Rare Book Monthly

Articles - April - 2015 Issue

A “Bookjacker's” Website

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Antiques.gift website focuses on books' language.

We are grateful to Montreal bookseller Michel Lanteigne for bringing this website to our attention. While reluctant to call it an outright scam, it is certainly very misleading to its customers. Mr. Lanteigne has supplied us with an appropriate term - “bookjacker” - to describe the business.

 

The website is called Antique.gift Book Shop and it is located in Riga, Latvia. They advertise offering “more then [sic] 10 million books in more than 30 languages!” Latvia is not a place you might expect to find such a large bookseller, but the internet is international in scope. Still, how did a firm in Latvia make the necessary connections to get so many booksellers to place their listings on this obscure site, including Mr. Lanteigne?

 

The answer is, they didn't. This is where the term “bookjacker” comes in. They are copying listings from other sites, likely AbeBooks, but perhaps others. This is not done with the consent of the lister. Nor does this site credit the listing dealer, as does Abe. It doesn't claim to be shipping the books themselves. It speaks of books being sent by “suppliers.” “We deliver books directly from suppliers,” the website explains. However, the purchase is made from Antiques.gift, and you might incorrectly believe they had some special relationship with the “suppliers,” rather than just buying the book from them off the internet like any other customer, and having it shipped to your address.

 

For example, we found artwork for the paperback cover of The Planet Buyer, by Peter Bramley, artwork by Cordwainer Smith. It is one of Mr. Lanteigne's listings. The same listing was found on AbeBooks, the description identical. Even images were picked up from the original listing by the Latvian site. Along with the full description and basics like author and date, they provide a briefer description after the publisher. I can't figure out the purpose of this, as it is a character-limited repeat of some of the description. It is evidently character-limited because the description cuts off mid-word. This site is definitely amateurish.

 

A comparison of the two listings also reveals how Antiques.gift hopes to make its money. The item's cost on AbeBooks is $450. On Antiques.gift the price is €499. At the time, the euro to dollar conversion rate would put their price at around $525. The $75 is what you pay for the honor of having them place your order on Abe rather than doing it yourself (not that it saves you any time as you still have to place the order on their website).

 

In one of those examples of great chutzpah (nerve) or irony, whichever you wish to call it, Antiques.gift has a section on copyrights. They say, “The copyright of the bibliographic database is held by Antiques.gift web site and its content suppliers.” If they are claiming copyrights to bookseller-written descriptions for their own, that is very nervy. And if they are claiming the descriptions' copyrights are held by their “content suppliers,” then they certainly aren't honoring those copyrights themselves.

 

The site is hardly the epitome of professionalism, not a place you might feel particularly comfortable about sending your money or credit card information. The language (English) at times is clearly written by someone for whom English is a second (or third or fourth) language. Some sections show little thought. Part of the FAQ section for sellers picks up paragraphs from the buyers' FAQs, so that it is describing such things as how long it takes to receive a book or how to determine when it has been shipped, information clearly inapplicable to the seller.

 

I don't know whether any specific laws have been violated by this site. It probably wouldn't matter whether they were, unless it is a Latvian law. Suing them in a Latvian court seems hardly worth the expense anyway. It is hard to imagine many people will buy from this site, except maybe a Latvian customer, of which, we imagine, there aren't too many for your books. However, if you are a bookseller, and receive an order from this outfit with a shipping address to someone else, you might want to send that person a notice that you don't honor these orders, but they are free to buy the same book for less on AbeBooks or another legitimate site.


Posted On: 2015-04-01 17:12
User Name: malcolm

They lifted all my books without permission from Abebooks including “Memoire pour Dame Barbara Janssen, Veuve Bladen Angloife; Contre les sieurs & demoiselle Broussard” & “Robson’s Royal Court Guide and Peerage for 1839; Commercial Directory of London and the Eastern Counties, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Norfolk, Suffolk” using my description and my scans with Malcolm Books on the scan. Importantly they also have my “Cats and all about Them” that I sold about 3 weeks ago.
Apart from not knowing if they keep all of the payment. There are also countries I do not send to. Very dodgy.


Posted On: 2015-04-02 15:42
User Name: jimgow

Greetings from The Odd Book in Nova Scotia. Noticed this a few weeks ago after our copy of Tobacco: Its Use and Abuse [Habana Cigar Company, 1875] sold and I was trying to find another. Our copy [description & 5 photos] is still listed as available on their site [161 Euros free shipping; our ABE price was $145 US plus shipping]. Depending on your mood and level of tolerance for piracy, more than a few a chortling snorts await in their Disclaimer section, including the seven points of "Disclaimer from requirements for deleting of information". I suspect the poor English is intentional. As far as we know, none of our sales have gone through them. What I dislike most is the appearance of uncommon volumes apparently available for purchase at specific prices that are in fact sold.


Posted On: 2015-11-28 15:26
User Name: tomz1

Actually, THIS is where the term bookjacker originated:

http://www.zubalbooks.com/article-bookjacking.jsp


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Leon TOLSTOÏ. <i>Anna Karenina.</i> Moscou, 1878. First and full edition of the Russian novel, in the author’s language.<br>Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Mark TWAIN. <i>Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer's comrade).</i> New York, 1885. First American edition.<br>Est. 5 000 / 6 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Walt WHITMAN. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> Brooklyn, New York, 1856. Second edition gathering 32 poems. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Karen BLIXEN. <i>Out of Africa.</i> Londres, 1937. First edition in the UK, before Danish translation and American release.<br>Est. 1 500 / 2 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Ernest HEMINGWAY. <i>A Farewell to Arms.</i> New York, 1929. First edition with $2.50 on the dust and A on the copyright page.<br>Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Ulysses.</i> Paris, Shakespeare and Company, 1922. First edition published by Sylvia Beach. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Dubliners.</i> Londres, 1914. First edition. Nice copy in publisher’s cardboard. Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Franz KAFKA. 8 novels in German first edition, published in München, Leipzig and Berlin 1916-1931. Est. from 300 / 400 to 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> David Herbert LAWRENCE. <i>Lady Chatterley's Lover.</i> Florence, 1928. Privately printed first edition. Est. 4 000 / 5 000 €
    John STEINBECK. <i>The Grapes of Wrath.</i> New York, 1939. First edition. Nice copy with $2.75 on the cover. Est. 1 000 / 1 200 €
  • <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Harriet Tubman Cabinet Card by H.S. Squyer, Auburn, NY, 1892. $10,000 to $15,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Scarce <i>Events of the Tulsa Disaster,</i> First Edition, 1922. $4,000 to $6,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Unpublished CDV of Frederick Douglass by Benjamin F. Smith, 1864. $3,000 to $5,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> California Imprint of <i>President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation</i> Broadside, 1864. $10,000 to $15,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> John C.H. Grabill Cabinet Card of Buffalo Soldier Wearing Buffalo Coat, ca 1886. $8,000 to $10,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Rare <i>What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking,</i> 2nd Cookbook Published by African American. $6,000 to $8,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Frederick Douglass Walking Stick, 1888. $3,000 to $5,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Only Known Slave Narrative Published Independently in California, <i>Life and Adventures of James Williams.</i> $2,000 to $4,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Rare First Edition of History of Black Literature, Abbé Grégoire <i>De La Littérature des Nègres</i>. $2,500 to $3,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> African American Soldier and Medal of Honor Winner Christian A. Fleetwood CDV, PLUS. $8,000 to $10,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Jack Johnson vs. Jim Jeffries Pennant, 1910 Reno, Nevada. $2,000 to $4,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Joe Gans Photograph at 1906 Goldfield, Nevada Fight by Percy Dana. $600 to $800
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Jane Austen, <i>Sense and Sensibility: A Novel, By a Lady,</i> 3 volumes, London, 1811. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Virginia Woolf, <i>Kew Gardens,</i> limited edition, signed by Woolf & Bell, London, 1927. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> <i>[Arabian Nights],</i> Calcutta II version, 4 volumes, Calcutta & London, 1839-1842. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Princess Diana, 6 ALS to <i>Harper’s Bazaar</i> editor, anticipating Christie’s sale of her dresses for charity, 1995-97. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Jane Austen, <i>Emma,</i> first edition, London, 1816. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Hirohito & Nagako, Emperor & Empress of Japan, 2 photographs signed, showing Nagako in kimono & obi bearing the imperial seal. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Princess Diana, 6 autograph letters signed to <i>Harper’s Bazaar</i> editor Elizabeth Tilberis, anticipating Christie’s announcement of a sale of her dresses for charity, 1995-97. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Sarojini Naidu, complete galley proof of <i>The Broken Wing</i> signed with several holograph pages & an autograph letter signed to writer Edmund Gosse, 1916. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Fernando Pessoa, <i>Mensagem,</i> first edition, presentation copy, signed & inscribed, Lisbon, 1934. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Graham Greene, <i>The Basement Room,</i> first edition, Greene’s personal copy, signed with annotations throughout, London, 1935. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Abraham Lincoln, partly-printed document signed, call for troops issued during America’s first national draft just days before the NYC draft riots, 1863. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b><br><i>Les Chansons de Bilitis</i> by Pierre Louÿs, illustrated by George Barbier & F.L. Schmied, Paris, 1922. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Helvelius. Two Autograph Letters Signed to Francis Aston, Royal Society Secretary, noting his feud with Robert Hooke, 5 pp total, 1685. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Newton, Isaac. Autograph manuscript on God, 4 pp, c.1710, "In the beginning was the Word...."?$100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. First edition, first issue. Untrimmed copy in contemporary boards. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Lincoln, Abraham. Signed photograph, beardless portrait with Civil War provenance. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> IMPEACHMENT. Original engrossed copy of the first Andrew Johnson impeachment resolution vote. $120,000 to $180,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Mucha, Alphonse. 11 original pencil drawings for?<i>Andelicek z Baroku,</i> "Litte Baroque Angel," Prague, 1929. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Einstein, Albert. Annotated Galley Proofs for <i>The Meaning of Relativity.</i> 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Silverstein, Shel. Original maquette for <i>The Giving Tree,</i> 34 original drawings. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Roth, Philip. Typed Manuscript with substantial autograph corrections for an unpublished sequel to <i>The Breast.</i> $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Taupin, Bernie. Autograph Manuscript, the original draft of lyrics for Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," 2 pp, 1973. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. <i>De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Padua: 1643. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> CESALPINO, ANDREA. <i>Peripateticarum Quaestionum Libri Quinque.</i> Venice: 1571. $30,000 to $40,000.

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