September 28, 2007

The Cat in the Hat

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss turned 50 years old in 2007!

The Cat in The Hat turned 50 as one of the bestselling children’s books of all time. It's as popular as ever with young readers, and first editions now fetch prices well into the thousands. Whether you're investing in a child's imagination or your personal collection, this classic is always a worthwhile acquisition.

September 27, 2007

What Are Some Useful Guides to Collecting?

A list of some useful guides to collecting vintage paperbacks or first editions:

- McBride's A Pocket Guide to the Identification of First Editions. Comment: Essential if you are interested in eventually becoming a seller or a serious collector.

- Ahearn, Allen. Book Collecting: A Comprehensive Guide. Comment: Another essential book with numerous examples and references.

- Bradley, Van Allen. Gold In Your Attic and More Gold In Your Attic. Comment: Essential for book sellers.

- Carter, John. ABC For Book Collectors. Comment: All purpose guide, probably a little outdated but useful.

- Tannen, Jack. How To Identify and Collect American First Editions. Comment: Haven't used it so no comment.

- Wilson, Robert A. Modern Book Collecting. Comment: Excellent little book, with several humourous anecdotes and a good no-nonsense guide to book collecting.

- Zempel, Edward N. and Linda A. Verkler. First Editions: A Guide To Identification, Third Edition. Spoon River Press. Comment: Haven't used so no comment.

- Ellis, Ian C. Book Finds: How to Find, Buy, and Sell Used and Rare Books, 1996. Comment: Good quality book.

September 26, 2007

Special Collections - University of Calgary

The University of Calgary has some excellent resources and books that are available for viewing on the web.

They have some good material on Mordecai Richler and Alice Munro as well as a section on Canadian paperbacks.

It is heartening that Canadian Universities are attempting to keep the heritage of printed in Canada and Canadian authors in the public view and for historical purposes.

September 25, 2007

The Origins Of Science-Fiction

The literary genre of science fiction is diverse and since there is little consensus of definition among scholars or devotees, its origin is an open question. Some offer works like the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh as the primal texts of science fiction. Others argue that science fiction became possible only with the scientific revolution, notably discoveries by Galileo and Newton in astronomy, physics and mathematics. Some place the origin with the gothic novel, particularly Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

Science fiction developed and boomed in the 20th century, as the deep penetration of science and inventions into society created an interest in literature that explored technology's influence on people and society. Today, science fiction has significant influence on world culture and thought. It is represented in all varieties of ordinary and advanced media...

More at History of Science-Fiction on wikipedia.

September 24, 2007

A (Very) Short History of Ace Books Double Novels

Ace Books began publishing genre fiction starting in 1952. Initially these were mostly in the dos-à-dos (back to back) format, but they also published a few single volumes, in the early years, and that number grew until the doubles stopped appearing in about 1978. The dos-à-dos format was discarded in 1973, but future double novels were continued for a while.

Ace published science fiction, mysteries, and westerns, as well as books not in any of these genres. Collectors of these genres have found the Ace doubles an attractive set of books to collect, because of the unusual appearance of the dos-à-dos format. This is particularly true for the science fiction books, for which several bibliographic references have been written.

Between 1952 and 1968, the books had a letter-series identifier; after that date they were given five-digit numeric serial numbers.

Taken from Wikipedia.