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Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World Paperback


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Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World + Book Finds: How to Find, Buy, and Sell Used and Rare Books + ABC for Book Collectors
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st St. Martin's Griffin Ed edition (April 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312187688
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312187682
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #552,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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.

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Customer Reviews

Its a warm, funny, and witty book.
Z Hayes
This is the first of three books by the Goldstones about their experiences in the world of used books and book collecting.
Bryan Case
I just finished reading this book for the second time.
David

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 54 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Used and Rare...I picked it up at the Pierpont Morgan Library gift shop in NYC. Figured that if they sold it, it might be good. It is.
The book is a lovely read, especially easy to put down and pick up again, to carry along with you, and to learn from (without any effort).
It's like reading a magazine article. When I was a freshman in high school, I read a magazine article about why the Red Badge of Courage was not only valuable in the world of literature but also as a financial investment. That article started me off as a collector, and now, years later, I have a fine collection of rare books that I adore, that I'll never sell, but that are wonderful investments. The writing in this book is very light, magazine-like, but pleasant. It's a fine introduction for those who are interested in this topic; a primer.
Far from a scholarly work, this book gives you a gentle lesson about the world of highly intellectual, high-end collecting. It will inspire you to read, to learn why some books are important in history - while others are not. It will also give you a few new terms and a few hints as to the etiquette you need to acquire as you browse the stacks within shops and booths at the antiquarian book fairs.
I ordered several editions of this book which I gave as gifts to friends who would like to learn more about rare book collecting. They have all enjoyed it.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By anna-joelle on May 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
I came across this little "gem" at my favourite bookstore (under the shelf labelled "Literary Criticism"), picked it up, started reading the first page... and was immediately hooked! This book is very like a treasure map... if you love shopping for books (especially classic literature), you'll know what I mean. I sat down and read the first 30 pages straight, then came back to the store the following 3 days (during office lunch break) to continue reading (didn't buy the book then because I've already exceeded my book-expense budget for the month). I've since bought the book and have loaned it to some friends.
This "travel book" is about the "adventures" of a husband-and-wife team (the Goldstones) who are SUCH book lovers that they scour bookstores far and near (especially used and rare book stores) to find the books they want... mostly hardcover editions of famous literature, which then "decorate" the bookshelves in their home. In the process, they meet really interesting people (especially eccentric bookstore owners with a wealth of knowledge to share) and gain insight into the fascinating history and story behind a particular book/author/publication/edition... things that may sound boring on the surface, but this book will prove to you otherwise because each chapter/"story" is so brilliantly written, filled with humour, wit, truth and great anecdotes that keep your interest throughout. Many of the "stories" will make you chuckle out loud. It's a happy book.
It's interesting to read how the hunt for a hardcover edition of "War & Peace" as a birthday present has evolved into a long-term passion in book collecting for the Goldstones.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Daniel E. Wickett on February 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
This was the first book on Book Collecting by the Goldstones and I am glad I read them in the wrong order. I walk away liking their writing much more than I would have had I read them in the order they were written.
This book starts with a search for a nice, hardcover version of War and Peace for less than ten dollars. This leads Nancy to a used book store where she hears terms and statements that she had never heard before. The Goldstones were used to going to new book stores where if you had a choice between editions of a work, it was hardcover or paperback. They had stumbled into the world of editions and states and translations.
The book goes through the many different dealers in the NE states that the Goldstones visit, as well as visits to her Uncle in Chicago who has been buying rare books since before WWII. As the Goldstones learn about book collecting, the reader learns. This book deals in the hunt, and learning while hunting.
In each of the sections, we find what they are looking for, or interested in. Then there is the learning curve that they go through with explanations from the dealers. They learn about dust covers and their importance. They learn about the importance of the First Edition, First State of a book. You can have two different versions or States of the First Edition; this was news to me. This detailing of each hunt does not seem like the filler that descriptions of the work did in Slightly Chipped.
It is for this reason that this book was that much more enjoyable and the reason I give this one 4 stars.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
Books on book collecting might be boring. This one is exciting. The enthusiasm of Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone, professional writers who live in the Berkshire hills of Massachussetts, is contagious. They are novices at book collecting until Nancy decides to purchase a nice hard cover copy of War and Peace to give to Lawrence. She has a $20.00 budget (based on a deal the couple made to stop buying each other expensive silly birthday presents and to cap the cost at twenty dollars). Nancy decides that she will buy Lawrence a nice hardcover copy of War and Peace. This turns out to be something of a search for the holy grail. Does she want a first edition? In English, French, or Russian. What translation does she want? Nancy and Lawrence soon find themselves hooked on collecting books, especially modern first editions, and go traversing the Berkshire Hills for books, used and rare. They go to Boston and New York. They attend book fairs and auctions. They buy a set of the Wharton sisters books at auction for $60. They promise to give up eating out to rationalize a purchase in Boston.They buy a two volume set of Dickens Bleak House for $700.00. But they are just as happy with their $20.00 copy of Andersonville. They uncover the mystery of what "first state" and "second state" is, and what it means for a book to be "foxed" or "shaken" or "rubbed." They cannot understand why Burroughs first edition of Tarzan sells for $50,000.00. They love every minute of their book exploration, including some eccentric antiquarian book sellers they meet along the way. Their enthusiasm captures the reader. This quick read will make you a book collector.
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