Imagine a book collector, a person who has devoted their life to seeking out rare tomes in dusty shops, who arranges their finds, these prized possessions, purposefully and carefully, on a shelf just out of reach. Chances are you will have imagined a man, perhaps one with graying hair and spectacles. And a pipe.
Heather O’Donnell and Rebecca Romney at Honey & Wax Booksellers, in Brooklyn, are hoping to broaden our imaginative capabilities. This summer, they announced their first annual book-collecting prize, open to women under thirty. O’Donnell and Romney had observed that although the young women who entered their store were passionate about their collections, they rarely referred to themselves as collectors. Their hope is to “encourage young women who are actively collecting books to own and share that part of their lives, and to think strategically about the future of their collections.” An advisor warned them to expect eight to ten submissions, a dozen at most. When the dust had settled, they’d received forty-eight essays, from young women, age fifteen to thirty, around the country, all with accompanying bibliographic and wish lists.
We are pleased to unveil their first winner, who will receive a thousand dollars, as well as five honorable mentions, who will each receive two hundred dollars. Read More