Slightly Chipped: Footnotes in Booklore

Lawrence Goldstone, Author, Goldstone, Author, Nancy Goldstone, Joint Author Thomas Dunne Books $22.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-312-20587-4
Having introduced a friend to the pricey pleasures of book collecting, the Goldstones--novelists and book collectors whose bibliomaniacal exploits were first chronicled in Used and Rare (1998)--stumble on a copy of the Virginia Woolf-Lytton Strachey letters and find themselves in a polite standoff: ""you take it,"" say the Goldstones; ""no, no, you saw it first,"" says the friend. Seeing an opening, the acquisitive urge wins out over politesse, and the Goldstones, to their friend's chagrin, find themselves ""quickly snatching up the book and putting it in our stack."" So goes a typically amusing and self-deprecating anecdote in their second collaborative effort. Less of a how-to than Used and Rare, this book is a trove of tart observations for those in the know. In many chapters, the authors begin with an anecdote about visiting a shop, fair or library. Then, filling in the background of a particularly intriguing volume, they fade into an informative digression on Bloomsbury bedroom hopping or the biography of A.S.W. Rosenbach--possibly the century's most important book dealer. They also investigate the wildly high prices for first editions of recent mysteries, skewer the Edgar Awards, cover a Sotheby's auction and explore the workings of book dealers on the Internet, a medium that they contend could lead to the death of book collecting. But they lighten even this doomsaying by introducing, among other offbeat characters, a disgruntled dealer who claims that Bn is stockpiling used books to drive independent used-book dealers out of business. The Goldstones can rest content that they've done their part to keep their venerable pursuit alive. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/03/1999
Release date: 05/01/1999
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-312-26395-9
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