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This page is about books. From getting rid of marks on books to identifying first editions and everything in between, beside, on the bottom of or on the the top of. That is, anything and everything about books. I will add to it from time to time and if you would like to pass along something you've found useful, let us know. Right now, the subject matter is unsorted. If it starts getting too big I'll organize it some way.

Note: When trying any product for clean up for the first time, it is generally a good idea to try it in a "hidden area" to see if it leaves a stain or residue. We have found that these products GENERALLY don't, but no quarantees.

There are other links on the right, one points to previously featured books and another to a page with some ramblings and book reviews. The "internal links" is a set of links at our site.

Just a reminder, repeat customers through our site receive a 10% discount. So, if there is a book you would like to order from any of the publishers we deal with, we can order it for you and maybe save you a little money. Just e-mail us at info@whiteunicornbooks.com.

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Ramblings/Blog, Book Reviews, and whatever

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FIRST EDITIONS: A GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION by Edward N. Zempel and Linda A. Verkler is a good reference book. In fact, it is used so much in the business that it is generally just referred to as "Zempel and Verkler" or even "Z & V". The latest edition (I believe the fourth) contains the actual statements of selected North American, British Commonwealth, and Irish publishers on their methods of designating first editions (over 4,200 trade and academic publishers and publishers' imprints). Contrast this to the condensed verison of the statements found in the Pocket Guide (see below). Although there is some overlap, they don't both cover the same set of publishers. If you are really going to be serious about trying to identify first editions, I suggest you have a copy of both. The cost of the new Zempel and Verkler is around $60 - sorry, we don't have any for sale. You might try Spoon River Press for some more information and to buy a copy.
Book Collecting for Fun and Profit
Building a Book Collection
Building a Book Business
by Bill McBridewith the assistance of Brendan LeFebvre   - 
Books about Books. The review copy is the Second Edition, 1st Printing by McBride/Publisher.
Out of Print but available on CD from the publisher.

Are you thinking about getting into the book business? About collecting books? Would you just like to know a little more about the book business. Whether you are interested in a home based internet only business or a brick and mortar open shop This book will give you a very good overview while also covering details needed to get you started on your way.

"Since the first edition of the book was in 1997, the hobby and business of book collecting has changed, primarily the result of the burgeoning internet and opportunities it provides to book collectors and booksellers." Thus starts the second edition of Book Collecting For Fun and Profit. The book still covers the previous information but it has been updated with the internet in mind and how it has changed the book hobby and book business.

The contents include:
  • What's new
  • Getting started
    • States of a book>
    • Parts of a book
    • What makes value
    • What doesn't make value
  • Condition and value
    • What reduces value
    • What adds value
    • Descriptive terms to avoid
  • Where to get books
    • Returning books
    • Assesing your bookseller
    Pricing and the Internet
  • Bibliographic help
  • Collection Protection
  • Selling your Books
  • Becoming a bookseller
    • Book scouting
    • Pricing books
    • Internet selling
    • Packing and mailing
    • Book fairs / antique shows
    • Group shops
  • In summary
"The Care and Feeding of Books Old and New: A Simple Repair Manual for Book Lovers" by Margot Rosenberg and Bern Marcowitz is another nice book care book. It is reviewed at their site Dog Lovers Bookshop and we reproduce some of that review here:
New York: Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 2002. Hardcover (gilt-stamped spine), 8vo, 190 pages, dust jacket, index, Internet resources, recommended reading list, black-and-white photo frontispiece of Potemkin, our Founding Dog, and snapshots of the authors with staff dachshunds Houdini and Rose.
  • Our book is intended for anyone who wants to keep books safe and happy, remedy their simple ills, and perhaps enhance their value. Care and Feeding features easy-to-follow cleaning and repair instructions that emphasize the use of common household products.
  • We also provide guidance on the proper housing and handling of books, how to store and ship them, and how to make and use your own "stinky book box" to counteract the unpleasant odors that often afflict older books and other paper keepsakes.
  • Among the many other subjects discussed are the art of ungluing, the future of books, the pairing of old books and children, the practical fun of making book care a part of your social life, and how to advocate for the beleaguered circulating library book. We've included a few anecdotes about our dogs, and a long-overdue homage to the mice of our old East 31st Street shop.
  • The book is available from independent booksellers and chain stores throughout North America, and from Internet merchants.
  • You can order signed copies from Dog Lovers Bookshop for the regular retail price of $21.95 plus shipping (and tax where applicable).


Dog Lovers Bookshop was founded in 1993 as a tribute to a dog named Potemkin (1969-1984) and specialize in literature on all aspects of the canine race, and offer new, used, out-of-print, and antiquarian books. Dog Lovers Bookshop is a member of the American Booksellers Association.
"Goo-Gone", at most all hardware stores. It's a goldish-color liquid, and available in a semi-gel form, and it works teriffic on anything sticky, ink marks on shiny surfaces such as a dustjacket with price marked out, etc.

Book Deodorizer available from j godsey absorbs moisture & odors. It can be used to treat books, papers, clothing or other inanimate objects, it will remove, cigarette smoke, mildew, and general mustiness. Visit the sic home page while you're there. Fun to read and you might even learn something.

Another product of Ms. Godsey's we liked so much, Joan reviewed it for one of the on-line magazines:

DISCARDED BOOKS the facelift for ex-library books
Written & Illustrated by j. godsey

Reviewed by Joan White
WhiteUnicorn@WhiteUnicornBooks.com

If you love books, you collect books or sell books this is a very handy reference book. The simple, clearly explained ways to prolonging the life of a book is fascinating. Ms. Godsey makes it clear these repairs should not be attempted on rare or valuable books - but you can certainly use these handy tips on enhancing your own collection or books you are trying to sell. The tips are not just for ex-library books. It gives you several options for each repair job. So you can choose according to which solution you are comfortable with in accomplishing. I have used many of these helpful tricks with some of my books. They certainly take a ‘Good’ book to ‘Very Good’ or higher easily. The testimonies on her web-site show many others are also using these helpful solutions. Ms. Godsey has an fresh approach to writing. She is both easy to read and down to earth in her directions and instructions. From the ‘Stuff You May Need’ to the detailed, illustrated directions to repair shaken hinges, loose signatures, missing free endpapers, etc. The 28 page booklet is chocked full of good advise. Ms. Godsey is also the author of Sic, the Book Humor magazine. Full of literary humor and a favorite of many booksellers.


Sadly, the above book is no longer available. Happily, j has replaced it with Book Repair for Booksellers and expanded it to 90 pages. What Joan said in her review of Discarded above applies to the new book. In fact its even more fascinating because there is quite a bit more information in it. Here's the table of contents:
Book Repair for Booksellers
CONTENTS
* Preface 5
* Toolbox 11
* Book Anatomy 17
* Exterior 19
* Augmentation 27
* Leaves 35
* Spines 43
* Boards 55
* Hazards 59
* Protection 67
* Ephemera 73
* Shipping 79
* Repair Index 83
* Vendors 85


 A Pocket Guide to the Identification of First Editions
Have you ever wondered how people tell whether a book is a first edition or not? Sometimes it's easy, it says so right in the book - BUT that's not always true either. For example a book club has been known to print their edition using the same plates, so although it says First Edition, it isn't! Well, you can find the answers for many publishers in Bill McBrides

The sixth edition lists over 3700 publishers from 1850 to the present and the methods that these past and present English language publishers use to identify first editions of their hardbound and paperbound books. Using statements form the publishers as the sole basis of first edition identification. The purpose here is to help the collector, dealer, librarian and auctioneer to determine if a specific book is most likely a first edition.

Points of Issue compiled by Bill McBride   -  Books about Books. The review copy is the Third Edition, 5th Printing by McBride/Publisher.

 Points of Issue (along with A Pocket Guide to the Identification of First Editions) should be in the pocket of every book collector. This 93 page small book (it's only 3.5 by 6 inches) fits nicely in the pocket or purse when one is booking. It isn't easy to carry along all of the reference works you would like to carry when you are out and around. But this and the companion pocket guide provide a tremendous amount of information in just a small space.

What is a point of issue? In the simplest sense, it is something that futher identifies almost identical books. For example, there is a list of books by Tolkien in the edition of his Silmarillion. In the true first of the American edition, the title Farmer Giles of Ham is listed as Father Giles of Ham. This mistake is a point of issue.

Once you have "identified a first edition" with the use of the pocket guide, this book comes into play so that you can be sure it is a first edition. Not only does it have points of issue for very many 19th and 20th century authors, it also gives you a list of those Authors without points and some good information about book clubs. How many books are listed? Well certainly not every one, but it tries to cover all of the collectable authors/books. I estimate that there are somewhat over 1700 books listed in the 93 pages. You shouldn't leave home without one.

BTW: We probably have some for sale, just click on Points of Issue .
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