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Modern Book Collecting: A Basic Guide to All Aspects of Book Collecting: What to Collect, Who to Buy from, Auctions, Bibliographies, Care, Fakes and ... Investments, Donations, Definitions, and More Paperback – November 1, 2010


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Modern Book Collecting: A Basic Guide to All Aspects of Book Collecting: What to Collect, Who to Buy from, Auctions, Bibliographies, Care, Fakes and ... Investments, Donations, Definitions, and More + Book Finds: How to Find, Buy, and Sell Used and Rare Books + ABC for Book Collectors
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; Reprint edition (November 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602399859
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602399853
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #469,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert A. Wilson was proprietor of the famous Phoenix Bookshop in New York City. He is a passionate writer; author of bibliographies of Gertrude Stein, Gregory Corso, and Denise Levertov; and specializes in rare books and manuscripts. He lives in St. Michaels, Maryland.

Nicholas A. Basbanes is the author of the bestselling book on book collecting, A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book has been in print for many years and was freshly updated in 2010. Recommended for any book collector, and a must-have for the collector of modern poetry or the Beats, Modern Book Collecting was written by the former proprietor of the Phoenix Book Shop in New York; Wilson is also the author of bibliographies of Gregory Corso, Gertrude Stein, and Denise Levertov. Because of his unique perspective, the book is chock full of insights you'll find nowhere else.

All the basics of book collecting are covered here: how to identify a first edition, strategies for building your collection, the value of good relationships with dealers, how to use bibliographies to help you build your collection, understanding book dealers' pricing methods and terminology, and so much more. It includes many resources for further learning as well.

As a bookseller and collector (modern & small press poetry and the Beat Generation), I've returned to this volume many times over the years. (It's been in my personal collection since 2000.) Though I have a shelf full of books about book collecting, if I could only keep 2 or 3 books about collecting, this would undoubtedly be the first one I'd reach for.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Randall of Vitruvian Books on March 26, 2014
Format: Paperback
The book cover found in the front of “Modern Book Collecting” steps up to the plate and makes big promises. It takes considerable nerve to make this boast on the cover: “A Basic Guide to All Aspects of Book Collecting: What to Collect, Whom to Buy From, Auctions, Bibliographies, Care, Fakes and Forgeries, Investment, Donation, Definition, and More.” But like fabled home run hitter Babe Ruth, who stood at the plate and pointed in the direction of his as of yet un-hit home run, Robert Wilson hit a home run. In short, he points his literary pen over the fence and delivers.
Why have I compared Wilson to legendary slugger Babe Ruth? Here’s why:
1. The variety of content is excellent. Take a moment to peruse the Table of Contents and you will see what I mean. Chapter One starts by helping the novice book collector decide on what to collect. The next three chapters focus on collecting the works of a particular author. The next several chapters explore where to buy books. This is followed by important chapters on the importance of a book’s condition, how to identify first editions, and the care of books. Next is a chapter on identifying fakes and forgeries. All of this is followed by chapters on the subjects of investment and donating your collection. The chapters conclude with a really important discussion of book collecting terminology. But wait! There’s more! At the end of the book is a series of important appendixes.
See? This is a really orderly treatment on the subject of book collecting. The material is well ordered and presented.
2. Another reason I like this book is the content of the appendixes previously mentioned.
Read more ›
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn Scoffield on May 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The title is misleading, as "modern" refers to books, not collecting. The book was written in the 70s and has not been updated since, so much of it is highly irrelevant to book collecting today. However, it discusses collecting poetry books at length, so I think any collector of books on poetry would find this book fascinating.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bredman on November 7, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very good compilation of advice and information about book collecting that might not be new, but still a good tool.
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