Marian Brown: A truly rare bookseller

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I’m sounding the horn for a newly launched independent rare book company. HONEY & WAX BOOKSELLERS stocks an imaginative selection of literature specializing in unique copies: books from the libraries of writers and artists, rare first printings, and curious vintage editions.

At a time when publishers and critics are debating the future of print media, Honey & Wax founder Heather O’Donnell sees a demand for books with no downloadable equivalent. “Objects crafted of paper and thread, leather and glue, are no longer our primary means of conveying information, and probably never will be again,” said O’Donnell. “The shelves are giving way to servers, yet printed books satisfy our desire to own and handle well-made objects, to live among them, to give each other something lasting, rather than simply clicking ‘share.’”

Most importantly, O’Donnell believes that the potential audience for unique and striking printed books is about to expand dramatically, outside the parameters set by the established rare book trade. “In a curious twist, as ownership of the printed book becomes a choice, rather than the default option, people who’ve never thought of themselves as ‘book collectors’ increasingly catch themselves in an act that can only be described as ‘collecting books.’ And they’re collecting, very often, along creative and inspired and eclectic lines.”

A lifelong book lover, O’Donnell moved to NYC in 1989 to study English at Columbia. She received a doctorate from the Yale English department and worked as a curatorial assistant at the Beinecke Library. For seven years, she was a bookseller in the flagship New York gallery of Bauman Rare Books. Honey & Wax is based in Brooklyn, NY, but has clientele from all over the globe.

Marian Brown is a book publicist and marketer based in New York.  Her website can be found at

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On October 9, 2012
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