A New Look at Old Books

I started a blog of this name in 2006, which turned into a monthly column in Book and Magazine Collector. As the name suggests it was written to encourage book-lovers to take a different approach to building up a collection. There are millions of old books out there, and many are far more interesting than the same old titles and themes trotted out by established authorities like… well, Book and Magazine Collector, for one. I hated all those ‘Hundred Most Expensive Books You’ll Never Own’ articles and encouraged collectors to look elsewhere for inspiration. I still do…

  • A Mystery; or, Stories of Strange Women

    The art nouveau illustration on this book is simply superb. The woman’s hair merges with the foliage and a snake to become a swirling pattern of curves that frame the subject and the title perfectly. I’ve looked very carefully inside…

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  • Progressive Politics; or, The Labour Party in 1895.

    It’s not all frivolous stuff here you know. Today’s book is incredibly important. It’s the first ever Labour Annual, subtitled ‘A Year Book of Industrial Progress and Social Welfare.’ It is a very early account of the gradual consolidation of…

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  • Theme of The Crime; or, Murder Goes To School.

    There are approximately 112,000 different crime fiction titles listed on ‘Crime Fiction IV’, edited by Alan J Hubin and known to Book Experts as ‘Hubin’. Many of the stories have a strong background or setting reflected in the titles and…

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  • The Daily Mail Cookery Book; or, Add Quip To Taste.

    Oh dear. Look what’s on the menu today. Bile, with a soupçon of snide racism. A healthy dash of red-faced outrage to go with your hypocrisy; a double helping of standards, lashings of lashings…Mmmm. Give it all a good stir….

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  • Warwici Inhabitatus; or, The Saxton Map Of Warwickshire

    Are you on the map? This one of Warwickshire dates from 1607 and my photo shows the traditional centre of England, Meriden, apparently now usurped by a field in Leicestershire. Damn computers. The map was published originally in 1579 by Christopher…

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