Book and Ephemera Collecting

Apache-GoldBy Linda Lebsack 

   Book collecting can be as fun and flexible as the collector wants. Polar bears, Stickley furniture, ranching, South America, 19th century cookbooks, etc. For many standard or even wacky categories there are reference books useful to provide information about your subject. Fans of western outlaws refer to Ramon Adams’ Six-Guns and Saddle Leather describing almost 2500 books or pamphlets mentioning Western outlaws and gunmen. Some Colorado buffs try the difficult task of acquiring material listed in McMurtrie and Allen’s Early Printing in Colorado which describes everything known to have been printed in Colorado from 1859 to 1876 when it was a territory.

   Many book collectors create their own subjects and criteria: Arapahoe County, the Platte River, ethnic groups, 19th century children’s books starring bunnies. You name it —someone probably collects it.”Collectible” is in the eye of the collector. Some want only the pristine first edition with a perfect dustjacket. Others just want a “beater” to guide their travel. We have seen women who collect books with the title or just the heroine with the same first name as the collector. Think “Heidi” or “Nancy Drew” here. Collecting can be as precise or loose as you want. Look around and you may find you’re already a book collector. And add to your collection.

Mother-Goose-cover   Would you like to visit over 60 shops selling books, prints and maps in one place? Also posters, postcards, photos and ephemera. And park free at the Denver Mart at 58th & I-25?

   It’s the 33rd Rocky Mountain Book and Paper Fair August 4 and 5th. Friday: 2-8 p.m. Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

   Friendly and knowledgeable dealers from across the U.S. display and sell books and other paper treasures. From the Bobbsey Twins to Dracula there will be books for all tastes. Surprises like maps of a flat world to accounts of astronauts on the moon. Prices from one digit dollars to thousands. Learn while you browse and buy. At 1 p.m. Saturday book restorer and custom binder Karen Jones will give a talk and answer questions about “Caring for a Collection.” Also Tom Parson of Englewood Letterpress Depot will demonstrate old-time hand-press printing throughout the event. Visit for a list of programs & events.

   Tickets good for two days are available online for $5.00. At the door $7.00. Children under 12 free. Food and beverages for sale to keep up stamina and make a day of it. Sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Antiquarian Booksellers Association (RMABA) members and other friends of books.


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