Saturday, January 28, 2012

Featured Item No. I: Arnold's FIRST REPORT OF A BOOK-COLLECTOR. 1/85 copies

I thought it might be entertaining and (perhaps) enlightening to post selected items from my collection on a regular basis.  Each will feature a description of the work.  Keep bookin'.  Kurt Zimmerman
William Harris Arnold.  FIRST REPORT OF A BOOK-COLLECTOR; COMPRISING:  A BRIEF ANSWER TO THE FREQUENT QUESTION “WHY FIRST EDITIONS?” WITH SOME REMARKS ON THE COMMON SUPPOSITION THAT MERE SCARCITY IS A REASON FOR COLLECTING THEM; AND FIVE EGOTISTICAL CHAPTERS OF ANECDOTE AND ADVICE ADDRESSED TO THE BEGINNER IN BOOK-COLLECTING: FOLLOWED BY AN ACCOUNT OF BOOK-WORMS. Jamaica, Queensborough, New York: Printed on the Marion Press, 1897-1898.  xi 97 [2] p. Frontis., plates, illus., facsimiles, inserted leaves, two folded leaves in pocket at rear. Small 4to. Original stiff vellum, spine stamped in gilt, custom slipcase.  Limitation: No. 51 of 85 copies, signed by the printer, Frank E. Hopkins.  Also signed by Arnold at the end of the foreword.  Notes:  A second, less elaborate edition, limited to 220 copies, was published in 1898. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Great Expectations -- Bowers and Hinman

Re-reading a classic work of literature can lead down unexpected bypaths.  In my case, I can’t claim the re-reading was premeditated.  In fact, as I settled my tender loins against the hard, wooden bench, a book was not on the front burner.  My wife, Nicole, had an appointment.  Since we were together, I hunkered down to wait for her.  The appointment ran long and turned into a two hour sigh fest – or could have. 
Across from me sat an oblivious couple of flat-bellies, early twenties, deeply engrossed in their I-phones.    I deftly whipped out my Android phone, recently acquired, and spent a few minutes fumbling aboard the internet.  I still felt pretty cool.   This amused me for a little while but being well-seasoned I soon looked around for something printed to read.  Nothing.   Frustrated, I played more with the phone and noticed the pre-loaded “Books” application.  I opened it and my phone offered me a selection of Google-scanned free classics, one of them being Dickens’ Great Expectations.   I selected it and my e-reading adventure began.  The text was easy to read and “turning” pages required only a simple swipe of my thumb.