When I first started working in a used bookstore, the shop keeper assigned me two books to read before starting. The first, ABC for Book Collectors, was a thorough encyclopedia of the terminology of the trade. It supplied me with a solid foundation on which to build my knowledge of used and rare books. The second book I was given was John Dunning’s Booked to Die. That little page-turner mystery gave material to construct spires on that original foundation.
For those who haven’t read Dunning’s Bookman series, you should get a copy of Booked to Die as soon as possible. John Dunning managed to draw on his real life experience running a bookshop in Denver to create a detailed portrayal of the strange and sometimes seedy world of used and rare books. Booked to Die introduces police detective and book-collector Cliff Janeway working a murder case revolving around rare books. (more…)