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

by Lawrence Goldstone, Nancy Bazelon Goldstone

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,1673517,375 (3.94)1 / 51
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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 Used Books: Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World5 unread / 5staffordcastle, December 2012

» See also 51 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
As a bibliophile, I enjoyed this book a great deal. It gave me a peek into the world of rare books and got me thinking about some of the older tomes I own. I immediately went out and got the "sequel" Slightly Chipped; Footnotes in Booklore. ( )
  cabracrazy18 | Jul 9, 2024 |
I really enjoyed this fun, if a little dated look into the life of amateur book collectors, Larry and Nancy Goldstone. What started out as a hunt for a meaningful birthday present ended up taking the couple on an adventure to learn the ins and outs of book buying and collecting---the thrill of the chase and the self control it takes to walk away from what seems like the perfect book. I'm super inspired and just want to run right out to my favorite book store right now and peruse the rare book section that I always avoid for the sake of finances.

The book was written during the time when computers were just starting to be introduced to the general public for business and recreational use. There were several fun instances where I said to myself, "Oh yes, I remember that." One in particular was their thrill in finding that the library could print their cards right there in front of them (amazing technology, they said!)

Usually when I read something biographical/memoir-ish I stop about 10-15 pages in to look up what the author is doing now---especially with a book as "old" as this one. (I graduated high school in 1997) However, this couple had been having such a great time in this story that I was wary to look up anything on them for fear that perhaps their marriage didn't work out. I would be sad to think of them not continuing on these kinds of fun adventures together. About half way in, I finally couldn't stand it any longer and had to see what they were up to. Sure enough, their author pages seem to indicate they are happy and thriving---I'm so glad. In fact, I was so glad that I actually wrote the wife an email to tell her so. I'm sure I'm on somebody's weirdo list now but rarely do I engage so well with a memoir. ha!

Another interesting part of reading this book came with the "forgotten bookmarks" I found inside. In the front cover was a Barnes & Noble receipt from July 3, 1997. Someone in the Boston, Mass. store purchased this as a new release. Later in the book was a very early advertising bookmark for Amazon.com---back in the days when it was just an online bookstore. Some quotes from the back of the bookmark:

"Amazon.com: Earth's biggest bookstore."
"Offering 2.5 million titles (more than 14 times the number of books you'll find in the largest chain superstore), we're sure to have the book you want."
"Amazon.com has a wealth of information about the books and authors that interest you" (including) ... "Personalized E-mail notification about your favorite subjects and authors."


I don't remember the last time I actually bought a book on Amazon but I thought it was ironic that this novel new internet business was being advertised in this book about all the unique and often family owned book shops of the 90s---the same ones that Amazon long ago put out of business.

ETA: second irony is that my copy of this book is listed on several websites as being worth $50-$60. Ha!! I wonder if the receipt and Amazon bookmark add to that value at all???

Here is my post featuring photos of the "forgotten bookmarks": http://www.belleslibrary.com/2022/01/the-secret-lives-of-books-used-and-rare.htm... ( )
  classyhomemaker | Dec 11, 2023 |
In the early years of their marriage the writers Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone decided to become book collectors. I suspect the authors were being disingenuous in claiming to be completely ignorant about the hobby to the point of not even knowing what they wanted to collect. However, their feigned naïveté allows them to lead the reader through dusty old bookshops that have likely ceased to exist by now, learning what to look for. Along the way they introduce many delightfully quirky booksellers. Even to the non-collector their excursions into book land are great fun. I picked up a few tips and am glad to find out that I’m not the first would-be buyer to get snubbed in NYC’s Argosy Bookshop. ( )
  varielle | May 18, 2023 |
A nice little memoir of how a couple got suckered into book collecting (modern firsts). Really about getting suckered into any collecting hobby/compulsion.

Along with a few reference books and a little first hand advice would let you get into collecting, buying, auctions, etc. without seeming to be too novice. ( )
  Gumbywan | Jun 24, 2022 |
There's a blurb on the back of this book from Kirkus Reviews that says Used and Rare is "A sort of Year in Provence for book lovers." This is the perfect description for this book, except it was funnier; I laughed out loud in several places.

Used and Rare chronicles the journey of the Goldstones into book collecting, starting with an innocent search for a used copy of War and Peace suitable for a gift. This is how lifelong, obsessive passions begin. In fact it occurred to me as I read this that I have reason to be thankful that MT does not share my passionate love of books because if he did, we'd be the Goldstones and I shudder to think of the swath of destruction the two of us having a shared passion would wreck on our finances.

Having started reading this last night before bed (and making MT stay awake long enough so I could read parts of it aloud to him), I blew off everything I had to do today so that I could sit down and finish it. It's well written, it's funny, it's interesting and surprisingly it has what could sort of be called a plot, in that there's a journey these two take through book collecting and by the end of the book they come out the other other side with realisations made and lessons learned. In fact, the way the book ended was just the cherry on top of a perfectly lovely read.

This book isn't necessarily going to appeal to people who love to read, but people who love to own books and take great pleasure in being physically surrounded by the works of authors who have educated, entertained and changed them for better or worse? I think those people would love this book and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. ( )
  murderbydeath | Jan 29, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (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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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
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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