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…

  • Beatniks and Counter Culture

    How To Spot A Beatnik; or, Digging The Counter Culture

    I love counter culture material and this apparently home made book is a jewel. How to Spot A Beatnik is set in ‘broadminded’ St. Ives and is a very amusing look at the hypocrisy of mainstream culture and its attitude…

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  • Brighton Students

    Brighton Students; or Students of Brighton.

    It’s freshers week for Brighton students and thousands of super-cool youngsters are sloping into town. Welcome to the party! Many of you will have suffered the sneers and abuse of the ‘straights’ in whatever provincial backwater you hail from but…

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  • The Book of Death! – Starring The Bibliomysteries

    Lights! Camera! Action! I was trying to find a way to put some of my bibliomysteries on display and realised that showing them one by one on film would be the best idea – quick, modern, and youth-friendly. Then my…

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  • Lucy Mander

    Bablake School, Coventry: A Former Pupil Writes.

    Two of us, to be accurate. I turned up at Bablake School one September morn in 1974 along with 119 other 11 year-old boys. Much the same thing had been happening, we were told, since 1344, which didn’t make the…

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  • Phonetic Reading in 1860 and 1960

    Fonetik Spelin, Or, Reading is Fnu.

    Words fail me. Certainly words like ‘ritten’ and ‘alfabet’. Mangled spellings abound in both of these well-meaning text books published a hundred years apart. The first is a very rare early example of a phonetic alphabet published by Pitman in…

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