Archive for September, 2010

Brattleboro is for Book Lovers

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Delia Cabe recently wrote an article for entitled Brattleboro is for Book Lovers. How right she was. This small town nestled in Southeastern Vermont is a book lover’s dream. Famous authors such as Rudyard Kipling, Saul Bellow, John Irving, and many more have lived here or in surrounding towns.

Cabe’s article mentioned the many independent new and used bookstores downtown. There are also a number of antiquarian and rare book stores in the area as well, which she didn’t mention. Although Raptis Rare Books is not downtown, we are very close by and easy to find. We operate out of a historic Italian-style villa and are open by appointment.

Visit Brattleboro

We have found Brattleboro to be a wonderful place for us, as we enjoy the many wonderful benefits of life in Vermont, while still being an easy drive major cities (New York is about a 3 hours and Boston around 2.5).

Vermont is a great destination for those looking to get out of the city at all times of year, although many people especially love to come in Autumn for the great foliage and in Winter for the skiing and other outdoor sports. If you drive up Interstate 91, you are bound to come through Brattleboro. Although you may be coming for the foliage or skiing, there are many other activities as well that you can enjoy.

This upcoming weekend, September 30th – October 3rd, is the 9th annual Brattleboro Literary Festival. Matthew Raptis, proprietor of Raptis Rare Books is on the festival committee and we have also been past sponsors.

The Festival is a four-day celebration of those who read books, those who write books, and of the books themselves. Located in downtown Brattleboro, Vermont, the Festival includes readings, panel discussions, and special events, featuring emerging and established authors. All events are free and open to the public.

If you are coming to Southern Vermont for the foliage or the festival and would like to browse our rare books, please contact us by email at or call us at 802.579.1580. We would love to talk with you and share our common love of rare books.

The Brattleboro Literary Festival 2010

More About the Festival:

The Brattleboro Literary Festival was founded in 2002 by a very small group of bibliophiles from area bookstores and libraries. The very first festival featured Nobel Prize winning author Saul Bellow in his last public appearance. Since then the festival has gone on to present over 250 authors, including winners of the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, Newbery Medal, and the Caldecott Medal.

Brattleboro is a natural setting for this event. Writers have always found it a congenial place to live and work. Royall Tyler, the celebrated playwright and poet of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, called Brattleboro home. The first literary societies in the community were formed in his day, the forerunners of the reading and writing groups that abound here today. In the eighteen-nineties, Rudyard Kipling resided at Naulakha in the hills on the edge of town, and wrote several of his classic works while living here. Today, the Brattleboro area is home to numerous active writers.

Brattleboro has also been known for the industries that support such creativity. In 1812, the first Bible in Vermont was printed here, establishing Brattleboro as a printing town. Book presses and publishers thrived, and they’ve had a continued presence ever since. It was no great surprise when the first American edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone rolled off the presses here in Brattleboro…. and you can now buy the entire set of first editions here at Raptis Rare Books.

Tennis and Book Collecting – A love love match.

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Yesterday, September 13th, was the men’s tennis US Open finals. As you may know, the winner was Spain’s Rafael Nadal with his first ever US Open win. In doing so, he joined Don Budge, Fred Perry, Roy Emerson, Rod Laver, Andre Agassi, and Roger Federer in the exclusive society of those who have won each of the four majors. He has also won three consecutive majors and is the first man since Australian Rod Laver in 1969 to take the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open titles in the same year. Laver swept the four majors that year for his second Grand Slam in a single season.

Rod Laver

What does this have to do with books you may ask? Well, according to the Tennis Collector’s of America, ‘tennis memorabilia, compared to that of golf and baseball, is relatively undervalued, allowing collectors with modest budgets to build very satisfactory collections’. It is our opinion, however, that this may not always be the case. Although the tennis had its real heyday in the 70′s and the number of people who play has waned since then, it is once again beginning to see an increase in popularity, both in the amount of people who play and those that watch the sport.

For the book collector who also loves tennis, it is often a natural inclination to want to collect books on the sport or perhaps hold a small bit of history by collecting books signed by one of the tennis greats. Tennis has a rich history, both in its origins and how it has evolved in the last century. Many historians believe that the game began in France in the 12th century, although it wasn’t until the 16th century that rackets began to be used. It wasn’t until the late 1800′s however that the game really began to take off, with the formation of tennis clubs, the first championships at Wimbledon, and the setting down of official rules and regulations. Not much has changed with the rules since that time, although the intensity of the sport as well as  player ability continues to increase all the time. Also, long gone are the days of women playing in long dresses or men in long pants, but now we have the sometimes glittering outfits of the Williams sisters or the always present RF brand of Roger Federer.

US Lawn Tennis, 1887

Anyway, if you love tennis, you might want to join the game of book collecting. It’s a great match!