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A RECORD OF THE MOST IMPORTANT
LONDON: P. COCKRAM 29 PATERNOSTER
THIS is a book which appeals to two classes of individuals—those who 1 deal with books for purposes of trade, and those who collect books to satisfy their tastes. The bookseller would look upon such a compilation as this in the light of a record of the year's doings in that mart in which the book-collector's energies are finally concentrated and dissipated. It would also be for him a guide by which he might appreciate the varying changes of the "collecting” fashion. The book-collector (whom we may also consider as the book-lover) might find in it the fruits of a brothercollector's experience, and so obtain that knowledge which would give him the power to tread more wisely and sanely in the mazy ways of his delightful and fascinating hunting-grounds.
As a rule, the book-dealer is an unsentimental being. That individual who would rather keep his books than sell them is become almost extinct. Indeed, I question if he exists at all, except it be in the glowing imagination of the novelist. Occasionally I have met with a bookseller who was also a book-lover; but then the prices he asked for his wares were in proportion to the depth of his affection for them. He is a charming person to chat with, but one must have a long pocket to possess oneself of the rarities he has accumulated. The poor man would find himself sorely tempted to bad ways were he to give way to the longings which such con versations invariably arouse. The rich is happy in that he may both enjoy and possess at will. Enviable man of wealth! The book-collector is of quite another order of beings. He may be unbusiness-like; indifferent to the cares and anxieties of daily life ; selfish, if you like; living apart from the general affairs of the world. But then, he is a man of passion ! He is touched by an almost spirit-touch, which transfigures for him the harsh realities of existence. He is consumed by a glorious desire. He lives in a world peopled by the rarest souls, in whose companionship he finds a