Slightly Foxed -- but Still Desirable: Ronald Searle's Wicked World of Book Collecting

Slightly Foxed but Still Desirable Ronald Searle s Wicked World of Book Collecting As any even vaguely addicted book collector will have swiftly learned most booksellers catalogues are written in a parallel language that can fool anyone but the cognoscenti and which makes the myst

  • Title: Slightly Foxed -- but Still Desirable: Ronald Searle's Wicked World of Book Collecting
  • Author: Ronald Searle
  • ISBN: 9780285629455
  • Page: 170
  • Format: Hardcover
  • As any, even vaguely addicted book collector will have swiftly learned, most booksellers catalogues are written in a parallel language that can fool anyone but the cognoscenti and which makes the mysteries of the Rosetta stone, or Linear B, look like something out of Enid Blython Without a smattering of inside information, the baffled but hopelessly bitten book buyer iAs any, even vaguely addicted book collector will have swiftly learned, most booksellers catalogues are written in a parallel language that can fool anyone but the cognoscenti and which makes the mysteries of the Rosetta stone, or Linear B, look like something out of Enid Blython Without a smattering of inside information, the baffled but hopelessly bitten book buyer is drifting unarmed and unprepared into a minefield whose perilous complexities will usually only be made plain when an eagerly awaited parcel of dream volumes arrives and mangled contents are revealed in all their deceptive glory But all is not lost Help is at hand After a lifetime of avidly scanning the frequently poisonously tinted pages of innumerable book catalogues, Ronald Searle has become expert in the art of decoding those esoteric, poetic and usually approximate, descriptions of literary come ons Now, licking his wounds, he publishes his hard earned findings in this fully illustrated pioneer guide, designed to foil the devious machinations of scheming and wicked booksellers for ever No longer will the innocent book collector need to puzzle over the finer meaning of old half road , good working copy , blind tooled , or tail edged shaved The unvarnished truth is here exposed at last, both in the shocking explicit drawings and in the devastatingly frank glossary whose revelations will startle even the most battle scarred of bibliophiles The result is one of the funniest, most entertaining books to have emerged from the brilliantly perceptive pen of the master No book collector, and certainly no bookseller, can afford to be without it even the wicked ones.

    One thought on “Slightly Foxed -- but Still Desirable: Ronald Searle's Wicked World of Book Collecting”

    1. A wonderful collection of drawings inspired by booksellers' jargon. One of my aunts was thinking about cleaning out her house and asked me if there was anything I wanted. I told her that I'd love to have this book and some time later it arrived in the mail. I hadn't noticed before but, when I opened it today, I saw that my aunt had written an inscription on the inside cover: "To Paul, I am all of these"The joke is in the bookseller's language: Slightly foxed - but still desireable; Dented at hea [...]

    2. A genius play on words – a joke on bookseller's jargon and a collection of hilarious drawings. Searle has created a marvelous little book that belongs on any book collector's shelf.

    3. This is the book that your friends who read -- and collect -- books deserves. Ronald Searle writes about those of us who collect books, and helps to untangle the terms that some booksellers use to wheedle the money out of our wallets with obscure, obtuse terms. The drawings are all marvelous, and at times quite a hoot. Yes, there is a glossary provided at the end, with tongue firmly planted in cheek. You may recognize the author as the illustrator of The Compleet Molesworth, a satirical look at [...]

    4. Mr. Searle has gifted the reading public with his witty and irreverent musings and illustrations for many years now. As a possible companion piece to his book The Illustrated Winespeak: Ronald Searle’s Wicked World of Wine Tasting, this one pokes decided fun at the obfuscating, frustrating and baffling domain of book selling and book buying. As a devoted bibliophile who’s been lured into buying a book sight unseen and opening the box only to reveal some musty, worm-ridden “treasure” fit [...]

    5. He had me at the title and hilarious cover of this one. Such a witty and wonderful man, Ronald Searle! His work influenced several generations of illustrators. It bears up well in comparison to just about any of the greats.

    6. I can't believe I forgot to add this most wonderful of books, one of my prize possessions when I was an active used/rare bookdealer. So clever, so apposite, so funny.

    7. A hilarious compendium of outrageously literal (and often rather smutty) reinterpretations of common book catalogue descriptions. I actually laughed till it hurt.

    8. The late New Yorker cartoonist Ronald Searle on the argot peculiar to used book sellers, with appropriate illustrations. Glossary included.

    9. Very narrow audience, but anyone that loves holding an old book will get more than a few laughs out of it.

    10. One of the funniest books - fiction or non - that I've ever read. However, one must love books to appreciate.

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