Bilbo Baggins, the titular protagonist of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, and his nephew Frodo Baggins, hero of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, shared a September 22nd birthdate. Accordingly, that day is annually celebrated as Hobbit Day, and the entire week is deemed to be "Tolkien Week". In honor of this year's festivities, Biblio.com just published my article "Beyond the Hobbit… Continue reading Happy Hobbit Day! (Biblio.com)
"The Fortsas Bibliohoax, or how a Belgian collector fooled book lovers for the fun of it" I wrote this article for Biblio.com's Book Collecting blog a few months ago now, but I only just found out that it was published. The Fortsas Bibliohoax, an elaborate prank perpetrated by a mid-nineteenth century book lover, is a hilarious story that… Continue reading “The Fortsas Bibliohoax” (Biblio.com)
Last week, I attended the New York Antiquarian Book Fair as an exhibitor for the third year in a row. The fair is an elaborate and exciting four-day event in which over 200 dealers from five continents display and sell antiquarian books, historic documents and autographs, ephemera, illuminated manuscripts, maps, and other collectible works on paper. It is probably the largest and… Continue reading Behind the Scenes at the New York Antiquarian Book Fair
It's been a long time since I've been as excited about a book as I was about Andrew Robinson's Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World's Undeciphered Scripts (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2002), and I get excited about books almost every day. Lost Languages is a really excellent and informative introduction to the world's un-deciphered writing… Continue reading Lost Languages and conversations about them
The fact that it is still December and I'm already writing a review of a book I got for Christmas should tell you everything you need to know about how wonderful this book was. David Day's The World of Tolkien: Mythological Sources of The Lord of the Rings. (New York: Chartwell Books, Inc., 2013) is a 184-page-long,… Continue reading I Want to be a Tolkienologist — my review of David Day’s The World of Tolkien: Mythological Sources of The Lord of the Rings
My reaction to B.A. Shapiro's The Art Forger, a novel about a fictional young art forger and the real-life Isabella Stewart Gardner heist of 1990.
My boss just brought this news item from last month to my attention. It seems that two book dealers in New York City have stumbled upon what they believe may be William Shakespeare's dictionary, complete with annotations and markings by the Bard himself. If that is true, it would be very exciting indeed! I would… Continue reading William Shakespeare’s Dictionary (or not?)
Some thoughts on Leonardo's Lost Princess, a book about a drawing controversially attributed to Leonardo da Vinci.
I spent all day today at an antique book, manuscript, and autograph show. I didn't buy anything for myself, though I helped my boss scout items to acquire, but I did manage to come back with some good content for tonight's post. My boss told me during the car ride to the show about a… Continue reading Someone messed with Galileo, and I’m angry.
Presenting sixteen libraries and sixteen bookstores you have to see before you die. How amazing are these places? They are all so incredible that I tried to write more about them, but I couldn't pick just a few to talk about. I could barely even figure out which ones I should include photos of. I… Continue reading Epic Bookstores and Libraries