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. Part travel story, part love story, and part memoir, Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone's Used and Rare provides a delightful love letter to book lovers everywhere.
What begins as a search for a hardcover copy of War and Peace becomes for the authors a journey into the world of used and rare books. Well ensconced as ex-Manhattanites living in the Berkshires, the Goldstones discover that they possess the requisite acquisitive nature for successful book collecting--and collect they do. From book-laden barns in Massachusetts to exclusive, climate-controlled shops in New York, they travel the circuit, educating themselves along the way as they meet dealers and store owners. Once they realize that "books had stories associated with them that had nothing to do with the stories inside them," the Goldstones are hooked, and their interest and spending shifts from the $10 price tags of used books to the investment quality purchases of rare volumes and documents. A useful and lively primer for the novice reader interested in building a library, this is also a quirky guide to used and rare bookstores in the Berkshires, Boston and Manhattan. Book lovers and book professionals will be mildly amused by the cameo appearances of familiar dealers and shop owners, but otherwise will be well beyond the wide-eyed, "gee whiz" quality of the authors' impressions and literary comments. This is a book in which Dickens's popularity is likened to The Beatles and Edith Wharton is acknowledged to have been "a terrific writer." It is, nevertheless, an entertaining introduction to the world of book collecting, a world in which a book is judged by its cover (or lack thereof).