A Vision of Mighty Book Hunters

Which is a chapter title from John Hill Burton’s “The Book Hunter” (1862) – and somehow suggested by this random image which WordPress has foisted on me and seems reluctant to replace.

The blog is to record our travels in search of books, bookshops and bookmen (and women), in the south and west of England. We set out on Tuesday, August 2nd. As the current president of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association, a pressing concern is the rapidly diminishing number of genuine antiquarian, rare and simply second-hand bookshops across the country. 

We face the loss of the base of the pyramid that supports our trade in rare books. The loss of the habit of browsing in real bookshops. The loss of habitat that can threaten any species.

We travel in search of what remains. We travel in search of ideas.

About Laurence Worms - Ash Rare Books

Laurence Worms has owned and run Ash Rare Books since 1971. He represented the antiquarian book trade on the (British) National Book Committee from 1993 to 2002 and has been six times an elected member of the Council of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association. He was largely responsible for drafting the Association’s Code of Good Practice first introduced in 1997 (and its recent update), served as Honorary Secretary of the Association from 1998 to 2001 and as President from 2011 to 2013. He is a former member of the Council of the Bibliographical Society and continues to serve on the Council of the London Topographical Society. He writes and lectures on various aspects of the history of the book and map trades, and has lectured at the universities of Cambridge, London, Reading and Sheffield, as well as at the Bibliographical Society, the Royal Geographical Society, the Warburg Institute, the National Library of Scotland and at Gresham College and Stationers' Hall. Published work includes the compilation of fourteen ‘lives’ for the “Oxford Dictionary of National Biography”, a number of articles for “The Oxford Companion to the Book” and the chapter on early English maps and atlases for the fourth volume of “The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain”. Essays on the British map trade are also appearing in “The History of Cartography” published by the University of Chicago Press. His long-awaited “British Map Engravers”, co-written with Ashley Baynton-Williams, was published to critical acclaim in 2011. He also contributed the numerous biographical notes to Peter Barber’s hugely successful “London : A History in Maps”, co-published by the British Library and the London Topographical Society in 2012.
This entry was posted in Book Collecting, Booksellers, Bookshops and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A Vision of Mighty Book Hunters

  1. garethjames says:

    Welcome to the world of blogging!



  2. GidgetWidget says:

    Silly as it may sound, I just read your entire blog, backwards! I could not stop, I confess, since this record offers so much for someone re-discovering a long-dormant enthusiasm. Your mission as stated here in the first post holds firm and true. Looking forward to more as the adventure continues!! — Thank you very much, *~khc (gw)


  3. ashrarebooks says:

    Why, thank you. That’s very kind and gracious. All best wishes. L.


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