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Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World (1997)

by Lawrence Goldstone, Nancy Bazelon Goldstone

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,0452914,371 (3.92)1 / 48
Journey into the world of book collecting with the Goldstones-rediscover the joy of reading, laugh, and fall in love with books all over again. The idea that books had stories associated with them that had nothing to do with the stories inside them was new to us. We had always valued the history, the world of ideas contained between the covers of a book or, as in the case ofThe Night Visitor,some special personal significance. Now, for the first time, we began to appreciate that there was a history and a world of ideas embodied by the books themselves. Part travel story, part love story, and part memoir, Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone'sUsed and Rareprovides a delightful love letter to book lovers everywhere.… (more)
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» See also 48 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
If you love books, you must read this. The Goldstones are lovers of books and they take you along as they discover, from scratch, the world of book collecting. You learn while they learn and the lessons are wonderful. Parts of this are hysterically funny. One of the first people they meet is from New Zealand and while I normally hate dialogue written in dialect, they have a Kiwi accent nailed and it's great fun. This is a small, one-seating read and when you get to the end you will love all used bookshops even more than you do now. ( )
  susandennis | Jun 5, 2020 |
This book was fun. It was short easy read. I enjoyed the stories of their adventures in the world of book collecting. I don't know if I would every collect books, but they give a couple of tips, if you want to start out. ( )
  lemonpop | Nov 22, 2017 |
A light and entertaining read about a young married couple venturing into the world of book collecting, in New England, New York and Chicago. Fun, and sometimes very funny.
December, 2009 ( )
  laytonwoman3rd | Aug 28, 2017 |
There are books that tell readers how to go about collecting rare books, but Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone's "Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World" shows you how to do it. The disadvantage is that there is no index at the end to help one later find specific information, but the advantage is that you can follow along as two complete novices find their way into the somewhat exclusive world of book collectors.

How exclusive is it? The Goldstones tell us about about dealers who don't have signs on their doors, often because they operate their businesses out of their own homes, or who want to know how you found them, never mind that their numbers and addresses are in the phone book. The couple makes repeated visits to one bookshop and each time are denied access to the rare book room with one lame excuse or another. The authors name names, both those of the businesses and the people who work there. If names were changed to protect the guilty, we are not told.

The Goldstones convey information while at the same telling interesting, often humorous, stories about their travels from their Connecticut home to shops in surrounding states. They describe book auctions, conversations with dealers, both the helpful and unhelpful ones, and answer questions, like how does one tell if a book is really a first edition, that other beginning collectors are going to ask.

Unlike many collectors, the Goldstones are interested mainly in books they want to read or have read and want attractive copies on their shelves. They lack the resources to spend thousands of dollars on a single rare book, yet still want to build a collection that will be valuable to them. "The more we thought about it," they conclude, "the more we came back to our original view. You don't really need first editions at all. They are just affectations, excuses for dealers to run up the price on you, charge you a lot of money for something that doesn't read any better than any other edition."

As enjoyable as "Used and Rare" is, it can be annoying at times, as when these two people seem to think with a single mind. We find the sentence, "'We have this in paperback, but these stories are terrific,' one of us commented to the other." These writers have the ability to repeat entire conversations word for word, but they can't remember which of them made that statement? I don't mind that the Goldstones never argue, but do they always want to buy the same books and are they always willing to pay the same price? One gets the impression that one of these two people isn't really necessary. Or maybe hiring the babysitter wasn't really necessary. One of them could have just stayed home. ( )
  hardlyhardy | Dec 14, 2016 |
Enjoyed this enormously. Collecting books is an adventure. ( )
  Harrod | Apr 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
[A] sprightly paced travelogue....A sort of 'Year in Provence' for book lovers: an entertaining armchair introduction to an esoteric but captivating subject.
added by jburlinson | editKirkus (Mar 15, 1997)
 
Rarest of all, Goldstone can write. Her sentences are clean, flowing, intelligent, even arch. This Goldstone woman has a talent that you cannot buy.
added by jburlinson | editLos Angeles Times Book Review
 

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Lawrence Goldstoneprimary authorall editionscalculated
Goldstone, Nancy Bazelonmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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We came to book collecting because our birthdays fall eight days apart.
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Journey into the world of book collecting with the Goldstones-rediscover the joy of reading, laugh, and fall in love with books all over again. The idea that books had stories associated with them that had nothing to do with the stories inside them was new to us. We had always valued the history, the world of ideas contained between the covers of a book or, as in the case ofThe Night Visitor,some special personal significance. Now, for the first time, we began to appreciate that there was a history and a world of ideas embodied by the books themselves. Part travel story, part love story, and part memoir, Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone'sUsed and Rareprovides a delightful love letter to book lovers everywhere.

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Journey into the world of book collecting with the Goldstones-rediscover the joy of reading, laugh, and fall in love with books all over again.

The idea that books had stories associated with them that had nothing to do with the stories inside them was new to us. We had always valued the history, the world of ideas contained between the covers of a book or, as in the case of The Night Visitor, some special personal significance. Now, for the first time, we began to appreciate that there was a history and a world of ideas embodied by the books themselves.
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