Changes at Honey & Wax

Today I am excited – with a forgivable pang of regret — to share the news that Rebecca Romney is leaving Honey & Wax to open a new rare book gallery in Washington, D.C., Type Punch Matrix, in partnership with longtime ABAA bookseller Brian Cassidy.

It’s been a joy to work with Rebecca at Honey & Wax, and a thrill to watch her plans for Type Punch Matrix take shape. I am so proud of what we’ve accomplished together these past three years, not only in our daily bookselling, but also in our work on the ABAA Women’s Initiative and the Honey & Wax Book Collecting Prize. Rebecca will remain as a Honey & Wax prize judge, and she and I will continue to work together on new projects that advance our shared goal of a more inclusive, vibrant book world. I know that everyone reading this will be as eager as I am to scout the shelves of Type Punch Matrix in 2020.

Next week, on July 10, Rebecca and I will deliver the 2019 Malkin Lecture at Rare Book School, “The Right and Wrong Ways to Collect.” I’ll be teaching at the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar (with Brian!) from July 14 to 20, and shooting this year’s Honey & Wax print catalog in August. Our book fair season picks up again with the Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair on September 7 and 8, and we’ll announce our latest round of prize winners in September as well. So stay tuned!


Honey & Wax Spring Events

Happy spring! We’re still accepting applications for the 2019 Honey & Wax Book Collecting Prize, and can’t wait to be surprised by what we discover this year. Learn about our 2017 and 2018 winners here. The 2019 submission deadline is June 1.

Our work on the Honey & Wax Prize continues to shape our thinking about book collecting: how we talk about it, and why that matters.

When we launched the prize in 2017, we thought that our primary challenge would be strategic: figuring out how to reach our target audience of women collectors aged thirty and younger. We’ve found, however, that reaching that audience is a very secondary concern. The more important work to be done is in articulating and promoting a more inclusive idea of what it means to be a book collector. We’ll be addressing that ongoing challenge in a series of public events over the next couple of months.


On Wednesday, May 22, we’ll be talking about “Next Generation Book Collecting” at the New-York Historical Society, in dialogue with Michael Ryan, director of NYHS’s Klingenstein Library. We’ll use some of the highlights of the NYHS library collections to spark conversation about a wide range of approaches to everyday collecting.


On Friday, May 31, join us for “Celebrating Women Book Collectors: The Early Years of the Honey & Wax Prize” at the Smithsonian, as part of their Magnificent Obsessions speaker series. This talk will deal directly with the history of the prize, and the lessons we’ve learned from a rising generation of book collectors.


And on Wednesday, July 10, we’ll be giving the 2019 Malkin Lecture on “The Right and Wrong Ways to Collect” at Rare Book School at the University of Virginia. Many of our prize contestants begin by confessing that they know they haven’t been collecting the “right” way. Interestingly, many of their self-directed approaches align more with the goals of institutional collections than with the pursuit of mainstream high spots: collecting as autobiography, as outreach, as documentary, as activism. In this talk, we’ll consider the possibilities and implications of a more democratic approach to collection building.








We’d love to see you at any of these events, and as always, we look forward to helping with your own collecting! Keep an eye on the website as our latest acquisitions roll in, and don’t hesitate to reach out with any special requests.

The 2019 New York Antiquarian Book Fair

New Yorkers! Please come visit us in booth C33 (across from the bar) at the 2019 New York International Antiquarian Book Fair, opening tonight, and running all weekend at the Park Avenue Armory.

On Saturday night at 7 PM, just after the fair closes, the ABAA Women’s Initiative is sponsoring a networking reception inside the armory. Booksellers, librarians, collectors, bibliographers, conservators, bibliophiles welcome.

And finally: we just announced the third annual Honey & Wax Book Collecting Prize, and hope you’ll share the contest details far and wide.

Wishing you all a bookish start to spring, and hoping to see many of you tonight at the armory!


Bay Area Bound

West Coast friends! Visit Honey & Wax at the California International Antiquarian Book Fair this weekend, February 8-10 in Oakland. We’re cataloguing new books even at this late hour, and look forward to sharing Booth 517 with our bicoastal friends Division Leap.

On Sunday, join us for a panel discussion: Zamorano Celebrates 90Honoring the Contributions of Women to Books and Book Collecting in Southern California.

The Zamorano Club, the oldest bibliophilic club in Southern California, recently issued a volume of essays exploring the historic contributions of California bookwomen. This panel, moderated by Kait Manning of Pirages Fine Books, brings together five contributors to discuss the project:

* Jean Gillingwators, editor and project coordinator of Zamorano Celebrates 90

* Judy Sahak, Librarian Emerita at Scripps College, first woman president of the Zamorano Club

* Jen Johnson of johnson rare books and archives on printer Lillian Marks (1909-1991) of the Plantin Press

* Brad Johnson of johnson rare books and archives on bookseller Peggy Christian (1915-1986)

* Gary Kurutz of the California State Library Foundation on bookseller Alice Millard (1873-1938)

The panel runs from 9:30 to 11 AM in the Skyline Room at the Oakland Marriott City Center. The event is sponsored by the ABAA Women’s Initiative, and is free and open to the public. We hope to see you there!

The ABAA Women in Bookselling Initiative

It’s been a real thrill to help launch the ABAA Women in Bookselling Initiative, from our first trade networking events in 2016 and 2017:

. . .  to the ABAA tribute to longtime California bookseller Carol Sandberg in Los Angeles this February:

. . .  to our first foray into public programming last month in New York, a panel discussion on the subject of Collections and Women (video here), moderated by ABAA bookseller Nina Musinsky, featuring librarians and scholars from the New York Public Library, the New-York Historical Society, and the University of Virginia:

The goals of the Women’s Initiative, laid out in the ABAA committee statement, are “to support women book and manuscript sellers, create policies that promote gender equity in the trade, facilitate recruitment efforts aimed at women book and manuscript sellers, and expand diversity in the market by developing women as collectors and in collections.”

And our goal at Honey & Wax? Gender parity in the ABAA in our lifetime, and more independent women booksellers across the trade. Perhaps unrealistic, but we’re going to do what we can.

The 2018 New York Antiquarian Book Fair

A quick reminder, in the midst of the thaw, that the 2018 New York International Antiquarian Book Fair is opening tonight, and running all weekend at the Park Avenue Armory.

New York is the high spot of the American fair calendar, with more than 200 booksellers from around the world in attendance — including Honey & Wax in booth E9. On Sunday morning at 10 AM, before the fair opens, the ABAA Women’s Initiative is sponsoring a panel discussion at the armory on Collections and Women, which is free and open to the public.

And not least, we just announced this year’s Honey & Wax Book Collecting Prize, and hope you’ll share the contest information with anyone who might be (or know) a likely winner!

Wishing you all a bookish start to spring, and hoping to see many of you tonight at the armory.


The New Year, Not So New

2018 has had a breathless (and blogless) quality so far.

In January, Rebecca was invested into the Baker Street Irregulars, the exclusive group of Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts founded in 1934 by Christopher Morley:

The following week, Heather addressed the annual meeting of the Bibliographical Society of America on a panel devoted to “Bibliography in the Expanded Field”:

And Honey & Wax exhibited for the first time at the ABAA showcase during Bibliography Week in New York City:

Today, we’re in sunny Pasadena, setting up for the opening of the California International Antiquarian Book Fair this afternoon.


If you’re in Los Angeles, please come visit us in booth 403, today through Sunday!

Happy Fall

New Yorkers! Honey & Wax will be exhibiting at the Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair this weekend, September 8-10, and we hope you’ll come say hello. In just four years, the Brooklyn fair has grown into the largest regional book fair in the United States: over a hundred dealers are on their way from as far away as Chicago (to the west) and London (to the east), and all proceeds from Friday night’s preview benefit Rare Book School. On Saturday afternoon, Rebecca will be giving a talk on the ABCs of book collecting, and on Sunday, she’ll be discussing and signing her new book Printer’s Error.

Looking ahead, stay tuned for the announcement of the first winner of the annual Honey & Wax Book Collecting Prize later this month. We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of submissions, and by how interesting the rising generation of American collectors promises to be. Reading these essays has been a highlight of our year.

And finally: mark your calendars for the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair, November 10-12, and clear a spot on your desk (or nightstand or coffee table) for Honey & Wax Catalog 6, in the works now.

Hope to see many of you this weekend!