On July 3, 1776, John Adams wrote to his wife, “The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival… It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other.”
Adams was nearly correct in his prediction. Americans have indeed memorialized the Declaration of Independence as he envisioned; however, the celebrations have been on July 4th—the date written on the Declaration of Independence—instead of July 2nd, the date the Second Continental Congress adopted the resolution of independence. Today, as we celebrate the birthday of George Washington, let us salute the Founding Fathers not only for creating a great nation, but also for being the country’s first book collectors.
Every year, the Caldecott Medal is awarded by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association. The committee reviews children's books published throughout the year and selects one book whose art exemplifies the best of American illustration. To be named winner of the Caldecott Medal is a massive achievement and often comes as a sign that the book is destined to be loved by generations of children. These distinguished books are sought after by both children and collectors, and they occupy well-loved places on numerous shelves. Continuing our ongoing Caldecott Medal Winning Illustrators Series, let's take a closer look at 1948 Winner, Roger Duvoisin.
Janet Evanovich was born in South River, New Jersey in 1943. Evanovich has become a household name thanks to her much beloved adventure series featuring bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. A prolific writer, she has published over sixty novels, many of which have topped the New York Times Best Sellers list. Her novels are published all over the world and have been translated into more than 40 languages. In celebration of this writer's amazing career, here are five things you might not know about one of America's most loved adventure novelists.
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Why is it that the books we read as children have such an impact on our lives? Is it because they offer some of the first reflections of the thoughts and experiences that we encounter early on? Is it because they grant us the opportunity to take in stories in a way that educates and entertains in a format perfectly geared toward that point in our development? Or maybe it's the way children's literature can transcend time and space. After all, even as we grow, it offers us an opportunity to connect with our histories as well as with the children who come in to our lives after we've "grown up."
March 2 marks the birthday of legendary children's author and illustrator Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. Check out this collection of articles about Geisel's background, influences, and evolutio.
What makes a book rare? Can books have afterlives? And when might markings and ephemera in well-loved texts actually increase the worth of the object? Andrew Stauffer's new book, Book Traces: Nineteenth-Century Readers the Future of the Library (U of Pennsylvania Press, 2021), investigates the personal and collective narratives that arise out of nineteenth-century library books in circulation at varied institutions.
When Pope Gelasius established Saint Valentines Day in 496 AD, he certainly had no idea that the holiday would persist for centuries. The holiday was first associated with romance and love during the High Middle Ages, thanks to the burgeoning tradition of courtly love in Geoffrey Chaucers day. And nothing says love like giving the perfect book! Heres a look at some favorite Valentines Day gift ideas for the bibliophile and rare book collector.
Today we continue our literary road trip by taking a look at some of the best books set in the state of Missouri. Known for its bustling cities as well as the Ozarks, Missouri is a diverse and beautiful natural state of Missouri. St. Louis is one of the largest and most important cities in the Midwest, full of history and landmarks. The Missouri River flows into the Mississippi River here as well, which is especially notable considering the books we're focusing on today. Join us as we take a closer look at the work of Mark Twain in our Top Books by State series:
So you say you recently inherited a book collection from your grandparent, your parent, a distant family member, a neighbor, or a family friend? If you’re not familiar with the rare book trade and you don’t have too much experience buying or selling rare books, you might feel lost among the boxes or shelves. Most likely, you’re wondering if this inherited book collection is worth anything. Many rare booksellers and archivists have tales about being approached with old books that the owners believe to be valuable solely based on age or incorrect assumptions about the book’s provenance. Of course, terms like “worth” and “value” are always relative, and we’ll say more about that in just a few minutes. But before we do, we want to tackle the complicated question of whether an inherited book collection has any market value and what that means for your inheritance.
Good children's books focus on real, difficult topics. Love, loss, death, separation, forgiveness. The kind of issues we as adults still find ourselves struggling with long after we stop turning to books for children's to teach us the nature of such things. The best children's books address these issues while still offering up beauty and hope in their stories. One of the masters of walking this line is Kate DiCamillo. Born in Philadelphia, DiCamillo's family relocated to Florida in hopes that the climate would be better for her chronic pneumonia. Being forced to spend much of her time indoors as a result of her chronic illness caused her to develop a love of reading and writing at an early age. She studied English at the University of Florida and went on to work in a book warehouse. She published her first book, Because of Winn-Dixie in 2000, which was named a Newbery Honor book and adapted into a film. Since then she has went on to publish numerous novels for children as well as chapter books and picture books for younger readers. Throughout her career, she has been given awarded some of the highest honors in children's literature. Her novel The Tiger Rising was a National Book Award finalist. The Tale of Despereaux won the Newbery Medal in 2004 and has also been made into a film. She won a second Newbery Medal for Flora & Ulysses. Her novel, The Magician's Elephant is soon to be adapted by Netflix. Celebrate this amazing children's author by taking a look at some of the quotes that best exemplify her work:
How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.