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The dual life of actor & bookseller Neil Pearson

A good number of booksellers found on AbeBooks have dual careers. An office worker by day and bookseller by night. But Neil Pearson has perhaps the most interesting division of labour by being an actor and a bookseller. During the 1990s, he was a familiar face to Channel 4 viewers as Dave Charnley (editor/cynic/womaniser) in […]

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Signed copy of Lord of the Flies sells for £12,500

Three quite different books are found at the top of our list of most expensive sales for September 2013. You all know Lord of the Flies by William Golding, but this particular sale includes some interesting correspondence between the author and a collector. In Dubious Battle is the first book in John Steinbeck’s Dustbowl trilogy […]

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No Picnic on Mount Kenya – from prisoner of war to mountaineer

No Picnic on Mount Kenya – it’s one of the great travel tales of the 20th century but it seems more like an adventure story. In 1938 Felice Benuzzi graduated from law school in Rome and joined Italy’s Colonial Service, who posted him to Ethiopia as part of Italy’s occupying force. World War II kicked off […]

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Midnight’s Children leads July’s most expensive sales

July’s most expensive sale on AbeBooks was Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children which won the Booker Prize way back in 1981. This particular copy sold for a shade over £9,100 and is a rare, uncorrected proof of the first UK edition in its original proof wrapper. JK Rowling’s new book, written as as Robert Galbraith, failed […]

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The Story of Ping, a pioneering children’s picture book

One of the more notable and rare children’s books found on AbeBooks is The Story of Ping by Marjorie Flack and illustrated by Kurt Wiese. Published in 1933, first editions of this book can now be priced in excess of £300. The story concerns a domesticated Chinese duck lost on the Yangtze River and it’s been […]

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For sale: a reproduction of the Gutenberg Press

A very interesting item has been listed for sale on AbeBooks.com – a fully functioning reproduction of the Gutenberg Press.  You can put a piece of history in your living room and print your own books. It’s one third scale of the original and hand-built from oak, and the seller reports that it is more […]

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The Book of Canoeing

I don’t have much say. It’s Monday and I’m worn out after a four-day trip of outdoor adventure, so I’m just going to show you this lovely book from 1935. The Book of Canoeing: How to Buy or Make Your Canoe and Where to Take it by Alex R Ellis covers canoeing on canals, rivers, […]

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A prohibition-era cocktail book for “serious drinkers everywhere”

Take a look at this beautiful prohibition-era cocktail book, Americana, that is listed for sale by British bookseller Paul Foster. It contains eight hand blocked, hand coloured cocktail napkins mounted into the book. The words “non-alcoholic” are inserted after every alcoholic ingredient, according to Foster’s description.  The book is “Dedicated to serious drinkers everywhere” with […]

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Big Brother sells rare books – first edition of 1984 goes for $3,000

Two first editions of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four have sold this week on AbeBooks as surveillance by our governments continues to be the No.1 news story around the world. A first edition, first printing in a green dust jacket sold for $3,000 (about £1,913) and a first edition, first printing in the red dust jacket sold […]

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Rare book of Chinese shop sign paintings sells for £3,615

  AbeBooks has sold a rare 1931 book filled with paintings of shop signs in Peking. The Shop Signs of Peking, with a preface in English by H.K. Fung and produced by the Chinese Painting Association, sold for £3,615 ( $5,500) earlier in May.  It contains 101 hand-coloured illustrations of the merchant signs with captions in […]

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