John Howell has more than twenty years in the book trade. But before I spell out the details of that experience, I should take care of a question that I have been asked frequently for nearly twenty years: No, I am not related to Warren Howell or the Howell family associated with John Howell - Books of San Francisco, California. Unfortunately. My experience in the book trade began in 1991 with Barnes and Noble. That lasted for several years. My experience with rare books began in 1996 with Jeff Weber Rare Books in Glendale, California. I wrote catalogs for Jeff for 8 years, leaving in the fall of 2004. John Howell for Books opened for business on January 1, 2005, and I have been selling books ever since.
My checkered past includes a Masters degree in European Church History (750-1600) from California State University, Fullerton (1981-1984) and degrees in American Colonial and Early Republic periods at UCLA (1984-1990) where I am ABD (all but the Dissertation, the Book Seller's Degree!).
A significant turning point in my book selling occurred when I attended the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar in August 2010. The seminar is an excellent opportunity to learn an overview of the rare book trade and encouraged me to branch out into book fair exhibiting, more broadly based marketing efforts, and membership in the book seller trade organizations. Subsequently I have attended seminars in South Carolina to learn about medieval manuscripts, and California Rare Book School to broaden my knowledge of rare books and the trade.
I am a member of the Independent Online Bookseller's Association (IOBA), the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA), and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB). In February 2018 I attended my first ILAB Congress, which was held in Pasadena, CA the week before the 51st California International Antiquarian Book Fair, February 9-11, 2018, where I was an exhibitor. It is my goal to meet and exceed the standards established by the afore-mentioned trade associations in my business every day.
I have specialties in miniature books, fine press books, especially those of California presses, and have a mix of fine books and scholarly books in all fields and most Western Languages. I also carry material on California and the West. My catalog Number 1 was published in May of 2011 and included 113 books issued by the Book Club of California. Since then I have been issuing occasional lists in the fields of California History, early printing, typography, history of the book, bookseller memoirs, and similar. Please inquire if you would like to receive some current lists in the mail.
I will exhibit at the Sacramento Book Fair in March 2018 and the Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair in October, 2018.
I currently have approximately 1,300 items listed on johnhowellforbooks.com. The best way to find things on this web-site is to either browse by category (the category lists and links are on the right hand side of the home page), or use the keyword function on the quick search; I load up my keywords for each entry so you can find things easier.
Please take some time and look around. Helpful feedback is appreciated.