Rare Books

The Holidays at Bauman Rare Books

  • Dec 17, 2021

Christmas is a holiday steeped in tradition. Christmas trees, advent calendars, and mincemeat pies all go back at least a century.

At Bauman Rare Books, we have our own Christmas traditions including (of course) Christmas books. While we are always searching for rare Christmas titles we’ve never carried before, we have certain staples that we look forward to every holiday season. And we think you’ll find that your Christmas is richer with them, too.

A Child’s Christmas in Wales (1955):

First edition of Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales (1955)

Comprising a series of emotional, nostalgic vignettes, A Child’s Christmas in Wales is a fictionalized autobiography of Dylan Thomas’ childhood. In Thomas’ reminiscences, he illustrates how the novelty of childhood made Christmas happier and more festive than it was in later years.

One Christmas (1983):

Signed/limited first edition of Truman Capote’s One Christmas (1983)

In One Christmas, Truman Capote shares about a childhood Christmas that he reluctantly spent with his father in New Orleans. While his father was a con artist and womanizer, Capote shows how Christmas managed to turn him and his estranged father into something resembling a family.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1939):

First edition of Robert L. May’s Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1939)

While it’s now a perennial Christmas classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was originally written as a department store handout for children visiting Santa. Relatively few copies survived handling by excited children, making Rudolph a desirable Christmas rarity.

Eloise at Christmastime (1958):

First edition of Kay Thompson’s Eloise at Christmastime (1958)

Arguably one of the loveliest Christmas books for children with its shiny red dust jacket, Eloise at Christmastime captures the spirit of a mid-century New York City Christmas.

The Night Before Christmas (1931):

Signed/limited first edition of Arthur Rackham’s The Night Before Christmas (1931)

A read-aloud of Clement C. Moore’s The Night Before Christmas is a treasured part of Christmas Eve for many families. Arthur Rackham’s version is enlivened with beautiful color illustrations that capture the vibrant colors and rich textures of the Christmas season.

The great thing about rare books is that you can have a collection on any topic, as long as it matters to you. Why not start both a Christmas collection and a new holiday tradition?

Long-time rare books and manuscripts librarian at Bauman Rare Books, medium-time bookbinder in my home studio.

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