Your books and you

So... Here we are, almost all of us confined in our homes because of this bloody virus...

For us bibliophiles the (numerous) hours that we now have to spend with our partner, our family or our loneliness, is also the occasion to get closer to the friends that follow us silently from the shelves of our libraries: the books of our collection!

Aiming at a dialogue between bibliophiles we have opened this new section of our blog: "Love (of books) in times of COVID-19".

Today is the turn of your collection to speak, just by answering 6 very simple questions.

Your participation is essential and much appreciated. Without it, such a project is meaningless!

- What subject?

- How many titles?

- The oldest?

- The newest?

- When was this collection started ?

- When was the latest addition to this collection?

If you are already logged-in, you can leave a comment by clicking here

To log-in or to create a user account, please click here

We can't wait to read your posts! See you soon online!
posted by  Julien at  20:05 | comments [16]


posted by   SHELLEY (M.)
25 Mar 2020 at 13:08
Dear fellow book-lovers,
Yes ! Let's get together ! It's hard for all of us. Let's make the best out of this situation. When this is said, my heart is with those who suffer from this illness or has friends or family being ill right now.
Lack of freedom but more time. Lucky us who have our love for books. There are millions of them ! In my shelfs I have my little collection of poetry from the 16/17th century. Mostly french and italian. They take me travelling with them every time I open one of them and I want more ! I started collecting only 5 years ago but I'm afraid there are now signes that I'm addicted.. I have 65 books in my library and and I want it to be filled up in the next couple of years. I look so much foreward to read about other book-lovers babies, thoughts and passions. Thank you !

posted by   MORRIS (W.)
25 Mar 2020 at 13:37
Hard times yes. But we get what what we deserve... Collecting rare books about political ideas. Mainly german and deutch. Quite many items because I have done this for a long time. I'm not much into blogs, but would appreciate if this one can get me in touch with other collectors on the same subject. Thanks.

posted by   MORRIS (W.)
25 Mar 2020 at 22:30
Nobody here?

posted by   CAMUS (A.)
25 Mar 2020 at 23:02
This is fun choosing the pseudonym.... I picked Camus before I realized how appropriate it is. I guess it is no coincidence that I've been re-reading La Peste. For my personal collection, I collect what I tell everyone to collect, i.e. what you love, no matter the subject!

posted by   JULIEN
25 Mar 2020 at 23:07
Camus was an excellent choice indeed!! Thank you for your input, I totally agree that what you love should be the core subject of your collection. Stay well and keep tuned!

posted by   KIRCHER (A.)
25 Mar 2020 at 23:18

- What subject? Er, Um ...Preception\Love/ Philosophy (memory)/Chance..

- How many titles? It changes every Day!

- The oldest? 1250

- The newest? 2020

- When was this collection started ? 1973

- When was the latest addition to this collection? 3-5-2020

Now the particulars, Two books recently added
: Boethius de consolation philosophy 1663.. ( I have lots of editions. )
: Abelarde Sic et non 1760 (in English)
Ok one more
Lucretius: De nrerum Natura 1515 (Aldus)

This is fun, I expect about three more books this and they will show in MY Blog.... but finding that might be hard.


posted by   KIRCHER (A.)
26 Mar 2020 at 00:18
The past is ever-present!

posted by   FOURCROY (A. F. de)
26 Mar 2020 at 07:03
What subject? I collect early chemistry (less so alchemy which I find too confusing to understand)

- How many titles? about 1100

- The oldest? 1491 Albertus Magnus De Mineralibus

- The newest? a few things mid 19th century, but most before 1800

- When was this collection started ? As a schoolboy, about 33 years ago!

- When was the latest addition to this collection? ask me tomorrow.

I have a very large collection of Lavoisier, including almost every contemporary edition of his fabulous Traité élémentaire de chime. Sadly I missed a copy of the first issue which came up a few years ago :-(
I didn't choose Lavoisier for my pseudonym feeling not worthy enough. I hope Fourcroy wouldn't mind. I am also a big fan of that great chemist and have 43 (just counted) copies of his works in various editions / languages.

posted by   COPERNIC (N.)
26 Mar 2020 at 11:12
What a name... did you know that Copernicus was just a part time mathematician and astrologist... his main occupation was to run part of a diocese for his uncle, who was a bishop. As such he was confronted with all kinds of worldly matters, including economic issues.

He contributed one of the earliest tracts on monetary matters «Monete cudendae ratio» in 1526 (I hope Julien will find me a copy one day). This starts with these famous remarks:

"Numerous are the disasters which normally lead to the decay of kingdoms, principalities, and republics, the four following are in my opinion the most to be feared: war, disease, famine and inflation.”

Disease we have, inflation we will get... let's hope it stops at that...

By now you can guess, what my collection is about: History of Economic Thought. With some restrictions: First editions, contemporary bindings and only until 1800.

The collection is not big, but nice... ;-) ... 300 copies... starting in 1430 with a manuscript by Henry Totting of Oyta on life-rents... stopping in 1804 with the first print of Cesare Beccaria's Elementi... started just 8 years ago... latest addition: Oresme, Nicolas (1484) De Moneta, second edition, first in Latin. Cologne: Koellhoff the Elder.

posted by   JULIEN
26 Mar 2020 at 11:39
Great posts! And incredible collections, my friends. I am so grateful for your contributions. Please keep us posted and keep on posting! I will add more content in the following days...

posted by   SHELLEY (M.)
26 Apr 2020 at 16:51
I am a bibliophile in the strictest sense of the term, that is: a book lover, but now that I have read about the books owned by Copernic and Kircher and Fourcroy I am unsure if my handful of books can be described as a "library" or a "collection"...

posted by   MORRIS (W.)
26 Apr 2020 at 19:57
True love of books is more often found in modest shelves than in big collections, believe me.

posted by   COPERNIC (N.)
27 Apr 2020 at 07:49
I thought we were here to enjoy and not place a value judgement on others. Morris W. seems to have many items in his collection, as he writes himself. Do I have to conclude that the likelihood of him being a true book lover is smaller than in mine? Or the other way round?

All not very helpful I would say, let's talk about books! :-)

My latest purchase is a Carlier (1762) at auction at Tajan. 140 Euros very rare, and in it's way very interesting. It is part of a larger debate on whether (within France) goods should trade without custom duties. We are talking about the 18th century...

posted by   JULIEN
28 Apr 2020 at 14:55
Yes indeed dear "COPERNIC" we are here to enjoy ! And I agree with you that this is not the place for despective statements of any kind... I believe anyway that "MORRIS" didn't mean to harm anyone. Maybe his words were just an encouragement for those who feel too modest to claim they are bibliophiles?

Carlier on wools is an interesting little book, at Comellas we had it only twice in the last thirty years : sold one 225 euros to a fellow book dealer in 2014 (contemporary wrappers) and the other one to a private collector for approximately the same amount in 1992. 140 euros + hammer premium is definitely a good deal for a nice copy (which I guess it was since I know you are taking care of that aspect).

Your comment raises a profound question: are book shops competitive in regard to auction houses? Maybe this could be a good subject for another blog post in the future.
Thank you all for your contributions and stay safe!

posted by   DARWIN (C. R.)
11 May 2020 at 21:09
I was stimulated to collect old and rare books by my father. When I was a child he would bring home old books from the lower east side book shops in New York City . Occasionally he would take me with him to visit them . I developed a modest collection and I still have one of my father's that really attracted me. It is a folio sized edition from 1903 of Webster's dictionary with diffuse illustrations. I used it as a reference source for may years before anyone dreamt of the internet. Later in life I became interested in medical antiques. I accumulated a very large collection and began seeking out old and rare books to identify and explain their history and use. The collection grew and soon I began collecting the books for their own value. My library was invigorated by my early experiences with my father. It is now highlighted on my website ( along with the related medical instruments.

posted by   FOURCROY (A. F. de)
11 May 2020 at 21:50
It's interesting that there have been some comments about the sizes of collections. I remember probably about 25 years ago as a student seeing bibliographies of famous collections in the area I was interested in. I remember thinking that there was no way I would ever end up with a comparable collection / library. I simply decided to carry on buying the books that were of interest to me because I liked them. However, years later, the same passion is with me and my humble library has simply grown. My field of collecting is rather narrow, but I enjoy seeing the connections between the ideas of the time and being able to look up the references when one author quotes another.

There was a question do we read our books? Of course! I have used mine in writing my own book on my subject (the history of chemistry) and it was wonderful to reproduce images from my books. The books are not there as items on the shelf. For me they are historic items from the period of discovery with new ideas that shaped our world. Sometimes they might even have been previously owned by the very people who actually helped formulate the ideas. A wonderful connection to the past. I still find it amazing when I hold a book in my hands that has been treasured for hundreds of years.

Visit the book shop

- -

Contact us

How many rare books do you own?
Less than 10
From 10 to 50
From 50 to 100
From 100 to 500
From 500 to 1000
More than 1000
Portraits [ 3 ]  RSS ATOM
Series [ 0 ]  RSS ATOM
    Cabinet de Curiosités  [ 1RSS ATOM
    Great Printers  [ 5RSS ATOM
    Not in WorldCat  [ 1RSS ATOM


Visitors    822002
Online users 57