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Book specialities articles

Bookcase games: a collector's empire
Civilizations in the sand — rare and collectible books on the Middle East
The magic of magic
Have you tried these science-fiction authors?
Collecting children's books primer
Collecting books in the area of space exploration
Collecting history
Collecting mass market paperbacks
Evolution of a book collector
Collecting early printed books
Collecting cooking, food & wine

Bookcase games: a collector's empire

When thinking of the term "board games," one might recall the games that were fashioned in one's youth, with the ancient games of Chess, Backgammon and Checkers being among the more elite of these gemstones of man's effort to pass the time in thought. Others may have become aware of the existence of games of strategy in the late 1950's or l960's, with developments such as "Risk" by Parker Brothers, or "American Heritage Series" games by Milton Bradley, which included such titles as "Battle-Cry," a game of the Civil War, or "Broadside" concerning the War of 1812. [Read more]

Civilizations in the sand — rare and collectible books on the Middle East

In almost every Arab capital these days there is an annual book fair. Except for Cairo, these book fairs are usually for new books. In Cairo there is a side fair for secondhand and out-of- print books which takes place at the same time as the main Cairo International Book Fair. There are secondhand book dealers in Beirut, Aleppo, Baghdad, Damascus, Amman and Cairo. Most of them trade locally, except a few in Cairo who are known internationally. I have met most of them and unfortunately all those I have met suffer from what I call the Suq (local bazaar) syndrome. The unknowledgeable among them think that every book which is a few years old must be worth a fortune. Even those who know the value of their books price them exorbitantly. [Read more]

The magic of magic

The word “Magic” is defined by Webster’s Collegiate Thesaurus as “the art of producing mysterious effects by illusion and sleight of hand.” The word “magician” is defined as “one who practices tricks of illusion and sleight of hand.”

These are nice, concise definitions; but for the book dealer or collector there is much more to magic than any thesaurus or dictionary can describe. Magic is the most universal of the performing arts and one of the oldest. Magic is an art that is, and always has been, known and practiced in every country of the world throughout the centuries. [Read more]

Have you tried these science-fiction authors?

Actually, based on past conversations with readers, even if you like half of these suggestions, you'll hate the other half. That's okay. You'll have to buy a book in order to make your comparisons, and that will make some bookseller happy (authors, too). And keeping booksellers happy is a GOOD THING.

I'll include a short sketch of what the author is like ONLY if I have actually read the author. I get a lot of ideas for popular authors from the requests you buyers make. Sometimes I read the cover blurbs and then go on to read the book. [Read more]

Collecting children's books primer

Putting together a collection of children's books seems to be a lot of fun. Over the 20 years we have dealt in them, we've had many interesting conversations with collectors, most of whom are adults, 30 years and over. Generally, collectors fall into two categories: those who remember their favorite childhood book characters and those who prefer something unusual about the books, such as illustrations, size, shape, or topic. [Read more]

Collecting books in the area of space exploration

For centuries, human beings have looked to the sky and wondered about the lights they have seen there. Even today, our understanding of the heavens is rather modest. But we have at least escaped the atmosphere of our earth and have traveled to its natural satellite, the moon, even if this is only a tiny fraction of what lies beyond. [Read more]

Collecting history

Upon opening Pandora's Books, we virtually had no Modern Fiction, Science Fiction, paperbacks, Metaphysical and New Age, Self-Help, or other categories of books. Our emphasis was on Art, Politics, History, Native American and Ethnic Studies, Western Americana, Cooking, and Sports. We had a moderate number of Antiquarian books on various subjects. We have acquired, through time and demand, the categories we originally did not have. However, our preferred emphasis is still on the nonfiction subjects of History and Politics. We have greatly embellished our History sections by fortunately acquiring a collection of original World War I and World War II posters. [Read more]

Collecting mass market paperbacks

Collecting mass market paperbacks can be fun, rewarding, and often more affordable for beginning collectors. The following is simply a brief history and overview of this vast genre. Although paperbacks had been issued sporadically in the early- to mid- part of the century, the launching of New Pocketbooks in 1939 really led the way to an explosion in mass market publishing. The idea was to issue reprints of classic and popular hardbacks in a small paper format that was cheap, handy to carry, used less paper (a wartime consideration), and to capture audiences that had not been able to afford the original hardcovers. [Read more]

Evolution of a book collector

I didn't enter the world of bookselling for the traditional motivation of assembling a spectacular book collection. Nor did I have a very impressive library of my own. For me, the business offered a pure and honest opportunity in our rapidly changing society. Technology was revolutionizing the ways in which booksellers could ply their trade and book enthusiasts could seek and purchase their treasures. [Read more]

Collecting early printed books

Collecting early printed books, published before 1900, is a very rewarding and challenging area of book collecting. Unlike other areas of collecting, where if you have enough money you can find almost anything that you want, there are many early printed books that you can't find no matter how much money you have.

The value of older books is determined by many of the same criteria as modern books—condition, content, and edition. Many people think that just because a book is old, it is valuable, but a book has no collectible value by age alone unless it was printed in the 1500s or earlier. [Read more]

Collecting cooking, food & wine

collection of cookery books in the 21st century is far different from a comparable collection at the beginning of the 20th century. The art of cooking reflects the changes in social history and now the great expansion of travel around the world.

The cooking of many lands is influenced by the discovery of spices by 14th-century Europeans and by 17th-century North Americans. No doubt in due time modern archeologists can write books on the foods of the Incas and the spices the Spanish conquistadors brought to Mexico. [Read more]

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