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IN BRIEF

Nonfiction

December 17, 1995|SUSAN REYNOLDS

THE INSIDER'S GUIDE TO OLD BOOKS, MAGAZINES, NEWSPAPERS AND TRADE CATALOGS: 21,000 Items Priced by Dealers and Collectors by Ron Barlow and Ray Reynolds (Windmill Publishing Co./El Cajon, CA 92020: $19.95; 456 pp.) Perhaps the subtitle should read "Price Guide and Testimony to the Famous Enthusiasm of Book Collectors," for it is indeed contagious. Even though the format is bibliographic, it is possible to read this catalog for pure pleasure. Liken it to gardeners, holed up midwinter with cabin fever reading seed catalogs, or food lovers reading cookbooks, or antiques dealers . . . but you don't need an excuse. The book is also full of practical information on collecting (common defects, spine wear and missing endpapers), a glossary of the insider's lingo, sections on limited and first editions, children's books, used books, banned books and auctions and more, including nostalgic line drawings like the one here, of Smyth's Book-Sewing Machine, circa 1880.

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