AE Monthly

Articles - December - 2008 Issue

Interview with a Classic Bookman

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Edwin V. Glaser Rare Books.


Since then, Ed has become an internationally known authority on rare and important books in science, technology, and medicine. In 1979, Ed relocated to Northern California and recently he and his wife, Lorraine, moved to the picture-perfect Carneros area at the southern end of the Napa Valley. Among his laurels are past National President of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America, previous chairman of the Middle Atlantic and Northern California chapters of the ABAA, and he has served on the Board of Governors. He has written for A.B. Bookman's Weekly and lectured before numerous groups on antiquarian books. He is the longest running member of the faculty of the Out-of-Print and Antiquarian Book Market Seminar in Colorado, having served since 1979. He is also a member of the Grolier and Roxburghe Clubs and the American Association for the History of Medicine.

Ed noted that in pre-internet days it had been observed by a number of prominent bookmen that, "Dealers knew little about the workings and problems of libraries and that librarians had a hazy and sometimes erroneous view of the book trade. The Seminar was originally set up to bring these two groups together for some mutual enlightenment."

I asked Ed to sum up his career for us. He laughed. "I've done just about everything there is to do in the book business. I started at the bottom buying books for twenty-five cents and selling them for seventy-five. I've had open shops and I've become a specialty dealer, I've been a catalogue dealer, and in the last decade, inescapably, an internet dealer."

Ed said that when he started he put out several catalogues a year, now he does one or two; he used to do lots of book fairs each year, now he does one or two. He is, he says, "...winding down." He says that most of us who are book dealers are very self indulgent folks since we do what we love. "I love the book business. It's been very good to me, I'm attracted to the collegial nature of the business and to the friends I've made. And it still is a thrill to handle the books themselves."

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