Articles by our staff and guests on all aspects of the rare book world.

March 30, 2006

A Visit to the St. Petersburg, Florida Book Fair

by Tom Congalton
If one were forced to provide a list of the best book fairs in the U.S., predicated on the quality of commerce, ambience, and the merchandise exhibited, it is pretty much axiomatic that the three annual fairs sponsored by the ABAA: New York, Boston, and California (which alternates bi-annually between Los Angeles and San Francisco) would easily top the list.

However, while the U.S. does not have a PBFA-type organization to sponsor regional book fairs, various state and regional bookseller-run organizations, and independent promoters provide more than ample opportunity for the peripatetic bookseller to peddle his wares. This article is, I....
January 15, 2006

Frog-Water Iced-Tea; or a Brief and Felicitous Book Tour of the Southeastern United States

by Tom Congalton
One of the many stops on my evolutionary journey to becoming a bookseller was as a sort of quasi-collector/scout. I would accumulate books from library sales and flea markets that I had a vague idea were collectible, and then trade them to dealers or other collectors for books more suited to my modest and wildly unfocused collection. Anyone who has little or no respect for me as a dealer might reconsider if they had seen by comparison what unpromising material I made as a book collector. When I look back to my beginnings, sometimes even I'm surprised that I'm still...
January 15, 2006

Money in Books

by Tom Congalton
I have found money in books on a number of occasions. When I was a teen-age book scout, I was once scouting the home of a couple of aged and not particularly prosperous antique dealers in Point Pleasant, New Jersey who happened to have some books. Curiously they were aged enough that they reported that had formerly received regular visits from Dr. Rosenbach, who would buy antique furniture, but never books from them, on his visits to the Jersey shore.

While looking through a nicely bound set of Dickens on the landing of their staircase, I encountered several thousand dollars in...
January 2, 2006


by Tom Congalton

Before I was a bookseller I was, as most booksellers were at one time, a book collector and scout. I was a singularly egalitarian collector and scout. I would buy books pretty haphazardly. As long as they seemed interesting I would buy them. Aside from the usual circuit of used book stores, library sales, thrift shops and such, every Saturday morning I would get up before the sun, roust my friend and neighbor Mickey up from his house across the street from mine in Ocean Grove, a New Jersey shore resort community, and head inland to Englishtown Auction.

Englishtown Auction...