Rare Book Heaven

Over the weekend my roommates, boyfriend and I went to see Winter in Venice at the Venetian before they took all of the Christmas decorations down. While there, we decided to walk around the canal shops and I was able to visit a store I thought closed about a year or so ago.

If you love those little book shops that sell hidden treasures and old favorites, (usually owned and operated by the tallest, thinnest, nicest old man you’ve ever met and named simply Book Shoppe) this place would be heaven. It’s called Bauman Rare Books and they have 3 locations; New York, Philadelphia and (lucky me) Las Vegas.

Want a first edition of Paradise Lost? How about The History of Henry the Fourth, written by Shakespeare? Or maybe Fitzgerald’s The Beautiful and Damned, first edition and signed the year of publication?

Of course, the items are, well, out of my price range. (At least the majority are, I could save up for the $100 H.P. Lovecraft Selected Letters, certainly something I would more than proudly display. So, not all books are completely out of reach for the average collector.) Less rare or desired books go for a hundred or a couple hundreds, while the more limited and signed editions could leave a hole in your pocket a couple hundreds of thousands of dollars deep, but for an extravagant collector -what a treasure!

Many rarities are displayed in the glass cases inset in the walls of bookshelves, treasures like the signed and limited first volume of The Four Pooh Books, first edition of The Catcher in the Rye, signed within months of publication, and the first American edition, in original cloth, of Moby Dick. Sound fantastic? It really is.

But, if your location limits your ability to walk in the office-like (complete with a glass, middle of the shop, conference room and rich, dark furniture) and behold the treasures yourself, you can peruse the online catalogue and galleries. I’m sure, like I did, you’ll just swoon as you view item after item.



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