Biblio Reopens Its Rare Book Room
By Michael Stillman
Biblio.com recently announced the reopening of its Rare Book Room. This is a nice feature for those whose interest is collectible books. The listing sites do a great job of presenting an incredible selection of books, somewhere north of 100 million volumes when sites are combined. However, most of it is ordinary. They are common books, recent books, all sorts that can only be described as "used books," nothing more. It can be a challenge to find the collectible needles in the haystack of used books.
The Rare Book Room offers a section of the site devoted exclusively to rare books. If you are looking for a rare first edition of Huckleberry Finn, rather than one of the some 7,500 copies of later editions currently available online, the Rare Book Room can help you find it. There are two ways to search its inventory. One is a simple keyword search that looks through the rare book inventory alone. The other is through a list of topics, such as Americana, Literature, Modern First Editions, Maps and Atlases, and more. Each of these will bring you to a page that looks like an online catalogue of related works, offered by many different sellers. It is perfect for browsing.
The presentation is exceptional. Each catalogue "page" contains images of nine books, while listings for other, but unillustrated works, are found at the bottom of the page. Clicking on the image, or listing, then brings you to a detailed description of the work. The detail page not only presents the complete description, but also allows the reader to either order the book or contact the seller directly for more information. Considering that there are many five-figure books offered in the Rare Book Room, one imagines buyers will often want to speak to the seller before placing an order.
In a press release, Biblio stated that there will be a monthly feature in the Rare Book Room, with September's focus being the Beat Generation. They also said that in the near future Biblio will syndicate content from the Rare Book Room to other sites.
Kudos are in order for this feature. Biblio has created a site within their site for rare and collectible books, and the presentation is outstanding. The rare book field has more or less been shunted to the back of the bus of the internet book trade. Biblio has done a fine job of giving it the respect it deserves. The Biblio Rare Book Room may be found at www.biblio.com/ltd/.