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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 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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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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A date for your diary – PBFA’s new Christmas Fair on December 6

There’s a new event on the UK’s book fair calendar. The PBFA (Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association) has added the Kensington Christmas Book Fair to its extensive list of fairs. The Kensington Christmas Book Fair takes places on 6 December at Kensington Town Hall in the heart of London, and AbeBooks.co.uk is a sponsor. The PBFA […]

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Signed first edition of John le Carré’s debut novel sells for £13,345

Famous fictional secret agents and spies abound, from 007  and Simon ‘The Saint’ Templar to Jason Bourne, but John le Carré’s wonderful creation George Smiley might just be the best of them all. Our most expensive sale last month was a signed first edition of Call for the Dead, the author’s debut novel from 1961. […]

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Set of programmes from Spurs double season sells for £3,600

A complete set of League and Cup programmes from Tottenham’s famous double-winning season of 1960-61 has sold for £3,600 on AbeBooks. In all, there are 64 programmes in the collection, including 42 home and away League games and a full set of seven FA Cup ties (including the 2-0 Wembley victory against Leicester City). There are […]

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Competition: 2014 York Antiquarian Book Seminar

Are you thinking of becoming a rare bookseller? Or have you just started to sell collectable books? The first York Antiquarian Book Seminar is an educational event held over three days in York in September, 2014 for booksellers, librarians and collectors that offers expert discussion about rare books. This is your opportunity to enter for […]

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Nebuchadnezzar’s stone book goes to auction

Fine Books magazine reports that a Babylonian cuneiform cylinder from the rule of Nebuchadnezzar II is going to be auctioned on April 9 in New York. The clay cylinder is also offered for sale on AbeBooks at just over £1 million. The book/stone details the rebuilding of a temple by Nebuchadnezzar II around 604-562 BC. The cylinder is […]

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Book of Margery Kempe, the first autobiography in English

The British Library has digitised the sole surviving original copy of the first autobiography written in English – The Book of Margery Kempe, reports The Guardian. It owns the only known copy of the book, describing  Kempe’s life and travels in England and abroad, including her pilgrimages to the Holy Land and Santiago de Compostela […]

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16th century warfare manual shows rockets strapped to cats and doves

Textbooks on the art of war have been around for centuries in one form or another. One of the most interesting examples is Armamentarium Principale Oder Kriegsmunition und Artillerey=Buch by Frank Helm. This 16th century book details the manufacture of bombs, canons and other types of artillery involving gunpowder.  Instructions include strapping rockets to the […]

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