The Society of Bibliophiles was devised by UoL Ph.D. researcher and teacher Kayleigh Betterton, winner of the Anthony Davis Book Collecting Prize in 2014.
Betterton told ATG that winning the award helped introduce her to a wider network of book collectors and it was this experience that inspired her to start the new society. “It’s targeting young people, but it’s open to all. It’s to provide an opportunity for those interested in book collecting,” Betterton said.
The society is sponsored by the ABA, Maggs Bros Books and Bonhams, whose head of rare books Matthew Haley has helped coordinate Friday’s launch.
The society will sit alongside similar groups at Oxford and Cambridge and outings during the first year include visits to collections at Peterhouse College, Cambridge and Lambeth Palace Library.
Betterton supplied ATG with three top tips for book collectors just starting out ahead of the launch on Friday.
- Don’t start with the most expensive book you can possibly afford. Start cheap and remember books be affordable at auction. Don’t be put off by astronomical estimates. Often books go up with no reserve and in cases like this it’s possible to wind up with a real bargain.
- Draw on collectors’ wisdom. Collecting is a sociable pastime and many of the most experienced collectors, dealers and auctioneers are happy to dispense advice.
- Remember it’s an enjoyable pursuit. In the age of Kindle, many people are excited about returning to a material reality. Books are a bit more of a novelty. And bidding against someone at auction and ending up with that book can be exciting.
The first meeting of the society takes place on October 28 at the Keynes Library in London from 19:00.
Meeting are held monthly and are open to all.