About the beauty, fascination and the value of old and rare books.

A literary-antiquarian podcast.

An antiquarian bookseller (Michael Solder), a rare books shop in Münster (known from the TV series “Wilsberg”) and an author (Sabine Scho, an insider tip). The bookseller and author once studied philosophy together in Münster in the 1990s and both worked part-time in the library of the Department of Philosophy.

Michael Solder still runs his antiquarian bookshop at the same place. It’s been open for business in the Frauenstraße in Münster across from the Überwasserkirche for the past 25 years.

After studying Sabina Scho left Münster for Hamburg, Hamburg for São Paulo and then Sampa for Berlin, with extended stays in Los Angeles and Rome in between.

Michael Solder undertook his journeys to the knowledge of the world in books, he acquired, sold and presented them at international trade fairs.

Solder’s book stories

When purchasing old books, Solder gets to know very unique stories about the origin, storage and characteristics of a book, which, due to its having been used, has become unique. When reselling it he determines its material value. But what is such an assessment based on? The number of copies printed? The book’s features? Frequentness?

He has followed in the footsteps of these books, has become a part of them himself, and shares discoveries he has made, looks at bindings, plates, provenances, decorative fore-edges, and unusual as well as strange features, annotations and ex libris or things simply left behind in a book. He digs deeper into his favorite topics and into oddities: copies that were shot by bullets, flawed first editions and pirate editions. He discusses various print runs and what changed with each one and he makes digressions into the philology of editions and the history of reception. He talks about book restoration and rebinding books, about the world of vignettes, decorated initials, and ornamental frames, or long winded forewords. He shines a light on the book as object of desire, and tells stories about celebrities who owned a certain book.

Scho’s research on books and knowledge

In the course of her research for her own books, Scho depends on the assortment of books that have long been out of print. She considers herself lucky if a facsimile of Conrad Gessner’s “Historia animalium” is republished, not seldom, however, does she visit the reading rooms of libraries to look at valuable originals and incunabula, especially when it is about understanding this: How was a book regarded in its time? What did it look like? What did it feel like? How was it treated? How did it reach its readers and who was its audience? How long has the book already survived? Does it still breathe when it is opened? What part of it is already illegible or no longer comprehensible? Has part of it faded?

Just as there is faith and superstition, the author traces knowledge and myths: delves into first classifications and taxonomies, in order to grasp how knowledge is constituted in word and image. The order of things: How is such an order established or questioned in a book? In her poem “Hartmut sucht Teneriffa / Hartmut looks for Tenerife” from her first volume of poetry, “Album”, a 1950s schoolboy peers into a German world atlas. The poem reveals how narratives determine our worldview and cartographic images suggest hierarchies to us.

Germany’s most famous antiquarian bookshop

Germany’s most famous rare and old bookshop – the “Antiquariat Solder” is renowned as “Antiquariat Wilsberg” through the humorous TV detective series “Wilsberg” – now presents what truly happens inside. And that is indeed investigative. Solder & Scho track down books that the antiquarian as well as the writer need for their work.

Values and workshop – author and antiquarian

It is about ideal and material values, about literature and about the workshop. The book of knowledge and the luxury edition will be broached as topics. For the fact that texts are derived from texts can be worked on and experienced in a completely different way than merely academically.

The antiquarian podcast RARE BOOKS CARE LOOKS offers insight into the practice of antiquarian and author, whose paths cross time and again, as well as it opens a window on how literature is produced today.

The book as object

In times that are increasingly slipping off into the digital, this podcast celebrates the sensuous value of the analogue and shows its enthusiasm for the book as object – as an object that apart from its contents is so much more than just a vehicle for text and information.

Follow Solder & Scho as they decode the works which as physical objects also speak their own language.

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