Welcome to R.A Gekoski
Who we are
Established in 1982, R. A. Gekoski Booksellers is one of the world’s leading specialist dealers in modern English, Irish and American literature and archives. Our services include valuations, auction commissions, as well as institutional placement of significant archives.
We specialise in first editions, association copies, manuscripts and archives, and artworks with literary associations. We are particularly interested in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Irish literature (Yeats and Wilde); twentieth century modernism (Conrad, Pound, Joyce, Eliot, Beckett).
We are members of ABA and ILAB and exhibit at the London International Antiquarian Book Fair.
Our services include valuations, auction commissions, as well as institutional placement of significant archives.
We are members of ABA a nd ILAB and exhibit at the London International Antiquarian Bookfair. Dates and how to find us will be posted here closer to the time.
appearances and events
Belinda and I are blessedly in New Zealand for the next months, or until there is a compelling reason to return to the UK. There are real live literary festivals and events here! I will be appearing as follows:
- 8th of July PUBLICATION DAY Guarded by Dragons.
- 17th of July Interview live with Kim Hill on Radio NZ, 10:00 am.
- 21st of July Launch party and Reading for Guarded by Dragons, Havelock North, at Smith and Sheth Heretaunga Studio, 5:00 – 7:00.
- 26th of July . Talk at Havelock North Community Centre for Rotary Club: “Kim Philby, Graham Greene, and Me.” 6:00 by invitation.
- 28th of July. Talk for VERB WELLINGTON on Guarded by Dragons, at Meow, 9 Edward St, Wellington at 6:00.
- August 25 – August 29. Appearances at WORD Festival, Christchurch.
RICK’S NEW Book, published July 08, 2021.
‘Rick Gekoski’s encyclopaedic knowledge of rare books is matched only by the enthusiasm and brio with which he writes about them’ Ian Rankin
Rick Gekoski has been traversing the rocky terrain of the rare book trade for over fifty years. The treasure he seeks is scarce, carefully buried and often jealously guarded, knowledge of its hiding place shared through word of mouth like the myths of old.
In Guarded by Dragons, Gekoski invites readers into this enchanted world as he reflects on the gems he has unearthed throughout his career. He takes us back to where his love of collecting began – perusing D.H. Lawrence first editions in a slightly suspect Birmingham carpark. What follows are dizzying encounters with literary giants as Gekoski publishes William Golding, plays ping-pong with Salman Rushdie and lunches with Graham Greene. A brilliant stroke of luck sees Sylvia Plath’s personal copy of The Great Gatsby fall into Gekoski’s lap, only for him to discover the perils of upsetting a Poet Laureate when Ted Hughes demands its return.
Hunting for literary treasure is not without its battles and Gekoski boldly breaks the cardinal rule never to engage in a lawsuit with someone much richer than yourself, while also guarding his bookshop from the most unlikely of thieves. The result is an unparalleled insight into an almost mythical world where priceless first editions of Ulysses can vanish, and billionaires will spend as much gold as it takes to own the manuscript of J.K. Rowling’s Tales of Beedle the Bard.
Engaging, funny and shrewd, Guarded by Dragons is a fascinating discussion on value and worth. At the same time, Gekoski artfully reveals how a manuscript can tell a thousand stories.
Latest News & Highlights
An interview with RNZ – 20th April 2021
An interview with Business Desk – 18th April 2021
Interview with LA Review of Books – 13th August 2020
Rick Gekoski interview with The London Magazine – July 1st 2020
On Darke Matter, scepticism and reading for pleasure.
An individually priced catalogue of rare Heaney items
Philip Roth was unable to travel to London to celebrate winning the Man Booker Prize in 2011, so a few months later we went to him. A dinner in his honour was held at MOMA, in New York. Knowing I would be sitting next to him, I took some preliminary advice from my...