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Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World
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Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World


Rate it! You must be logged in to submit a rating.You must be logged in to submit a rating.You must be logged in to submit a rating.You must be logged in to submit a rating.You must be logged in to submit a rating. (Avg. 5.0) Customer Reviews
ISBN: 0312187688
Release Date: April, 1998
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Description: 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.
Book Details
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0312187688
ISBN-13: 9780312187682
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date:
Length: 224 Pages
Weight: 0.50 lbs.
Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.4 x 8.0 in.
Language: English
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Customer Reviews

5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 starsA review from one who worked in a respected Boston bookshop.
Posted by Anonymous on 2/24/2000
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.

5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 starsAlthough not rare, this book is a treasure.
Posted by R. Shaff on 1/1/2002
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. After spending quite a bit of time buying, reading and picking the brains of the experts, the Goldstones began to see through many of the games played by the dealers including pricing inconsistencies, show tactics and auction fax paus'.

Although extremely frugal and budget-conscious, USED AND RARE tells the story of how the Goldstones began with that [amt] copy of WAR AND PEACE to owning a [amt] edition of Charles Dickens's MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT. In one passage, the Goldstones relate their visit to a book fair where they encounter a first edition of TARZAN, by Edgar Rice Burroughs for an astounding [amt]! They wonder how TARZAN can demand that kind of sum when, by their own standards, it is not necessarily considered great literature? As with most businesses, the Goldstones learn that the business of rare books is a BUSINESS. As such, demand drives prices and, as with antiques and collectibles, value is relative to the individual collector.

The fervor behind this story and the common penchant for booklore displayed by the Goldstones' is contagious. This story provides an education to the reader and a behind-the-scenes view of many unheard-of books (at least to this reader) considered classic and collectible. Their story offers biblophiles/biblomaniacs an insight into the world of rare books and a lesson in the business of books. It is easy to see that they earned their way into the world of rare books while being gracious enough to share it with the reader. USED AND RARE is a strange combination of education, love, travel and the chase for the perfect buy....at the right price of course!

I am immediately following this read with the sequel, SLIGHTLY CHIPPED, and have already ordered the third book in the series, WARMLY INSCRIBED. Anyone hooked on books should read USED AND RARE.

5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 starsA fun quick read for book lovers.
Posted by Freddie D. Cox on 12/23/2002
What a rich little book. It is such a fun read. It has revived my love of book shopping. My wife and I went out this past weekend to hunt for new finds. It is also a good reference. I will keep it handy in my book hunting. It is well worth the small price.
5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 starsAlready a classic - A delight for lovers and booklovers
Posted by Richard L. Pangburn on 7/13/2003
This is a fun read by the Nick and Nora Charles of book collecting. This was their initial book on the subject, a labor of love, and their enthusiasm is contagious. Their books that follow are good, but not as good, because they are becoming pillars of the establishment rather than treasure hunters. There is less spark to their work now, less sense of discovery, more serious, less fun.

Fortunately, for fun I can always come back and read this one again, and John Baxter's marvelously bookish A POUND OF PAPER, and of course, Dashiell Hammett's original Nick and Nora Charles.

5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 starsTwo people share their joy of book collecting
Posted by Anonymous on 2/20/1999
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.