Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World - Lawrence Goldstone, Nancy Goldstone Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone, both novelists, tired of birthday competitions to see who could present the more extravagant gift. They decided to limit their spending to $20 maximum and that’s how they came into possession of a translation of War and Peace each had wanted to read complete with original illustrations and maps for $10. The book was used, of course, or “previously read,” as Cadillac owners might say, and so began a delightful obsession (or “gentle madness” that many of us suffer from) that had the pair trekking through used book stores and gradually becoming interested in the more rarefied atmosphere of expensive and rare books.

Their largest purchase by the end of this delightful book is a $650 copy of Dickens’ Martin Chuzzlewit. The Goldstones are clearly a literate couple who delight in the content of the books as well as the joy of owning a first edition “first state,” unlike the people who purchase books by the yard (Strand Bookstore in New York supplies books to these customers) or the customers of the bidder at an auction the Goldstones attended who was buying up collections of out-ofdate leather-bound law books and relabeling them “The Collected Works of William Shakespeare