To Catch A Thief: A Rare Book Expert on His Literary Obsessions


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Collectors Weekly: How do you determine the rarity of a book?

Sanders: It’s the old law of supply and demand. From 1920s to the 1940s, Idaho Press and Caxton Press published a lot of Vardis Fisher’s limited edition, signed Morocco-leather-bound books, and they produced tiny editions of as few as 10 copies, but they’re not books that anybody cares about. They might be really hard to find, but no one wants them. So on a rarity scale, it’s hard to get much rarer, but you’re not going to have the same success selling even Vardis Fisher’s books versus limited signed Steinbecks and Hemingways.

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Maribeth Keane and Anne Galloway — Collectors Weekly

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What Not to Wear: The Deadliest Hats, Scarves, and Skirts in History


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Sometimes we do go overboard, don’t we?

While women often choose high heels for themselves for reasons of status, the sense of power that comes with added height, the amped-up sex appeal, and the element of danger implied by a sharp heel, there’s no question that the higher the heel you wear, the harder it is to run. It’s a cliché of horror, sci-fi, and adventure films to depict a beautiful woman stumbling in the face of danger or throwing off her shoes to run from a monster. But in real life, stilettos can deny a woman a quick escape from a monstrous man—and make an everyday activity a hazard.

In Killer Fashion, Wright explains how Winston Churchill’s mother, Jennie Jerome, fell to her death in 1921 trying to navigate a flight of stairs. “Jerome is my poster girl for high heels killing someone,” she says, “but I think it would be incorrect to assume that other women have not toppled off of high heels—especially if they were outrageously high, as they were for quite a bit of history.”

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Lisa Hix — Collectors Weekly

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How America’s Obsession With Hula Girls Almost Wrecked Hawai’i


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This is a long weekend read where you will get to know all the history you wish to know about Hula.

Cook and his men—and the merchants, whalers, artists, and writers who followed—mistook the hula’s sexually charged fertility rituals as a signal the Hawaiians’ youngest and loveliest women were both promiscuous and sexually available to anyone who set foot on their beaches. In her 2012 book Aloha America: Hula Circuits Through the U.S. Empire, historian Adria L. Imada explains how natural hospitality of “aloha” culture—the word used as a greeting that also means “love”—made Hawaiians vulnerable to outside exploitation. To Westerners, the fantasy of a hula girl willingly submitting to the sexual desires of a white man represented the convenient narrative of a people so generous they’d willing give up their land without a fight.

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Lisa Hix — Collectors Weekly

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Who Were the First Teenagers?


CI-023 Coney Island Teenagers, 1949

Teenagers have an important voice in today’s society. This needull looks at the history of teen culture and how it gained prominence.

I think what connects all of these characters is the pressure of adult society to control them or to regiment them, and regardless of their circumstances, adults either aimed to protect or control them. They all internalized it in different ways, and rebelled against it. That feels like the central tension of the film—this model of regimentation and then this kind of rebellion, in which young people try to create their own world, their own culture.

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Hunter Oatman- Stanford — Collectors Weekly

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