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ABC for Book Collector...
John Carter
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ABC for Book Collectors: Mercury Books [no 12]

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  228 ratings  ·  21 reviews
John Carter's ABC for Book Collectors has long been established as the most enjoyable as well as the most informative reference book on the subject. Here, in over 450 alphabetical entries, ranging in length from a single line to several pages, may be found definition and analysis of the technical terms of book collecting and bibliography, interspersed with salutory comment ...more
JRTM: sewn on cords; rounded, glued, 'First Published in Mercury Books', 208 pages
Published 1961 by Mercury Books (first published 1952)
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Containing a wealth of trivial-for-some-but-not-for-me information and terminology on book collecting, ABC... proved itself readable per sitting as well as a reference. I thought it (in 8th ed.) a bit expensive for its size (or format, ibid.), but it paid for itself when I saved $65 on a recent purchase of a translator-signed rarity. Descriptions of terms of condition, format (I always wondered what "8vo" meant), bindings, auction and cataloguers' lingo were succinct and easy to comprehend.

Sarah Fisher
So, it's basically a dictionary for rare books and the antiquarian book trade. But don't expect scholarly non-biased descriptions. They are scholarly. But the author has a slight air of snobbery which is thoroughly entertaining. He knows his stuff and isn't afraid to talk snootily of the book trade and its less savory aspects. Seriously, read a dictionary shouldn't be this enjoyable. Also, these "biased" descriptions offer lots of subtle insight into the book trade for newbies.
I learned I do not really want to be a book collector. I like reading books to much. Rare books often can't be read since that could damage them. I would rather read a reprint. But it was still really interesting reading about old, rare, expensive books and the people who collect them.
This one is from the advanced reading list for my class at Rare Book School in a few weeks. Yes, that's right, Rare Book School. As Lia said, "Is that real?" I love being a librarian.
Had to read this for a summer class on the history of the book. Written dictionary style it was a bit of a slog to get through, but it also had some dry British humor mixed in. The entry for "misprints" was actually hilarious. Useful if you plan on collecting old books.
a must for book collectors and would-be collectors
I've no doubt that this is an indispensable reference book, but it is far less witty than the collector's accounts of it I've heard led me to believe. The most whimsical element is how it labels the material elements of the book itself (endpapers, verso, recto, etc.) in order to provide real evidence of definitions.
This was a required textbook for one of my library school classes. I still use it today. It explains parts of a book and is so helpful in understanding the book printing process of the past and present.
Oct 04, 2010 ACRL added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: motw
Read by ACRL Member of the Week Simona Tabacaru. Learn more about Simona on the ACRL Insider blog.
This book is excellent to refer to, but it's too much like a dictionary for me to read cover-to-cover.
Misty Wright
Very useful for book collectors or catalogers. Everything you ever wanted to know about books, as far as structure, printing, publishing, etc....
"Ham-fisted layman" beware! An essential primer put together in dictionary-style which is often surprisingly amusing to read.
Key book for anyone interested in book collecting. A great glossary with a sense of humor.
Since I love collecting them so much, I guess I should learn what the hell I'm doing... :)
Super handy, if slightly outdated by all the information available on the interwebz.
It is a dictionary but the author has a terrific, quirky sense of humor.
Dan Mccormack
Great reference work on the language of books and book collecting.
brian tanabe
One of a handful of invaluable primers for book collectors.
Keith Miller
ABC for Book Collectors by John Carter (2004)
A classic for anyone interested in collecting.
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