Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bookplates: A future release from Yale University Press and a 1999 title I need to acquire

The hangover from the holidays seems to finally have passed and I awoke today feeling fresh and looking forward to the challenges ahead and a more productive, efficient and positive routine.  With a brighter outlook I decided it was high time to start trolling websites of my favorite publishers to see what the next months will bring in terms of new releases.  I visit publisher websites for amusement and ideas and my first stop today was Yale University Press.  Outside of the reality that publisher websites are generally terrible, difficult to browse and as boring as can be, I move quickly to the future releases and start browsing.

A search of my library catalog indicates that of the 1600+ plus books I own, 33 were published by Yale and I always expect to find something of interest when browsing their new releases.  I was not disappointed and in the five or so minutes it took me to browse the future releases three captured my attention and one of those reminded me of a want I almost forgot about!  Five minutes of browsing one must have book, one nice to have, and one for a birthday gift, not bad!

The nice to have book is a history of the book plate.  I don't use book plates and generally find them annoying.  Let's face it, unless the book plate is from the library of someone famous pasting an ownership label on a book is simply vandalism.  There are collectible book plates, however, and I'm pretty certain this future release from Yale would be a nice reference to own.  I may someday get a copy but today, this future release reminds me that I really want a different book on books plates.

As a committed fan and collector of Henry Miller, I have a longstanding interest in erotica.  My library contains many editions concerning erotica from ancient times through Miller's era.  It is not the erotica per se that I am interested in but the tradition of banned books.  I really need to focus a post on this someday but not today.

Viewing the Yale future release reminded me that I've been wanting to "view" and then decide whether or not to purchase a copy of Modern Erotic Bookplates by Luc Van den Breile.  I seem to recall a copy was in stock at a local rare book dealer last year, but it appears that copy is now gone.  Here is a catalog description from Boss Fine Arts, "...Large Octavo. 72 Pages.  A thoughtful essay, by one of the preeminent European collectors, on the modern treatment of the human form in bookplate design by artists of all artistic inclinations from throughout the world. More than fifty bookplates are illustrated, many in color and some very explicit London: Primrose Press, 1999. Casebound with dustjacket. $45 (+ shipping)."  Well, a goal for 2011 is to actually find a copy, view it and then probably buy it!

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