IN THE NEWS…
The following article was originally published in the Palm Beach Daily News Shiny Sheet on Monday, January 15th.
Worth Avenue bookstore shares lesson on Dr. King with local students. By Ian Cohen – Special to the Daily News
Cindy Metzler pulled the folded sheet of paper from her purse. It was a copy of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and her 8-year-old son, Trevor, had been reading it during the car ride over.
“I thought it was really good,” Trevor said.
While some of his classmates were at the South Florida Fair on their day off, Trevor, along with seven other students from Turtle River Montessori school in Jupiter, arrived at Raptis Rare Books on Worth Avenue on Monday afternoon for a Martin Luther King Jr. Day presentation.
Books in glass cases lined the shelves, ranging from first-edition versions of the Harry Potter series to “Cat in the Hat” to a biography of Albert Einstein.
But the students’ focus was on the table in the middle of the store. Propped up was a 1964 typewritten letter from Dr. King, a signed black and white picture of Nelson Mandela and other first-edition or signed civil-rights themed books.
“Who can tell me what today is?” store owner Matthew Raptis […]
Dr. Alvin Felzenberg
Please join us for a lecture and book signing with Dr. Alvin Felzenberg, author of A Man and His Presidents: The Political Odyssey of William F. Buckley, Jr. on Thursday, October 5th at 6pm. Complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Please RSVP to Susan@RaptisRareBooks.com
Raptis Rare Books
226 Worth Avenue
Palm Beach, FL 33480
Dr. Alvin S. Felzenberg is a recognized expert on American politics, the American presidency, Congress, and political movements. He served in two presidential administrations, was senior adviser to the Departments of State and Defense; and was principal spokesman for the 9-11 Commission. From 2010 through 2016, he directed strategic communications for the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress.
A former columnist for US News and World Report, Felzenberg has appeared as a commentator on major public affairs television shows, including CNN’s “Crossfire,” C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and “Hard Ball” with Chris Matthews, National Public Radio’s “Talk of the Nation,” a public affairs broadcast, and multiple others. His writings have appeared in the Washington Post, the Weekly Standard, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Politico, and National Review.
UPDATE: We would like to thank everyone who joined us […]
In the News: Raptis Rare Books Awarded “Best in Palm Beach County” by Palm Beach Illustrated Magazine
We have recently been awarded as one of the best places for “literary scene” in Palm Beach county by Palm Beach Illustrated Magazine. This is what they have to say:
“Lovers of the written word are particularly smitten with Raptis Rare Books. A recent addition to Worth Avenue, Raptis specializes in first editions and inscribed copies of literature’s most famous works. In search of a signed copy of To Kill a Mockingbird? Raptis has it. Hunting for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with the signature of artist Salvador Dali? It’s here. In need of a version of The Sun Also Rises featuring the misprint “stoppped”? They’ve got that, too. For anyone who adores the smell of an old book or the comfort of a fine leather chair, Raptis is a rare find.”
The following article was recently featured on the front page of The Coastal Star. View the original post on The Coastal Star’s website here.
By Ron Hayes
“I was a unique child,” Matthew Raptis remembers. “My parents did not allow me to have video games, so I read books and played outside.”
Reading gave Raptis a love of books. Books gave him a love of history. History gave him a passion for the Civil War. And together they gave him a career.
“In 1989, when I was about 10, I bought a first edition of Ulysses S. Grant’s memoirs,” he explains. “They’re not that rare. You could get a copy for about $50.”
Now that first barely rare book has grown into a catalog of about 10,000 titles, and in November 2016, Palm Beach’s Worth Avenue became home to Raptis Rare Books, an antiquarian bookstore where George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln share the shelves with James Bond, Tom Sawyer and the Beatles.
“This is the first venture I’ve not run out of my house,” says Raptis, who grew up near Saratoga, N.Y., and came to Palm Beach from Brattleboro, Vt. A rare book dealer for 16 years, he’d sold his wares through online and printed […]
Raptis Rare Books was recently featured in Palm Beach Illustrated Magazine. View the full article here.
The Raptis Rare Books Collection is a Palm Beach Bibliophile’s Dream
by Mary Murray
The ultimate library for Palm Beach bibliophiles has set up shop on Worth Avenue. Matthew Raptis started his company, Raptis Rare Books, 16 years ago with the goal of turning his passion for the written word into a full-time career. Specializing in first editions, the Raptis inventory includes between 4,000 to 5,000 books at any given time, ranging from the Nuremberg Chronicles printed in the late 1490s to Adam Smith’s 1776 economic magnum opus Wealth of Nations to a first edition of To Kill a Mockingbird inscribed by author Harper Lee. “It’s amazing to actually open up the pages and see the books as they were when they first entered into the world,” says Raptis, who travels extensively in order to augment his offerings. “I’ve been to 75 countries and all the corners of the globe searching for books.” While the Raptis Rare Books collection is constantly changing, here are five first editions we’d love to add to our dream bookshelf.
The Raptis Rare Books Collection
Moby Dick by Herman Melville, 1851, $65,000. Melville’s classic tale […]
Raptis Rare Books is seeking an experienced and results-driven Lead Salesperson, with the position located at its gallery on Worth Avenue, Palm Beach, Florida.
in-depth knowledge of rare and antiquarian books
proven history of sales successes
ability to nurture relationships with existing clients
ability to conduct ongoing prospecting for new clients in the U.S and internationally
strong organizational and interpersonal skills
excellent oral and written communication skills
strong attention to detail
pertinent computer skills (Word, Excel, CRM database)
ability to work independently, as well as cooperatively with owners and co-workers
graphic design, photography, and social media experience helpful, but not required
Bachelor’s degree desired in the fields of English literature, history, art history, Renaissance studies or the like.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
researching, purchasing and cataloging of rare books
serving as lead salesperson at the Palm Beach gallery, and via phone and email
participating in assigned book fairs
assisting with business operation functions
Compensation package based on experience. Please email your resume, with cover letter to email@example.com.
Job Type: Full-time
The following article was published in the Rare Book Monthly News from Rare Book Hub:
Raptis Rare Books Opens in Palm Beach
– by Bruce E. McKinney
While Palm Beach, Florida has been in the news more recently as the new home of the “winter White House”, for serious readers and book collectors the most interesting news has been the opening of Raptis Rare Books’ new location on Palm Beach’s prestigious Worth Avenue shopping district. It’s a storied town with a storied history replete with Addison Mizner Mediterranean and Spanish Colonial architecture. It is also near enough to where Ponce de Leon is said to have landed in 1513, for Palm Beach and the Raptis Rare Book Company to argue they are at the place in the New World where the European experience began.
The owners, Matthew and Adrienne Raptis, both enjoy travelling and have been to over seventy-five countries. They travel frequently to Europe and Italy, in particular, which is why, until recently, they had been operating out of a beautiful Italianate villa built by an opera singer that they discovered in southern Vermont and just had to purchase. They planted a vineyard there with four varietals of vinifera and built a wine […]
In the News – For Matthew Raptis, Rare Books Are More Than Just A Business; They’re A Key To The Past
We have recently been featured in the Palm Beacher Magazine:
Matthew Raptis doesn’t judge a book by its cover alone. He also judges it by its publication date, its condition and its relative rarity in the antiquarian book marketplace. Think print is dead? For avid collectors of rare books, it’s anything but.
Mark Twain once wrote, “In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.” History didn’t record which bookroom Twain had in mind, but if the American novelist was alive today on Palm Beach’s Worth Avenue, he’d surely ramble into Raptis Rare Books and feel instantly wiser, not to mention astonished to find that a first edition of his Adventures of Huckleberry Finn now sells for $16,000 (one of only 500 copies printed in 1885, originally priced at $4.25).
While proprietor Matthew Raptis doesn’t offer any titles that cost what they did in the 1900s, he does shelve many fine books starting in the $200 range. That’s not pocket change, but for most folks, it’s more affordable than the 1960 first edition of To Kill a Mockingbird, signed by reclusive author Harper Lee […]
We recently celebrated our Worth Avenue grand opening with a lovely party catered by The Bowery Palm Beach and with special operatic performances by Julia and Christina of Musical Soireé. Thank you to everyone who attended. We are delighted you could join us and would like to share some highlights of the event with you. Also, as newcomers to Palm Beach, we are reliant upon you, our customers, colleagues, and friends in spreading the word about Raptis Rare Books. Please consider writing a review of our business on Google, Facebook, Trip Advisor, or any other site or app that you use. Thank you for your continued support and we hope you enjoy the following video and photos. Please feel free to download any photos for your use or for posting to social media.View all the photos here.
Matthew Raptis was live on WPBF 25 News speaking on Presidential inauguration memorabilia.
Here is the Transcript:
WHEN DONALD TRUMP TAKES THE OATH OF OFFICE IT WILL– THERE WILL BE A LOT OF MEMENTOS.OF COURSE THERE ARE A LOT OF HISTORICAL ITEMS FROM PAST PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATIONS. JOINING US NOW TO TAKE A LOOK AT SOUVENIRS FROM PAST INAUGURATIONS IS MATTHEW RAPTIS, OWNER OF RAPTIS RARE BOOKS ON PALM BEACH. LET’S GO THROUGH SOME OF THEM, BECAUSE IT IS AN EXCITING TIME FOR OUR COUNTRY.>> HERE WE HAVE THE INFAMOUS CHICAGO DAILY TRIBUNE, “DEWEY BEATS TRUMAN” THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN LARGELY FORGOTTEN IF IT HAD NOT BEEN GIVEN TO PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMAN TWO DAYS LATER.WE KNOW THAT TRUMAN FAMOUSLY HELD THIS UP AND OBVIOUSLY THE JOKE WAS ON CHICAGO DAILY TRIBUNE. STEPHANIE: WHAT ELSE DO YOU HAVE?YOU HAVE A MEMENTO, KIND OF A PALM BEACH CONNECTION. JOHN F. KENNEDY.>> PALM BEACH COUNTY’S MOST FAMOUS RESIDENT UP UNTIL NOW.WE HAVE THE INAUGURAL TICKETS TO THE CEREMONY IN 1961. STEPHANIE: THESE ARE ALL ORIGINAL ITEMS?>> THESE ARE ALL ORIGINAL. THIS IS WHERE JOHN F. KENNEDY SAID THOSE FAMOUS LINES “MY FELLOW AMERICANS, ASK NOT WHAT YOUR COUNTRY CAN DO FOR YOU BUT WHAT YOU CAN DO […]
From CBS12 News:
PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) —
Raptis Rare Book Store is giving visitors a look inside the mind of civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as he prepared to deliver a speech to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s staff retreat on Nov. 14, 1966.
Matthew Raptis, the owner of Raptis Rare Books, says “This is one of the final final remaining hand corrected speeches in private hands.”
He says some who have come through his doors have been moved by the speech following their own times during the civil rights movement era.
But Raptis says even today, as we celebrate the civil rights’ campaign Dr. King dedicated his life to, we still have a long way to go.
“I believe we still have many miles to go but will get there,” Raptis says.
Raptis Rare Books Store has other works signed by Dr. King available for sale. This particular manuscript with handwritten notes is available for $30,000.
In the Palm Beach Daily News By Gregory Cox – Daily News Staff Writer
The corners may be slightly yellowed and tattered, but the blue handwritten ink on a rare, hand-corrected speech that Martin Luther King Jr. delivered Nov. 14, 1966, stand as bold as the message he delivered that day.
The four pages are now framed and on display at Raptis Rare Books on Worth Avenue this week to honor the civil rights leader’s birthday today.
Store owner Matthew Raptis knew when he saw the pages that he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to buy them.
“There’s something important about being able to see and handle these historical documents,” Raptis said. “This is very rare in private collections.”
The pages were an outline for the speech King delivered to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s staff retreat in Frogmore, S.C., about 16 months before his assassination on April 4, 1968.
“No one surveying the moral landscapes of a nation,” one of the handwritten notes reads, “can overlook the hideous and pathetic wreckage of commitment twisted and turned to a thousand shapes under the stress of prejudice and irrationality.” Another scribble notes that the Black Power movement is “a slogan, not a program,” and that growing white backlash, “it […]
From the Sun Sentinel, By Johhny Diaz:
Before Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his speech to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in South Carolina on Nov. 14, 1966, he scribbled some notes in the margins of a typewritten outline.
That annotated outline is on display at Raptis Rare Books in Palm Beach.
“It’s a piece of history,” said Matthew Raptis, who opened the bookstore on Worth Avenue last November with his wife, Adrienne. He said he privately acquired the outline last year. He has listed it for $30,000.
The manuscript is matted and framed with a photograph of the civil rights leader. In his honor, the third Monday of each January is a federal holiday near his birthday. This year, the holiday, which is marked with parades and ceremonies, falls on Jan. 16. He was born on Jan. 15, 1929, and was assassinated April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn.
“We are looking at something that has impacted African Americans not only in the South but all over the world,” Raptis said of the four page outline, which shows King’s elegant cursive handwriting in blue ink and some of his poetic prose. It also provides some insights into what the civil rights leader may have been […]
The following article was published in the Palm Beach Daily News (aka The Shiny Sheet):
By Aleese Kopf – Daily News Staff Writer
Palm Beach now has three book stores, one in each of the island’s shopping districts.
But, unlike The Palm Beach Book Store on Royal Poinciana Way and Classic Bookshop on South County Road, Worth Avenue’s new store offers something unique: rare and antiquarian books.
Raptis Rare Books, at 226 Worth Ave., offers hundreds of books covering a variety of topics including classic and children’s literature, science, history and biography. Customers can buy and sell in-store and online. They also can get help building a library, whether it’s filled with traditional novels or special interests.
Matthew Raptis, a bibliophile, and wife Adrienne, an avid reader, began collecting rare books more than 20 years ago. They’ve held history in their hands — some of the most important books of the past three centuries. They’ve sold countless first editions and author-inscribed books, and curated dozens of personal libraries.
“Each particular book has its own story,” said Adrienne Raptis, pointing to pages in the gallery containing a hand-corrected speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. “These pages were held in his hands. He crossed this out and made […]
Raptis Rare Books has recently been featured on WPBF news on What’s Brewing with Stephanie Berzinski.
To see the full news video follow this link or view the video here:
Here is the transcript:
Worth Avenue on Palm Beach Island is known for its extravagant jewelry stores, but there’s a new shop along the luxury shopping lane, with shelves displaying literary gems that will excite history buffs, collectors and book lovers alike.
The antique books found at Raptis Rare Books may literally take someone’s breath away, and some of the prices might, too. A Shakespeare portfolio from 1685 is selling for $100,000. However, a book lover doesn’t have to be a millionaire to start their own collection. There are also other less exotic, but still very collectible titles available starting around $50.
Matthew Raptis is the owner. He recently moved his family and his bookstore collection from Vermont to South Florida.
“We thought Palm Beach was a perfect place to engage our global clientele. It’s a place that people travel to frequently,” Raptis said.
Raptis is a globetrotter himself. He’s been to more than 75 countries, buying and selling rare copies of the written word. He said there are three key things that make a book a literary gem.
We have recently been featured in the ABAA news blog, The New Antiquarian by Rich Rennicks.
At a time when some brick and mortar antiquarian bookstores are closing their doors in favor of an internet-only presence, Matthew and Adrienne Raptis, of Raptis Rare Books, have gone against the grain and recently opened a rare bookstore on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. Worth Avenue, like Madison Avenue or Rodeo Drive, is synonymous with luxury brands and caters to an island that is home to the rich and famous, including the new President-elect, Donald Trump.
Raptis Rare Books had previously operated mainly as a catalog and online business out of a beautiful Italianate villa in Vermont, but Matthew Raptis wanted to have more interaction with his customers and allow people to come into greater contact with “these wonderful written works of art.”
The new gallery opened on November 1, but the grand-opening is being held until January 2017, when the holiday rush is past. “We’ve had an outstanding initial reception to the store,” Matthew commented. “People love the idea of something new and different on the Avenue and when they walk in they often talk about their love of the smell of old books and […]
By Barbara Marshall – Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Posted: 7:00 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016 (View the article on mypalmbeachpost.com here)
Every day, Matt Raptis holds Western civilization in his hands.
He can page through Captain James Cook’s illustrated account of his 18th century journeys to the South Pacific, follow Charles Darwin’s evolutionary reasoning in an original 1859 copy of “The Origin of Species” ($350,000), trace Don Quixote’s adventures in an edition printed in 1652 ($9,800) or decide what to cook for dinner from two volumes of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” signed by Julia Child herself ($5,500.)
Or maybe just read “The Cat in the Hat” to his two young children, from an original printing inscribed by Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) himself ($14,000.)
Raptis’ books are too precious to be read casually; many of the pages too ancient and brittle for idle turning. The books he and his wife and business partner, Adrienne, have lovingly shelved behind glass doors at their newly-opened Raptis Rare Books on Worth Avenue are to rare book fans what a Van Gogh is to art collectors.
“It’s like a piece of art, but you have a personal connection to it,” said Adrienne. “A particular book may have […]
We have recently been featured in Fine Books Magazine. Here is what they have to say:
So pleased to see the new print edition of the Raptis Rare Books catalogue, in which Matthew and Adrienne Raptis announce they’ve moved from Vermont to a glittering new gallery on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, Florida. Raptis specializes in modern first editions, inscribed volumes, and “landmark books in all fields.” The firm last appeared on the blog when Nate Pedersen profiled Raptis in 2011 on the eve of the publication of their first catalogue.
The current full-color catalogue highlights an inventory of well-appointed high spots, such as a $150,000 presentation copy of James Joyce’s Ulysees in its original blue wrappers inscribed by the author, while children’s book collectors might be interested in a first edition near-fine set of Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books for $16,000. A signed, limited edition of Winnie-the-Pooh with an original handwritten poem by Milne is available for $55,000.
Snow-weary Northerners now have another reason to visit Florida in winter–best wishes to Raptis in their new home. See the catalog for yourself here.
Deep in the southern Vermont countryside, you will find an ornate Italianate villa simply packed with sumptuous books worthy of any collector’s bookshelf. Welcome to Raptis Rare Books and the world of husband-and-wife bookselling team Matthew and Adrienne Raptis.
Matthew and Adrienne specialize in fine first editions, signed and inscribed books, and books that are quite simply important.
You will see them at the major books fairs in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston, and you can visit their Vermont villa, if you have an appointment.
They have sold via AbeBooks since 2003 and their inventory covers the biggest names in literature.
Raptis Rare Books stands out for the high-quality photography that accompanies their listings on AbeBooks. Just browsing their books is fascinating – a first edition of Ulysses, a first edition of The Great Gatsby complete with its dust jacket, a Fourth Folio of Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. These are books that are simply important.
Prices range from $20 for signed copy of The Flaming Corsage by William Kennedy to $160,000 for a first edition of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations.
Adrienne kindly took a few minutes away from the business to answer our questions.
AbeBooks: How did you get into the bookselling […]
We’ve recently been featured twice in the Fine Books and Collections blog and I thought I would also include these posts here. The first is a nice review of our recent catalogue and the second is an interview with us for the series Bright Young Things, which focuses on the next generation of booksellers.
Catalogue Review: Raptis Rare Books, #1
By Rebecca Rego Barry
Matthew Raptis is a congenial young bookseller in Brattleboro, Vermont. I had the pleasure of meeting him last year at a book fair. From his age and his casual personality, you might not guess that his stock is exceptional high points of modern literature. Some examples: a $550,000 Great Gatsby (inscribed, in the elusive jacket); a $45,000 signed first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone; a $27,500 Catcher in the Rye, in an unrestored fine dust jacket; and a $25,000 signed first edition of To Kill a Mockingbird in a very good dust jacket.
With full color illustrations and clear descriptions, this first catalogue is delight to look at. There are 77 pages, brimming with books, so this review is just the tip of the iceberg. I enjoyed seeing some out-of-the-box titles like Ernest Callenbach’sEcotopia ($1,500) and Leonard […]
RECENT BLOG POSTS
The following article was originally published in the Palm Beach Daily News Shiny Sheet on Monday, January 15th.
Worth Avenue bookstore shares lesson on Dr. King with local students. By Ian Cohen – Special to the Daily News
Cindy Metzler pulled the folded sheet of paper from her purse. It was a copy of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, […]
In our inventory, we also have a first American edition of Les Miserables, which was the first edition published in English. This edition was translated by Charles E. Wilbur, who was hired by the Carleton Publishing Company and was published just months after the French edition.
“Ever since its publication in 1862, Les Miserables has remained one of the most widely read […]
The works of Joseph Conrad are primarily inspired by real people, true events, and personal experiences. He incorporates characters that struggle against their own nature and forces outside of themselves. Themes of individualism, violence, imperialism, racism, and the human condition are explored in his works.
Rare and first edition books make a wonderful and unique gift, particularly for the collector or book lover in your life. If you are not sure of where to start, you may want to consider your recipient’s favorite author or genre. Do they have a favorite hobby? Whether its golf, cooking, travel, music, or bird-watching, we can recommend or help […]
As most people know, the novel To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the best-loved classics of all time. It has been translated into more than forty languages and has sold more than forty million copies worldwide. In 1962 it was also made into the film starring Gregory Peck, which won three Academy Awards. Therefore, this post will not be […]
Ayn Rand wrote in her most famous work, Atlas Shrugged, “My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.”
This quote aptly defines Rand’s philosophy which she named Objectivism, or as she called […]
November 2, 2017 marks the 100 year anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, a historic document created by British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour and addressed to Lord Walter Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community. Although it was a small document, it would have major consequences on the future of the middle east and eventually lead to the creation of […]
The new movie Blade Runner 2049 is in theaters this week and we thought it would be a great time to write a post about the book that this movie and the original 1982 Blade Runner movie have been loosely based on, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and its author, Philip K. Dick.
The book was first published in 1968 […]
Amelia Earhart was a bright student, a hard worker, and an adventurous spirit who sought to show the world that women could succeed in male dominated careers. In childhood, she enjoyed climbing trees, chasing rats and going on adventures in the neighborhood with her sister. Earhart’s father struggled to support the family so her mother frequently sent the girls to […]
Nobel Prize in Literature Laureates Pearl S. Buck, George Bernard Shaw, Rabindranath Tagore, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, and Winston S. Churchill
Awarded annually since 1901, The Nobel Prize in Literature is given to any author “in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction” (Alfred Nobel). One of five Nobel Prizes established by Alfred […]
Subscribe to our email newsletter below: