It's not just on NPR.
The Official Guide to Bedlam
The teeming, chaotic, utterly bizarre world of popular music on the Web -- brought to you by MTV and Yahoo!.
A multimedia tribute to the reopening of the Globe.
A refreshingly fundamental approach to classical music.
The Museum of Jurassic Technology
"Um, what exactly is this place?"
For more, see the complete Web Citations Index.
August 27, 1997|
If, as the maxim goes, human nature is never so weak as in a bookstore, then imagine the prospects of bookstores on the Web, which has proven itself to be a private domain of unfettered indulgence. Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble are aware of the potential; hence their current struggle online for the title of "world's largest bookstore." But no matter how vast these mass-retailing empires become, they will always exist parallel to the curious universe -- quietly teeming with bibliophiles (book lovers), bibliotaphs (book hoarders), bibliopoles (book dealers), and bibliomaniacs (book crazies) -- in which rare and collectible books are bought and sold.
Titillating the inhabitants of this universe is simple. Offer them a first edition of Charles and Francis Darwin's The Power of Movement in Plants (1880), inscribed by Charles to his daughter Elizabeth ($20,000). Wiggle a copy of the first issue of Shakespeare's Second Folio Edition (1632) at them ($75,000). Invite them to consider an exceedingly rare copy of Aurora Australis (1908), the first book ever printed in the Antarctic ($75,000). After that you'll have them hooked: a first edition of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye (1951), with "just a hint of sunning at the spine," will seem like a bargain at $3,500, as will a first edition, with the "original cinnamon cloth tooled in blind on covers and gilt on spine," of George Eliot's Silas Marner (1861) at $3,000.
These books and more can be found at Bibliocity, an elegant and efficient rare-book site that currently offers access to the catalogues, locations, and e-mail addresses -- in this country and abroad -- of almost a hundred rare-book sellers. Searching is easy and fast, and there are no extraneous touches; here the books are the thing. This is a thrilling resource -- for those in a certain universe.
Copyright © 1997 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.