Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World

Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World

by Lawrence Goldstone, Nancy Goldstone

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Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a curious book, with a gentle, evolutionary structure that makes it interesting on several levels. On the surface, it is an account of a couple learning to buy old books in an intelligent, informed way. At the same time, though, it is a portrait of the used book business -- with names, places, and lots of extended direct quotes. The Goldstones take you along on their oddesy in a very chummy style, but I mistrust their long quotes from dealers they met along the way. The story is about the people who sell books as much as it is about the books themselves, and the authors present some of them in extremely unflattering ways -- complete with names, store names, and quoted conversation. Did they record these chats, or make copious notes on leaving the store? Or did they parapharse the gist of what somebody had said a year or two before? The quotes (as quotes often do) bring the text to life, adding depth and drama, but I wonder what was actually said. Regardless, it is an entertaining story that induced my wife and me to trot off to a used book store on a Sunday afternoon, where we spent too much money on old volumes, followed by a romantic lunch ... just like in the book.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Jannes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A decent depiction about how one might grow into book-collecting.It's actually more of a collection of anecdotes than a coherent story, most of them educational about some particular aspect oc the book circuit - almost to the point of being suspiciously so. Competently written, but earns no bonus points for shining prose. Has a tendency to sink into tedious back-and-forth dialogue between the two protagonists that is probably sopposed to be charming banter, but really just feels embarasingly forced and phony.The book is ultimatly saved by the genuine love for the subject, the entertaining characters, and the loving decriptions of bookstores of every kind. It's a trifle, but and entertaining trifle.
Magus_Manders on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My reading list has been far to heavy and serious of late, thanks to the fine SUNY system, so stumbling upon this small text in my even smaller local library was a real treat. 'Used and Rare' is a very specific sort of memoir focusing on the authors' accidental entrance int the world of book collecting and the significance it soon holds for them. The Goldstones beautifully characterize both the many shops they find themselves frequenting and the often colorful proprietors whom they come to befriend over the few years this story spans. The reader is carried along with them as they uncover the fine intricacies and peculiarities of book collecting, from First Editions to 'foxing', 'rubbing', and 'boarding', whatever that means. With every book they find, they reveal the particular place that text holds in their relationship and bring the reader closer to the narrators so that they almost become friends. One is thoughtfully engrossed in what is tucked in the next shelf and whether or not they will ever find that perfect copy of 'Gatsby'. Beyond just the merits of the memoir and its construction, I must say that I personally found this book in many ways enlightening. As a lover of books, as well as tales, this glimpse into how they are judged, valued, and brought together was quite fascinating. The Goldstones, in their own way, also recommended a slew of new authors I must dig up, though instead of Amazon or Waldens, perhaps I will poke around in that dark little shop the town over. You never know what treasures you might find! Peace.
t.peggy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! But probably it helps that I love books and like me the authors love to search out a "find". The authors never identify which one is speaking, which I found a little confusing. When I started the book I pictured an elderly couple and that the book was written in the seventies. When they talked about getting a baby sitter I knew my assumption was wrong. I checked the back of the book (PB version). They are a young couple and it was written in '98! I'm glad to see the joys of book hunting aren't just appealing to oldies like me.There are some good suggestions for people that might want to find resource material for collecting or identifying first editions.The couple live in the Berkshires and the scenery was described with charm and fondness, including the book shops.I think the best part was the interesting book sellers this couple comes across. From used out-of-print book sellers to a dealer so high end it seems you can't get to see the books available for sale.They introduced a baby sitter that sounded like an interesting character, but then dropped her with one sentence. I would have liked a little more detail. Also the end of the book was rather abrupt. But in all, I'd recommend this as an engaging and entertaining book
spywall on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I picked this up an amazing little booksellers in Minneapolis, MN while on tour. I have always enjoyed the 'Books about Books' genre and this volume made it clear that it is my favorite.Used and Rare chronicles the decent of two minor authors into the obsessive world of bibliophilia and back again. Well written, witty and informative I not only learned about book collecting's finer points that could take years to learn by making expensive mistakes, I got to know why I am the way I am when I check the heft of a volume, why I read books with all five senses and why I can't pass a bookstore with out going in...Enjoy this!
heatherheartsbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A quick read. I liked it well enough, but found the constant repetitions of authors (especially Dickens) and/or books that I didn't care about to be annoying. The last fifty pages seemed to last longer than any other part of the book, and not in a good way. I was ready for it to be done before it actually was. I do like books on books, but Lewis Buzbee's "The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop" was much better than this.
dono421846 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very engaging description of how ordinary people fall into book collection. I fault the book only in that it struck me at times as being too contrived in order to create the necessary expository opportunities. I mean, really, were they taking notes during these actual conversations? Also, while those who came in for criticism appeared to earn the notoriety, I shuddered to think someone may have lost his or her job because of one customer's reported bad experience.
korywagner on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book,it was the first book to really open my eyes to book collecting and how much it can be. This book really lit a fire in me, though I read this book some time ago I still find it inspirational to my thought on used and rare books today. I am also from Massachusetts and used to live out in the western part of the state so allot of the places talked about in the book I am familiar with.I am also a fan of the way this book was written, this kind of story telling really works for me. I like the informative kind reads as well, a real life book searching adventure.
alanna1122 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. Even though I love reading - and I love books - the look and feel of nice copy has always pleased me - I never really thought much about book collectors or those people who buy the rare and first editions of books. The Goldstones offer such a fun and interesting look into the world of book colectors. This is a cozy book full of warm stories and interesting facts. The people they meet are described - quirks and all - but there is such a charming quality to all their experiences that makes for a wonderful read. I'll be hanging on to my copy of this book :)
Vagabondbookman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A quick read. Describes the authors' decent into the world of book collecting. Not an authoritative book on the details of book collecting, but describes their journey. It did give me cause to pause and reflect on my book collection. I found it much more enjoyable and informative than their second book, "Slightly Chipped"
cuicocha on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in a flurry about the Goldstones' passion for collecting books and their love for books in general. This particular volume traces their journey from being readers to being more serious collectors of books and first editions.The avid collector can easily identify with them as they succumb to the effects of bibliomania. This is a good read... laid back yet fully portraying the feeling of becoming immersed "in the hunt"!
kingcvcnc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A journey through the book collecting world. Filled with snobby book sellers and backwoodsmen. Learn how a simple quest of a birthday present turned into a life-long obsession.
JBD1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of the three fine Goldstone memoirs. I recommend each of them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An excellent "book about books."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"What's up with your arm?" Scar sat across from him, criss-crossed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*he sighs, sitting* The wings of a broken eagle continue to soar through shattered skies...
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great book to learn more about book collecting and its history. The authors' wonderful writing style instantly puts you and ease and it was wonderful to sit back and enjoy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An exceptionally interesting book, it made me want to start my own library today. If you enjoy books, reading, collecting, or strange characters check this out!