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ABC for Book Collectors

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  291 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Eighth edition, completely revised and re-set, with additional information and an Introduction by Nicolas Barker. Shaken, Unsophisticated, Harleian Style, Fingerprint, E-book, Dentelle. Can you define these terms? If not, this is the book for you! John Carter's ABC For Book Collectors has long been established as the most enjoyable as well as the most informative reference ...more
Unknown Binding, Eighth Edition, 234 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Oak Knoll Press (first published 1952)
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(showing 1-30 of 819)
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Feb 11, 2009 Frankie rated it really liked it
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
Dec 18, 2009 Sarah Fisher rated it it was amazing
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.
Dec 02, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it
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.
Jul 16, 2009 Torie added it
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.
Jun 16, 2016 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
This book is the best book about books out there. Defines every term I need as an archivist for my not-specialized work with books.
Jul 13, 2014 Jen rated it liked it
Shelves: library-school
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.
Aug 31, 2014 Rachel rated it it was amazing
a must for book collectors and would-be collectors
Jun 30, 2015 Penny rated it it was amazing
Cleverly written and darn useful!
Kelsey Emmons
Aug 03, 2015 Kelsey Emmons rated it really liked it
Reference work: dictionary
Aug 23, 2011 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
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.
Sep 14, 2008 Natalie rated it it was amazing
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
Shelves: motw
Read by ACRL Member of the Week Simona Tabacaru. Learn more about Simona on the ACRL Insider blog.
Misty Wright
Jul 27, 2011 Misty Wright rated it really liked it
Very useful for book collectors or catalogers. Everything you ever wanted to know about books, as far as structure, printing, publishing, etc....
Aug 12, 2008 Jen rated it really liked it
"Ham-fisted layman" beware! An essential primer put together in dictionary-style which is often surprisingly amusing to read.
Jan 12, 2016 K.N. rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-shelf, bookbarn, 1950s
This book is excellent to refer to, but it's too much like a dictionary for me to read cover-to-cover.
Key book for anyone interested in book collecting. A great glossary with a sense of humor.
Jun 30, 2008 Meen marked it as to-read
Since I love collecting them so much, I guess I should learn what the hell I'm doing... :)
Feb 07, 2016 Sheryl added it
Shelves: reference
Extraordinary helpful mass of info for any lover of books, collector or not.
Mar 14, 2012 Odile rated it really liked it
Super handy, if slightly outdated by all the information available on the interwebz.
Jun 03, 2012 Kelly rated it it was amazing
It is a dictionary but the author has a terrific, quirky sense of humor.
Dan Mccormack
May 08, 2013 Dan Mccormack rated it it was amazing
Great reference work on the language of books and book collecting.
brian tanabe
Sep 30, 2007 brian tanabe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of a handful of invaluable primers for book collectors.
Keith Miller
ABC for Book Collectors by John Carter (2004)
May 25, 2013 Meridith rated it really liked it
A classic for anyone interested in collecting.
Aug 23, 2007 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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