Book Collecting in Modern Times

Book Collecting in Modern Times
The first in the series of seminars organised jointly by the Institute of English Studies (London University) and the ABA Educational Trust was given by Rick Gekoski, distinguished equally as a writer, broadcaster and one of the most outstanding rare book dealers of our time.

Rick is regularly heard on radio as a guest commentator on topics relating to rare books and the book trade - and has written and produced three series of  Rare Books, Rare People for BBC Radio 4 – “one of the gems of Radio 4” in the view of at least one critic.  He also writes a regular blog for The Guardian - Finger on the Page - on books and the business of book-buying.  You can read a sample post on by clicking on Rare Book Catalogues.

His published work includes Joseph Conrad : The Moral World of the Novelist 1978; William Golding: A Bibliography (with P. A. Grogan) 1994; Tolkien’s Gown and Other Stories of Great Authors and Rare Books 2004, and Outside of a Dog : A Bibliomemoir 2009.

Widely known as a compelling and highly articulate speaker, brimming with anecdote and reminiscence, Rick reflected on the major patterns of book collecting over his thirty years in the rare book trade, the notion of value in these matters, and many another thing.

His own website can be found at

The seminar took place on Tuesday 14th February 2012 in the Durning-Lawrence Room, Senate House Library (Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU). 

All the seminars are aimed at a broad audience including book-collectors, book-dealers, historians of all kinds, librarians, indeed at anyone with an interest in collecting any sort of text from the sixth former to the retired professor. The atmosphere is informal, as are the presentations. Many of the talks are illustrated by actual examples.