – Apr 15 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (April 15 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312187688
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312187682
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #362,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

After years of competitive extravagance at birthday time, Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone decided to limit themselves to $20 each, which is how they came to be in possession of a $10 definitive translation of War and Peace, complete with maps of the major battles and fold-out color illustrations. It is also how they eventually came to be the owners of a $650 edition of Dickens's Martin Chuzzlewit. Used and Rare, the Goldstones' tale of the journey from point A to point B, is a joyful celebration of their love of books. Rare-book dealers are a quirky lot; while one might invite you to caress an Adventures of Tom Sawyer worth thousands, another might turn you away altogether for no apparent reason. The Goldstones' enthusiasm is infectious, and, besides offering a lesson in used-book parlance, the pair remind us that for every book there are at least two stories: the one between the covers, and the one beyond the covers. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The Goldstones are expatriate urbanites who fled jobs on Wall Street to live and write in the Berkshires. With a sense of adventure and fresh beginnings, they relate how they revived their life together and discovered the wonders of old books. Soon they were visiting used and rare book shops and auctions in the remote towns in the region, as well as in Boston, New York, and even as far away as Chicago. Along the way, the reader learns about the lore and minutiae of old books. As the authors flirt with collecting modern first editions, readers are treated to some of the fascinating stories of modern literature and get the insider's view of the arcane ways experts identify a first edition and decide what makes a book valuable. Readers also meet intriguing book sellers and collectors and others who inhabit the world of books. All in all, a delightful education in the book arts; recommended for public libraries.?Paul A. D'Alessandro, Portland P.L., Me.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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We came to book collecting because our birthdays fall eight days apart. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Shaff on Jan. 1 2002
Format: Hardcover
What an uncommonly wonderful book! For bibliophiles or those that enjoy reading about a passionate quest, USED AND RARE is a delight.
This is a factual "novel" written by Larry and Nancy Goldstone relating their journey into the world of used and rare books. This is a story that began as a quest for a budget-based, inexpensive gift which ultimately turned to an exciting addiction. The inexpensive beginning was the search and purchase of a [amt] copy of Tolstoy's WAR AND PEACE, a complete translation which included maps and fold-out color illustrations. When it arrived in the mailed, the book included a business card from the bookseller which subsequently prompted the Goldstones to make their way to the bookstore on a lazy Sunday afternoon. There, they met David and Esther Kininmonth, the owners of the store. David enthralled the Goldstones with a oratory into the basics of the world of rare books, their value, illusion and mystery. It was with this visit and conversation that the Goldstone's were vaulted into a path that soon became a passionate obsession.
Now intrigued and beset with an insatiable desire for new "quarry," the Goldstones began making as many trips as possible to various East Coast cities visting antiquarian book dealers and attending book fairs and auctions. Armed with a growing knowledge of this rather obscure industry, they diligently sought out first editions, single leather-bound volumes and sets, and rare out-of-print books. Along the way, they became as fascinated with the learning process associated with procuring rare books as much as by the books themselves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Radcliffe Camera on Nov. 24 2001
Format: Hardcover
As the subtitle of the book suggests, Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone give us 'travels in the book world'. The story begins with the pursuit of a cheap copy of Tolstoy's War and Peace and moves gradually from local to interstate bookstores, small town auctions to big city auctions and book fairs, provincial booksellers to exclusive antiquarian dealers. Along the way, various creatures of the book world are met with and their idiosyncrasies, their virtues and their flaws, as far as these things can make themselves known to people like the Goldstones, are paraded for all to see. Some characterisations are not flattering, but the authors do not condemn outright, nor are their portraits overly unfair; some reviewers have thought otherwise, but one would not wish for sugary descriptions on every page - and the book world is the last place where one would look for normalcy. A few random explanations of book terminology are given, though the authors wisely and skillfully defer to more trusted authorities than themselves, and for that one is thankful.
I am not really sure at whom this book is aimed. The neophyte book collector may derive some enthusiasm from the stories within, urged on by someone else's successes (and failures); the more experienced bibliophile might smile at some of the authors' blunders; the seasoned book collector would probably not bother to read it. And certainly the general reader will wonder what the fuss is all about. The stories are occasionally interesting, as long as one keeps one's focus on them and not on the Goldstones. The Goldstones are not a particularly happy presence in this book. One is not really convinced of their passion for books, for book collecting, or for reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bryan Case on Nov. 11 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is the first of three books by the Goldstones about their experiences in the world of used books and book collecting. It is the most well-balanced of the series (the second and third are Slightly Chipped and Warmly Inscribed, respectively).
The Goldstones take you along with them as they learn about collecting classics and modern first editions (modern firsts being books of the twentieth/twenty-first century). Along the way you meet an array of charming (and not so charming), eccentric used booksellers and antiquarian book dealers. Also thrown into the bargain are several very entertaining digressions into the pages and authors of many classic books of the twentieth century. It managed to fill in some gaps as well as show me some new authors that I knew little or nothing about.
The writing style is effortless and informal, almost like you're listening in on one of their bookstore conversations. Anyone who loves books and enjoys trips to used bookstores will be in for a treat with this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Megami on Oct. 22 2001
Format: Paperback
Used and Rare is the story of a decent in to a wonderful form of madness - the madness of book collecting. After a birthday agreement over the cost of presents drives the wife of this partnership to buy a used book, the Goldstones are slowly drawn into the world of book collecting, learning about modern-firsts, foxing and binding.
This is not a book on how to. Rather, it is the story of people buying books for the love of owning books, rather than as investments or to make money. Many readers and collectors out there will identify with the Goldstones, and their disappointment with the world of bookdealing for money.
I have only two points of issue with this book (and it shows what a great book it is when the two points i have are so minor)
1. The written speech of the New Zealand - once was funny, after that it gets annoying (anyone who has read the book will know what i am talking about). Actually, i found it a bit patronising, but that is just me.
2. Whole monologues are 'repeated' in the book, and i find it amazing that the Goldstones could remember large passages of what people said, supposedly verbatim, years later.
But really, these are only minor quibbles. This is a fantastic book. I have two copies - one for myself, and one the in-laws are getting for Xmas. They are *almost* serious book collectors, and i think they will identify with much in this book. Have a read and see if you do too.
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