Rare books bring untold pleasures


Lok Man Rare books opens an enchanting window on the past.

For the Constant Reader iPads are awesome and Kindle a godsend. But so far only books come in rare collectibles which increase in monetary and aesthetic value.

If you love literature there is nothing quite like the aesthetic pleasure of holding, say, a leather-bound, hand-tooled first edition of Samuel Johnson’s epoch-making English Dictionary, or leafing through a copy of Friedrich Schiff’s silk-wrapped Maskee: a Shanghai Sketchbook,
a luscious Art Deco accordion folio of 21 hand-coloured 14-feet-long fold-out panels from the Thirties that depict the city at its most decadent. All are available at Lok Man Rare Books, a veritable temple to the glories of the word and obviously the perfect place to visit.

“Not many shops look after customers like we do or maintain the stock we do,” says owner Lorence Johnston. With a continually updated online catalogue covering everything from the 1958 print run of Doctor Zhivago to the original of Beatrice Potter’s Tale of Mr Jeremy Fisher, the boast is literally worth the paper it’s written on.
Price quotations are private after interest has been expressed. Lok Man can also look for local books of cultural and historic significance.

…More stories like this are available in Quintessentially Asia.



好读书之人认为iPad和Kindle是上帝恩赐一般的礼物。不过,至今只有珍贵的书才会增值并具有审美价值。如果你热爱文学,则一定向往着这无与伦比的感觉:亲手捧着一本皮革捆扎、手工缝制、并且是具有划时代意义的第一版约翰逊英语词典,或是手尖翻动着弗里德里·希希夫 (Friedrich Schiff) 的《海上画梦录》——二十一页折叠, 总长十四尺的Art Deco风格的写生画,纪录着上个世纪三十年代纸醉金迷的上海。


网站的书目频繁更新,包括1985年版的《日瓦格医生》和《杰里米·费希尔先生的故事》的善本。难怪店主劳伦斯·琼斯顿 (Lorence Johnston) 说:“我们书店为读者和藏书所做的努力是很罕见的。”这种说法真是名副其实。