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Friday, April 20, 2007

Book Collecting

If you are fan of TV’s Antiques Roadshow or radio’s The Book Guys, you know that sometimes an unassuming manuscript can fetch a hefty price. Even if you aren’t in search of a Gutenberg Bible or Shakespeare’s First Folio, collecting first editions, books by one author, specific illustrators, or signed copies is such a popular avocation that online bookseller Web sites like Alibris can tell you the potential value of a volume at hand.

Many book collectors visit library used book sales to discover discarded treasures. If you are on such a search, check out these upcoming book sales at Fairfax County Public Library branches.

George Mason Regional Library
Thursday, April 26, 5 p.m. -9 p.m.
Friday, April 27, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday, April 28, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, April 29, Noon - 5 p.m.

Reston Regional Library
Friday, April 27, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday, April 28, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 29, Noon - 3:30 p.m.

You can check the library’s Web site for information on buying books. Or, you may want to visit the next meeting of the Fairfax Bibliophiles Book Collecting Group, which meets at the Fairfax City Regional Library. Their next gathering is Tuesday, May 8 at 7:30 p.m.

In the meantime, here are a few books on the art of book collecting and some of its eccentric practitioners:

Among the Gently Mad: Perspectives and Strategies for the Book Hunter in the Twenty-First Century by Nicholas Basbanes.

Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books by Aaron Lansky.

Warmly Inscribed: The New England Book Forger and Other Book Tales by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone.

First Editions: A Guide to Identification by Spoon River Press (reference).

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