Daniel Farr Books
Dunnville, Ontario, Canada
I have from childhood always been interested in books. I remember that my parents and grandmother made sure that I was surrounded with books, and I think most important they read to me from early on instilling a love and respect for the written word. Over the years I toyed with the idea of having my own bookstore. At one time I thought I might like a bricks and mortar open shop, but ultimately when the time came to take the plunge the internet had arrived, and since I wasn’t ready for a full-time break from my salaried job an online presence seemed the viable route. With some prior planning in the previous two years I joined AbeBooks in 2002, and in 2004 issued a 20 page four colour catalogue of rare books.
At this time my stock is made up of general used books of which I have approximately 6,000 plus, and a smaller number of antiquarian books. The 6,000 plus general used books cover many subjects ranging from, black studies to literary studies, fiction, philosophy, sociology, history, art and art history etc. The antiquarian books range from 17th century plays to modern first editions of the late 20th century. The year 2004 was especially momentous for me and my business as that was the year I issued my first full colour catalogue in which I published my findings that revealed an unknown first issue of the first edition of Charles Dickens book ‘Pictures From Italy’ published in 1846 by Bradbury and Evans. The essay I wrote revealing my findings and the catalogue were both warmly reviewed in the autumn 2004 edition of the prestigious British journal “The Book Collector’.
The advice I can give any collector is follow your instincts. Collect what you like, after-all it’s your money. The ten dollar item maybe just as valuable to you as a five hundred dollar item is to another collector. Collect in depth. Chasing only the high points of literature or a particular subject is a great starting off point, but it is not the end of the chase. The great collections and collectors never stopped once they had collected a prime item, they went in depth for all the related items, and our universities and libraries are all the more richer because they did. Also do your research and find the reference books that support your collecting. A good dealer will accumulate good reference books, and so will a good collector.
Highlights from Daniel Farr's Books inventory on AbeBooks:
Pictures From Italy
London, Bradbury and Evans, 1846. First Edition, First Issue (unrecorded printing). This unrecorded first issue has escaped bibliographers for many years, and has only recently come to light with much patience and cooperation among many people in the antiquarian community. Book very good. (Picture and article detailing this book available upon request). £16,207.49
The Town And The City
Harcourt Brace and Company, New York, 1950. Harcourt Brace and Company, New York, 1950. Octavo, 499 pages. Original cloth with dust jacket. First Edition. Ex-lending library copy with a dust jacket that has been slightly trimmed and now shows only the most modest weare at the edges. Tape marks show on covers and end-papers. some remains of lending library markings on rear and free end-papers. Gift inscription on paste-down end-paper. A bright dust jacket of Kerouac's first book with a tight text bock. Good plus. £464.62
Shakespeare and Company, Paris, 1928. Shakespeare and Company, Paris, 1928. Octavo, 736 pages. Rebound in sympathetic green cloth boards with original front wrapper bound in. The tenth printing from Shakespeare and Company. Rebound hinges weak with some splitting. The text for this edition was completely reset with the eighth printing due to the numerous errors with the original typesetting. This edition was published while 'Ulyssess' was still banned in the U.K. and U.S.. "Ulysses' enjoys the unique status of most often topping lists including, The Modern Library's as the Twentieth Century's greatest novel. a fragile book in very good condition. £399.78
The Macmillan Company of Canada Limited, Toronto, 1943. The Macmillian Company of Canada, Toronto, 1943. Duodecimo, 237 pages. Original cloth, dust jacket. First Canadian Edition. Red cloth with gold lettering on the spine, dust jacket shows some chipping with a small loss around the crest and tail of the spine and front cover, no more than 1/4 inch, some fading at the spine. Gift inscription, booksellers tag. A scarce issue of a classic fantasy by James Hilton. Very good plus.£270.12
The Condor And The Cows
Random House, New York, 1949. Random House, New York, 1949. Octavo, 217 pages. Original cloth with dust jacket. First Edition, precedes First English Edition. A very good plus dust jacket with only the slightest wear at the crest of the spine and edges. Isherwood and Caskey travelled through five South American republics; Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina, by river-boat, train, bus and truck usually avoiding the tourist routes, each recording in their respective mediums what they saw and experienced. a not quite near fine copy. £136.14
Henry James: Letters to A. C. Benson and Auguste Monod
Elkin Mathews and Marrot, London, 1930. Elkin Mathews and Marrot, London, 1930. Octabo, vii (ix - xii), 118 pages. Original patterned cloth and paper label without dust jacket as issued. First Edition, limited to 1,000 copies of which this is number 32. Ownership signature, spine shows minor fading and wear. Very good plus. £64.83