The Works of Harper Lee

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Nelle Harper Lee was born in Monroeville, Alabama on April 28, 1926, and she passed away in her hometown earlier today, February 19, 2016.

Harper Lee was best known for the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, which was published in 1960. It was immediately successful, winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1961, and has become a classic of modern American literature.  She remained out of the public eye for decades afterwards, and did not publish anything else until 2015, a sequel to Mockingbird: Go Set a Watchman in 2015. (more…)


Roald Dahl: a family builds a love of books

Danny, Champion of the World by Roald Dahl, illus. Quentin Blake

Our Roald Dahl collection started entirely by accident, but that’s often the case when collecting books, isn’t it?

When I married my husband, I had a son from a previous relationship. As is expected, the two hadn’t quite found the moment that clicked between them. My son was preschool age and generally regarded my husband as the tall, odd man that fed and bathed him. My husband was (is) a tall, odd man who wanted nothing more than to lavish his new stepson with all manner of love and be-spoil-ment. Then one night, purely by chance or else divine intervention, I got called into work to cover a late shift.

I got home right as bath-time was accomplished, pajamas administered, and my son was running down the hall to pick out a bedtime story. Normally I did story-time in his room, squatting awkwardly next to his tiny bed, but I was content to watch and see how my husband might do things differently.

When my son came pelting out of his room with no books in hand and swerved for the living room of our tiny apartment, I nearly stopped him. I’m glad I didn’t. (more…)

Pru is a North Carolina native, transplanted to the bustling base of South Carolina’s tiny share of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she tag-teams with her husband to herd two brilliant boys and two cats.

When she’s not busy blogging with Biblio or toiling over original works, you can most likely find her speeding around in the mountains, blasting egregiously loud music and singing off-key.

Despite being fresh in the bookselling scene, she’s been a insatiable reader since forever, and will point you to her love for Oscar Wilde and Jane Austen, while tucking Neil Gaiman and Douglas Adams behind her back and shushing them. Honestly, she’ll read anything you put in front of her. Help support her writing career via Patreon


Collecting a Series

Regardless of what book series you choose to go for, the collecting experience is invariably fun, and the end result unquestionably appealing on the bookshelf.


My 5 Favorite Literary Apocalypses

The zombie apocalypse is not the only way that civilization might come crashing down.  Here are some other possible ends, none of which include brain-eating!  Well, the Triffids do eat your brains, along with the rest of you, so maybe that counts!  (more…)


Some Thoughts on Lord of the Rings

From the Movies to the Books

I just finished reading Lord of the Rings for the first time last weekend, and I had a few thoughts and random observations to share. I know there are a ton of Tolkien fans out there, and many of them will vehemently disagree with many or most of my assessments. Disagreement is fine, even vehement disagreement, and you should post your thoughts below in the comments!

Before I begin, I want to provide some background. My first taste of Tolkien was the 1977 Rankin/Bass animated television special of The Hobbit. I was about seven or eight when I watched it, and it did not go well. Gollum scared me to tears and was the subject of a fun recurring nightmare that would last a few months. After that, I didn’t go near Tolkien until Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Fellowship of the Ring came out in 2001. But that was it. Done–Game Over. I was a fan for life. I loved the movies and impatiently waited until the next one was released.

 

So, a decade since the last movie was released, I decided to finally sit down and read the actual book. I didn’t read the appendices and I haven’t read any other work by Tolkien yet. But here are my thoughts: (more…)


The Book that Burns Women Alive

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Malleus Maleficarum- Montague Summers Translation
by Sprenger, Jakob

“All (Witchcraft) comes from carnal lust, which is in women insatiable.”– Malleus Maleficarum

The Hammer of Witches

If forced to choose any book to burn, I would burn Malleus Maleficarum (The Hammer of Witches). It seems appropriate, since the book caused so many women to burn at the stake.

First published in 1487, Malleus Maleficarum provided justification for the murder of thousands of women in medieval Europe. Spreading like the fire it encouraged, entire towns were left decimated by the witch trials that ensued. No book has been more damaging to the history of women than The Hammer of Witches.

Malleus Maleficarum is divided into three sections that confirms the existence of witchcraft, the evil of witches, and the prosecution of witches that will ensure their eradication. If The Hammer of Witches has a single theme, it is this: Women are naturally susceptible to the Devil’s evil, and that weakness stems from between their legs. (more…)


What Classifies a Book as Rare?

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by Shakespeare, William

Is This Book Rare?

We at Biblio receive lots of emails about the value and rarity of books. Often, a loved one recently passed and family members happen to find a very old or antique book and are curious about its worth. There are many variables that must be considered when assigning value, and how rare a book is certainly one of them.

A book is considered to be “out of print” when a publisher no longer prints copies of the book in question, but a book simply being out-of-print does not equal rarity. If out of print books can be easily found in the back of bookstores or in boxes hidden in the warehouses of publishers, they may be out of print, but they are not rare, and often not very valuable. It is important to understand that even if a book is scarce, if there is no demand for it, it is not considered rare.

Older books that may not have ISBN information attached to them are usually going to be considered more rare than others simply because they are not as easily tracked, so their availability on the market is more ambiguous. (more…)


What Are Book Plates?

Book plates are full page illustrations, pictures, or photographs that are printed separately from the text of the book, but they are bound in during production. Platings add color, texture, and value to books, and they are often gorgeous and riveting. For certain titles, plates are only included in first editions or deluxe editions, and they can often spread over entire sheets of paper. Book plates will also often be in the front of the book, and serve as a way of indicating ownership.

Some of the most beautiful book plates are in books about nature and wildlife.

But if you are looking for some of the most unique, riveting, and disturbing plates in books, be sure to check out some books on medicine and anatomy.

Who knows, someone who is perhaps perusing your book collection will one day be grateful you have a book with such informative plates!


What Not to do to a Book: A Top Ten List

Water-damaged Book
Oh, this poor thing.

Books, especially old and antique books, can be finicky and temperamental. To keep your collection in pristine condition, be sure to avoid the following pitfalls of book ownership.

1. Do not expose to water or damp atmospheres

When wet or damp, pages quickly wrinkle and become brittle. In some cases, the ink can run and spill onto other pages.

 2. Do not place pressure on the binding

Age, quality, and use can all result in weakened binding, and undue pressure can cause pages to fall out and the binding to split.

 3. Do not subject to harsh or ultraviolet lights

Books with hand-drawn or fragile illustrations and platings can become dull when exposed too frequently to ultraviolet lights or camera flashes.
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How Should I Begin My Book Collection?

One of my fondest memories of my grandparent’s old mountain house was the 25 foot floor-to-ceiling wall they dedicated to their vast book collection. They had everything from travel catalogs to anthropology textbooks to ancient and obscure mathematics books.  They had several rare and antique books, and they loved showing them off to their grandchildren. (more…)