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…

  • 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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  • Kiss The Book; or, Not a Bibliomystery.

    Valentine’s Day! Time to kiss the one we love – in my case, a book. And what a great title for a book lover. I couldn’t wait to read it. A mysterious bible that curs’d the lips that touched it?…

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  • Gay Love; or, OZ Magazine Leads The Way

    Rip it up and start again? My generation had our hopes and opinions forged in the crucible of punk rock. We thought we invented anti-establishment but unfortunately it turns out a load of hippies got there first. OZ magazine was…

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  • The Ultimate Bibliomystery

    The Ultimate Bibliomystery; or, Death Of A Bookseller.

    Bernard J. Farmer wrote ‘The Gentle Art of Book Collecting’ but in this take on the subject he reveals the sordid truth of the matter. Farmer was a policeman, a collector and later an author. I first saw this marked…

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  • Books and the Letter B

    The Letter B; or, Book Collecting

    A beautiful gilt binding, yes – and look at that letter ‘B’! It’s in my logo and I had it adapted from this book. Slater writes very knowledgeably about the technical anatomy of books and also the foibles of collectors….

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