February 21, 2019

The ILAB is on the case!

Late last year, Amazon-owned AbeBooks caused a kerfuffle with its international partners when it abruptly switched credit card processors, leaving many of them with no way to accept payment for their products.

AbeBooks had told bookshops in countries including Hungary, the Czech Republic, South Korea and Russia that it would no longer support them from 30 November, citing migration to a new payment service provider as the reason for the withdrawal. The move prompted almost 600 booksellers in 27 countries to pull more than 3.5 million titles from AbeBooks, putting them on "vacation" as they cited the motto of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, "Amor librorum nos unit" (love of books unites us).

Amazon quickly said "Oops!" and pushed back the deadline while it figured out a more workable solution.

But I have to say that "International League of Antiquarian Booksellers" would make a great cover name for a secret society of cosmopolitan crime fighters. And that brings to mind Antiquarian Bookshop Biblia's Case Files by En Mikami, one of the coziest of all cozy mysteries series.

Shioriko Shinokawa is the pretty and preternaturally perspicacious proprietress of Biblia Antiquarian Bookshop. When not dealing in used and rare books, she and her Watson, Daisuke Goura, solve crimes of a literary nature.

Each episode takes its theme from a work in the Japanese or Western canon. For example, a case that turns on editorial changes made to the ending of A Clockwork Orange in the American edition that weren't amended until 1986. If nothing else, you'll learn a lot about publishing.

This is truly educational television.

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