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Monday, August 14, 2006

Photo Book Sale

Starting sometime in September, possibly even sooner, I will be selling my photography book library. We need to move to a small apartment, and I'm just unwilling to keep moving the book collection again and again or to put it into storage indefinitely.

It's only a medium-sized collection of books, about 25 or 30 running shelf-feet. But the collection has been fairly carefully gathered over a considerable period of time and contains many gems. There are technical books including a number of books about historical camera marques and types, including a full set of Lager's Leica books and a full set of first editions of the Ansel Adams technical series in perfect condition. There are a number of critical titles. The collection includes multiple histories, many of which are out of print, unusual, or historically significant. There are reference works, museum catalogues, and sumptuously printed coffee-table books. Last but definitely not least are a number of well-chosen monographs and books of pictures. To name just a few: a full set of the Museum of Modern Art Atget books; a signed copy of John Sexton's first book, Quiet Light; Ben Maddow's biography of Edward Weston; Nancy Newhall's book on P.H. Emerson; Paul Outerbridge's rare Photographing in Color with the tipped-in plates; and a 1975 edition of Garry Winogrand's Women Are Beautiful. There are many more. A number of books are signed. There are books illustrated by photographers, privately printed books, limited editions, and biographies of photographers. Some important titles are represented in the most desirable reprints.

Condition, of course, varies, but the collection has been well cared for and many are in outstanding condition. Naturally, a fair percentage are now out of print and hard to find.

I believe what I will be doing is breaking the collection into lots and offering the lots for sale. I will hold back a small number of books, but these will mainly be volumes that have some personal meaning for me, not necessarily the most choice books that would be most valued by others.

Each sale lot will be pre-announced here on The Online Photographer—so please watch this space!



Blogger Michael said...

Mike, this sounds very painful. My sympathies. Still, it's a celebration of simplicity.

You, er, wouldn't think of selling to someone in the UK, would you?


8:08 AM  
Blogger Luc Novovitch said...

Will you be offering the lots at a fix price (first come first served) or ask people to bid?

11:37 AM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

Of course, but you'd have to pay for shipping. It curls my toes to think what it would cost to ship photo books to the U.K.


12:08 PM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

Which way would you prefer?


12:58 PM  
Blogger Barb said...

OMG, selling you books! I moved from a house to a small apartment and my books had priority. I can't imagine selling them. But I could imagine buying more. I will be watching this space.

9:01 PM  
Blogger dyathink said...

Yes, my fist thought was sorrow for you in spite of the relief that would come from paring down to the bare necessities. I look forward to the lists to come. I thought you mentioned a book of contact prints published by the Friends of Photography in this blog. i searched Google at the time, thinking i could buy it but never found it. I searched your blog the other day trying to find the reference to the name of this book but couldn't find that either. Am i imagining things? Did i see it somewhere else? it's entirely possible. However, if it was here, can you tell me if you will be selling it? And whether i could buy it? Thanks, Mike. kat~

9:35 AM  
Blogger Don said...

Do you have a copy of Mortensen's "Command to Look" for sale?

9:56 AM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

No I don't.

Kat (Dyathink),
I think you might be referring to a book called "Contact Theory" by Lustrum Press (Ralph Gibson's publishing house). It's a simple but rich idea: he has a large number of photographers show a contact sheet, the picture they chose from the contact sheet, and a short written description of how they chose, how they edit, or any other comments they can think of. It's an illumnating book worthy of study.

I'm not sure if I will be selling mine or not.


11:45 AM  

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