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Did you know there was a literary prize for books about mountains?

I didn’t and I’ve been doing this job for a long time. The Boardman Tasker Prize celebrates mountain literature and is organised by the Boardman Tasker Trust. The prize of £3,000 commemorates the lives of climbers Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker, who died in 1982 while climbing Mount Everest. Both men wrote about mountaineering, hence […]

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Pre-first editions? Manuscripts, galley proofs & advanced reader copies explained

Enjoy our latest video about editions printed in small quantities before the release date. A pre-first edition book is any limited run of a book printed before the stated first edition is published. Learn more about these types of books in our book collecting guide.

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2014 Booker Prize shortlist announced

The shortlist for the 2014 Man Booker Prize has been announced. The six books shortlisted are: The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma Death Railway, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his affair with his uncle’s young wife two years […]

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2014 York National Book Fair coming up on 19-20 September

More than 200 booksellers will be displaying rare books at the annual York National Book Fair on 19 and 20 September at York Racecourse. This is the event’s 40th year with exhibitors from Germany, Hong Kong and Canada, and from across the UK. Paper makers, calligraphers and bookbinders can also be found at the fair. […]

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The art of paper marbling… in video

Endpapers of fine books are often decorated with marbling. The patterns can be extremely eye-catching but sometimes the reader may skip the marbling in order to get to the content. You might enjoy this marbling video from a Turkish artist. This article from Fine Books magazine is also useful. There is, of course, a book […]

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Should we all be reading The Plague by Albert Camus?

Should we all be reading The Plague by Albert Camus? NPR (National Public Radio) in the United States thinks so as the Ebola outbreak continues to dominate news headlines. La Peste, as the novel is called in French, was published in 1947.  It’s set in an Algerian city and looks at a wide range of […]

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One bad cover for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and five good ones

Penguin’s latest cover for that enduring children’s classic, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, is about as popular as a rattlesnake in a lucky dip. My sources tell me Roald Dahl is turning in his grave. The cover of the new Penguin Modern Classics edition is targeted at adults. No Charlie, no Mr Wonka – just […]

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Today’s startling news, Harry Potter is going grey

JK Rowling has placed a 1,500-word article on her Pottermore site where Harry Potter is reunited with Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger and their old Hogwarts friends at the final of the 2014 Quidditch World Cup. The boy who lived is now the middle-aged man who was once famous. The article is written in the sensational […]

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First edition of legendary crime novel The Three Coffins sells for £1,300

A rare copy of The Three Coffins by John Dickson Carr has sold for £1,300 /$2,250 on AbeBooks. The 1935 Harper first edition had a restored dust jacket.  The Three Coffins is a Dr Fell mystery and at first glance appears to be a standard Dickson Carr crime novel. However, chapter 17 of the The Three […]

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Women who write as men – from Blixen to Rowling

The publication of The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith, aka J.K. Rowling/ Joanne Rowling, once again puts women who write as men into the spotlight. The Silkworm is Rowling’s second Galbraith mystery novel and pushes her another step away from the Harry Potter legacy. Many women write under pen names but few actually use clearly male […]

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