New Biography on Bernard Rosenthal Makes the Case for Close Reading

In January, bookseller Bernard Rosenthal passed away in Oakland, California, at the age of 96. Rosenthal was born in Munich in 1920 into a family of booksellers known throughout the industry as the “Rosenthal Dynasty.” Part of the massive exodus of Jewish antiquarian booksellers from Germany during the Nazi regime–the “gentle invaders” as Rosenthal called them–he ended up in New York, where he set up shop in the 1950s. Rosenthal eventually moved to Berkeley, where he focused on medieval manuscripts and early printed books. (For more on Rosenthal and fellow emigré booksellers of the early 20th century, read Nick Basbanes’ chapter “Hunters and Gatherers” in Patience & Fortitude.)

Rosenthal’s catalogs became the stuff of legend in the antiquarian world, in which he described easily overlooked details and craftsmanship that only came to light after careful examination of the item at hand. “We have committed the cardinal sin of the bookseller: we have READ most of these books…which has, however, brought some surprising results,” Rosenthal wrote in one of his early catalogs.

Fellow bookseller Ian Jackson recently wrote a biography on Rosenthal–read all about it at the Fine Books Blog.

(via Collectival: Writing Code That Sings to Antiquarians – The Fine Books Blog)

During the depths of winter six months ago, Schubertiade Music & Arts co-founders Gabe Boyers and Drew Massey debuted a preview version of their web-based cataloging software at the California Antiquarian Book Fair. On August 15 the software, dubbedCollectival, became available to antiquarian dealers with the goal of streamlining running a rare books shop from anywhere in the world…. [Read more on the Fine Books Blog!]   

(via Eat Your Vegetables, Antiquarian-Style – The Fine Books Blog)

In more civilized times, proponents of a meatless
regime adhered to the “Pythagorean diet” championed by that Greek sixth
century B.C. philosopher, who, in addition to figuring out the square of
the hypotenuse, believed that all living beings had souls, and it was
wrong to eat them.