A family wedding in Kenya inspires Ken to start reading about Africa-and thinking about the book collections that could be made up of works about this vast and varied continent. From the early exploration narratives of the 1700's to the novels of Ernest Hemingway and Isak Dinesen, the possibilities are almost as diverse as Africa is.
Books! They're not just for reading. They can lend atmosphere to a bar or hotel lobby, make your living room seem smarter, and even be hollowed out in order to contain a tiny gun. In this episode Ken talks about decorating with books: books as silent conveyors of knowledge and safety, books as status symbols, and even books as movie set decor (books from the Brattle have made cameos in a few famous films). Whether it’s 6,000 red books or a single exquisite leather-bound volume, books really do furnish a room.
Did you know that Ken gives entertaining and informative talks about old books at libraries and historical societies all across New England? And then after the lecture he’ll stay to do free appraisals of the attendee's potential treasures? Check out Ken's schedule here http://www.brattlebookshop.com/events/ to find out when he'll be in your neighborhood and listen to this episode to learn more about his public speaking career.
He voyaged with Captain Cook, escaped from college via canoe, and attempted to walk across Russia. But, most importantly for our purposes, he also wrote a plain looking, easily discarded book, some volumes of which contain an extremely valuable map. He's John Ledyard, the most interesting New England character you've never heard of and the author of Captain Cook's Voyages, the book we should all be scouring yard sales for!
Founded in 1635, Boston Latin School is the oldest public school in the United States, and boasts many famous graduates, including Benjamin Franklin, Henry David Thoreau, and Leonard Bernstein. One could build a collection consisting entirely of works by and about its illustrious alumni, as Ken suggests to one of his former Boston Latin classmates during a seemingly fairly raucous high school reunion. Plus, some tips on insuring your own rare book collection.