LibraryThing Author:
John Sellars

John Sellars is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Member: jsphilobiblon

CollectionsYour library (1,184)

MediaPaper Book (1,049), Ebook (1)


TagsAncient Philosophy (311), Medieval Philosophy (104), Books about Books (88), Neoplatonism (83), Renaissance Philosophy (81), Loeb Classical Library (76), Hellenistic Philosophy (76), Stoicism (75), Ancient Commentators on Aristotle (75), Classics (73) — see all tags

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About meI am an academic philosopher by profession.

About my libraryMy library is a mixture of an academic working library and a collector's library. The heart of my collection is focused on the history of philosophy, weighted towards ancient philosophy as this is my main area of work. This means I also have strong interests in classics.

Beyond my philosophical work I'm especially interested in the transmission of texts from antiquity, including medieval manuscripts, early printing, the history of libraries, and various other book-related topics. I am a member of The Bibliographical Society ( and an avid reader of The Book Collector (

Bringing these two interests together, the highpoint of my collection focuses on early printed editions of ancient philosophical texts, the older the better. The oldest is currently 1545 ( I also collect single leaves from incunabula, the oldest of which is from 1478 ( You can find further images of my older books and leaves at

My collecting began gently when I was an undergraduate student in the early 1990s and I first realized that I could buy durable old hardback copies for less than the price of new ephemeral paperbacks (I started with the old Everyman's Library). In 1996 I made a first attempt to catalogue my books and found that I had around 500. That increased by an average of 100 a year until I had around 1000 in 2001, when I finished my graduate studies. A decade later the total is now over 3000, but that doesn't include my wife's books or other non-academic books in the house. It's been at that level for a few years now, as although I continue to add at a pace I also have occasional clear outs and get rid of things I think I no longer want, usually due to worrying about lack of space. I almost always regret this! I now resolve not to do this any more, and to push forwards to 4000!

I've kept up the catalogue started in 1996 and it is now a 200 page book which I get printed from time to time (by lulu). I'm now, slowly, recataloguing here.

GroupsAncient and Medieval Manuscripts, Antiquarian Books, BBC Radio 3 Listeners, Books on Books, Everyman's Library, Folio Society devotees, Lingua Latina, Oxonians, Small or Miniature Books, Stoicism

Favorite authorsAristotle, Marcus Aurelius, Ralph Cudworth, Epictetus, Justus Lipsius, Pietro Pomponazzi, Seneca (Shared favorites)


Favorite bookstoresBlackwell's Oxford, George Bayntun, Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin, Maggs Bros. Ltd., Oxford University Press Bookshop, St Philip's Books, The Classics Bookshop

Favorite librariesBodleian Library, Dr Williams's Library, Institute of Classical Studies Library / Joint Library of the Hellenic and Roman Societies, School of Advanced Studies, University of London, Senate House Library, University of London, Warburg Institute Library, School of Advanced Studies, University of London, Wolfson College Library, Oxford University

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URLs /profile/jsphilobiblon (profile)
/catalog/jsphilobiblon (library)

Member sinceDec 29, 2011

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