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Rare Books at Glenn Horowitz Bookseller

Martha Stewart Living Television

It's easy to get lost for hours in a bookstore -- scanning book jackets, browsing collections of images, even reading several chapters while leaning against the stacks. The pleasure is heightened when the shelves are filled with rare books, out-of-print tomes, first editions, and author-annotated copies.

Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, in East Hampton, New York, specializes in rare books on gardening, photography, art, design, and nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature. Whenever Martha is considering a gardening project, she stops in and peruses the gardening books for inspiration. Today, manager Andrew Roth gives Martha a tour of the shop's extensive collection

Andrew begins by showing Martha "Italian Villas and Gardens" by Edith Wharton, whose visits to private gardens on her travels through Italy served as the inspiration for her only gardening book. Published in 1904, this book became an important resource for gardeners and landscape designers. A book with a similar theme, "Spanish Gardens and Patios" written by Mildred Stapley Byrne and Arthur Byrne, was published in 1924 and examines the fascinating garden designs of Spain.

The classic "Repton Book" -- officially titled "Observations on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardens" -- was published in 1805 by English landscape architect Humphrey Repton. It is special not only because it is rare (there are believed to be only about four hundred copies) but also because of its unique design: Repton used chromo-lithographic plates with moveable flaps to depict before and after images of the elaborate landscapes he designed and modified.

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Learn more about Glenn Horowitz Bookseller.