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L. D. Mitchell
Box 902317; Palmdale, CA 93590-2317
Book collector, professional librarian, author & photographer
Interests: books, book collecting, book history, private library, home library, book collector
Recent Activity
Marguerite: the Kelmscott Chaucer is an interesting choice, since most collectors with whom I have discussed this title seem to either love it or hate it--there seems to be no middle ground.... :-)
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Weight is definitely a consideration. Fortunately, I live in a one-floor ranch house built atop a concrete slab... :-)
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Bart: You're in good company. TPL seems to attract a lot of Tolkien fans... :-)
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Maria: I used to keep a similar list, but more as a guide for visits to libraries like The Lilly or the Library of Congress. The Tale of Genji would be awesome.... :-)
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Yolana: I wouldn't kick any of those titles off my bookshelves... :-)
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Thanks to all of you who were kind enough to share your thoughts with me via email. Remember, though, that if you want to share your remarks with_everyone_ you need to leave a COMMENT here...
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If money were no object, what one book would you most like to add to your private library? This writer has posed that question to a great many book collectors over the past four+ decades. The answers received to this writer's question, though, may surprise you. When the choice comes down to a single book, the book chosen is almost never a rare or expensive title. Rather, it's usually a book with exceptionally strong sentimental value. For a collector in Texas, for example, it was a well-worn copy of The Poky Little Puppy. It was the first book the collector had ever managed to read entirely by himself. He lost the book when he moved to New York to attend college. For a collector in Georgia, it was a Bible which had been in her family since before the Civil... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2012 at The Private Library
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If you are like most Western book collectors, you probably have little familiarity with Japanese literature. Perhaps because the Japanese language relies on three different writing systems (two of which are syllabary systems), this writer has encountered few private collections of Japanese literature that were not assembled by native speakers of the language. This is unfortunate, for not only has Japan produced some of the world's greatest literature, it has produced some of the earliest surviving forms of world literature. Among these are one of the earliest surviving examples of the novel (The Tale of Genji); one of the world's earliest surviving examples of a story involving time travel (Urashima Tarō); Man'yōshū, one of the world's earliest surviving poetry anthologies; and Konjaku Monogatarishū, a 31-volume compilation of very early folktales from Japan, China and India, of which 28 volumes survive.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2012 at The Private Library
I know of no complete, updated list of book collecting magazines _worldwide_ that remain _in print_. The last link in the above post includes some of the major English-language titles of which I am aware, though it excludes the journals of the various bibliographical societies, as well as bookish organizations like APHA, The Typophiles, etc. As I mentioned in a previous comment, if someone would like to undertake putting such a list together, I'd be happy to include it on the list of resources available here (or as a Guest Editorial)....
Toggle Commented Feb 16, 2012 on FB&C and The Private Library at The Private Library
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As are the vast majority of Europeans... :-)
Toggle Commented Feb 11, 2012 on FB&C and The Private Library at The Private Library
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The Book Collector is still going strong (in fact, this year the publication celebrates its 60th anniversary). Other publications that still are going strong include Boekenpost, Le magazine du Bibliophile et de l'amateur de manuscrits & autographes, and specialized publications like Bartkowiaks Forum Book Art and the journals of groups like The Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand. A comprehensive, global survey of periodicals for book collectors that remain _in print_ would make an interesting Guest Editorial. Anyone want to take up the challenge...?
Toggle Commented Feb 11, 2012 on FB&C and The Private Library at The Private Library
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There is some foreign coverage, but obviously not to the degree that one will find in Boekenpost, Le magazine du Bibliophile et de l'amateur de manuscrits & autographes, or The Book Collector. Each magazine is published for a different market. And you are right in the matter of different tastes, at least insofar as I have discovered in my travels hither and yon....
Toggle Commented Feb 10, 2012 on FB&C and The Private Library at The Private Library
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As many longtime TPL readers are aware, for the past couple of years it has been this writer's privilege and honor to contribute an occasional piece to the Fine Books & Collections Blog, official blog of Fine Books & Collections, the magazine (better known to its many fans as FB&C). Founded back in 2003 as OP magazine, and now under the capable editorial direction of Rebecca Rego Barry, FB&C is one of the finest magazines of its type that remains in print. It regularly features compelling news and articles about every aspect of book collecting, and numbers among its regular contributors such worthies as Nicholas Basbanes, Joel Silver, Jeremy Dibbell, Nate Pedersen ... to name only a few who come immediately to mind. If you have any interest at all in collecting the printed book, your faithful blogger considers FB&C... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2012 at The Private Library
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Many professional book dealers will have nothing to do with a book once that book's structural integrity has been compromised. If your interest is in selling individual plates, you probably would be better off contacting a professional _print_ dealer. On the other hand, should you want to repair any of your titles, the assistance of a professional bookbinder would likely be required. As you already may be aware, many excellent examples of chromos can be collected that do not involve broken books--to give but two examples, early 20th century fruit crate labels and/or cigar boxes....
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The Limited Editions Club... http://privatelibrary.typepad.com/the_private_library/2010/09/the-limited-editions-club-and-the-private-library.html White's Books... http://privatelibrary.typepad.com/the_private_library/2010/08/whites-books-and-the-private-library.html Any number of fine presses... http://privatelibrary.typepad.com/the_private_library/2009/05/collecting-fine-press-books-for-the-private-library-part-i.html And, more on the trade book side of the equation, David R. Godine... http://privatelibrary.typepad.com/the_private_library/2010/07/david-r-godine-and-the-private-library.html There are, of course, others. Much depends on your specific interests....
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By your own admission, you are the type who buys whatever book or books appeal to you at the time: a paperback romance, perhaps, along with the latest critically acclaimed biography, a pop-up book for your youngest child and a really nice hardbound translation of some forgotten Chinese classic. If you have set aside a special little place in your home to store these books, you have a private library: Many of my friends and colleagues in the publishing, bookselling, library and book collecting communities--you know who you are!--have done the concept of the private library, and book collecting in general, a great disservice by continually harping about focus and condition. Not every reader on the planet is interested in, or can afford, a room full of custom-crafted mahogany shelves upon which sit endless rows of first edition, first printings... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2012 at The Private Library
Kati: they used to be available via Amazon.com, but it looks like they are out of stock. I would suggest a Google search using the phrase "Laurel Hardy bookends" in case eBay or other sites might have a pair for sale....
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Given that the first book printed from moveable type in Western Europe contains numerous references to wine, and given that the technology for printing that first book may itself have been modeled upon the screw press used to extract wine from grapes, this writer has always found it puzzling that the cultivation, processing, distribution and consumption of wine is rarely a major thematic element in works of fiction. (I should note that this post is concerned only with wine made from grapes, and the fiction associated with same. For a more encompassing view of wine -- including rice wine -- visit Cerebral Boinkfest. In the absence of a better signifier -- VinoLit having already been spoken for by Mike Madigan's YouTube show -- I have coined the term OenoLit to refer to all such fiction.) The non-fiction titles that have... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2012 at The Private Library
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Epithalamium: From the Greek epi ("at") and thalamos ("nuptial chamber"). A celebratory song or poem, often in sonnet form, in honor of a bride or groom or both, usually praising their virtues, describing the events of the wedding day, and wishing them good fortune.... ODLIS (Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science) Even among those few folks who still collect printed books of poetry, it's hard to find many who focus on the epithalamium (pl. epithalamia), one of the most ancient of all types of poetry in the Western world. Basically a type of ode, the epithalamium counts among its better known practitioners such ancient worthies as Sappho, Pindar and Catullus; Renaissance masters such as Ronsard, Donne and Edmund Spenser; and modern poets such as Gerald Manley Hopkins and A. E. Housman. (The examples below are via the Bayerische StaatsBibliothek... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2012 at The Private Library
Glad you enjoy 'em.... :-)
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Thanks for pointing this out--I should have been more specific, and have therefore corrected the original text to note that the priority reference was to _printed_ Bibles....
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His mere arrival itself had been excessively mysterious, or at least had proceeded very differently from that of the others, for he had not come by train and then by bus; for however unbelievable it seemed, the afternoon of the day of his arrival, perhaps around six o'clock or half-past six, he simply turned into the campground gates, like a person who had just arrived on foot, with nothing more than a curt nod; and when the organizers politely and with a particular deference inquired as to his name, and then began to question him more pressingly as to how he had arrived, he replied only that someone had brought him to a bend in the road in a car; but as in the all-enfolding silence no one had heard the sound of any car at all that could have... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2012 at The Private Library
MUCH more likely! :-(
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Sadly, virtually all icunabula are beyond the financial reach of the average book collector.... :-(
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He was the soul of honesty himself, and slow to think evil of others; so that he was often taken in. Of envy and jealousy he knew as little as the blind do of colour. He was swift to forgive and to forget even serious injuries.... He was enthusiastic for good learning, and felt his work to be his own reward. It was delightful to see him with the first pages of some new book in his hands, some author of whom he approved. His face was radiant with pleasure, and you might have supposed that he had already received a large return of profit. The excellence of his work would bear comparison with that of the best printers of Venice and Rome.... Erasmus, on the death of Johann Froben, 1527 (quoted in The Age of Erasmus by P. S.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2012 at The Private Library