History’s Pawn Stars is in its tenth year on the air with 15 seasons. The star of the series, Rick Harrison, calls upon several top-notch experts who help him authenticate finds to make the best deals. One of the most popular experts called upon by Harrison is brainy beauty, Rebecca Romney.
Her ability to validate and identify the editions of books from all over the world and from what exact time period including probable worth has helped him enormously at the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop.
Undoubtedly she is a top rare book expert and trader of these rare tomes, and her appearance on the series has added interest into what could have devolved as just a “shiny object” reality TV series.
The show is filmed on location in Las Vegas at the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, and fans know it is the oddball items that find their way into Rick’s orbit which make the most interesting segments to watch and learn from.
Fans know that Rick Harrison is a total history buff and that he really loves getting old wartime pieces, but when it comes to books and ephemera, he calls upon Rebecca Romney to help him determine the value of the item.
On the series, we see Rebecca at work, as she evaluates the book and discusses the potential value with the customer or solely with Rick. Sometimes, Rick will purchase items based on his interest and will invest his own monies restoring things. But books are tricky and he defers to Rebecca quite frequently.
A true bibliophile, Rebecca Romney is an interesting and educated woman who knows her subject matter.
Who is the female book expert on Pawn Stars?
Rare Book Specialist Rebecca Romney is a rare book dealer with Honey & Wax Booksellers.
She is married to author J.P. Romney, with whom she co-authored a book, Printer’s Error: Irreverent Stories from Book History. She cheekily points out her own “printer’s error” in her first edition of this book here.
She evaluates books on Pawn Stars, and she is a former manager of Las Vegas bookstore Bauman Rare Books.
Rebecca’s trajectory is interesting. She joined the Vegas book shop Bauman Rare Books in 2008 and became the manager. Then she left Las Vegas and worked for Natalie Bauman in the operations side of Bauman Rare Books in Philadelphia.
Then in 2016, she left Bauman and started a podcast call Biblioclast and now works for Honey & Wax Booksellers.
When did Rebecca first start with Pawn Stars?
Rebecca Romney began appearing as the rare book expert on History’s Pawn Stars during the 4th season of the show, in 2011.
In a revealing 2014 interview, Rebecca explained how she balanced reaching out to the Pawn Stars fanbase and the serious book collectors, she said:
[Some] collectors are more well-versed in details; you can talk bibliographic details with them. But my job is to make this complex subject accessible. If you want a first-edition book but you don’t know how collecting works, I’m there to talk to. I’m the expert who does all of that, so you don’t have to drop your life.
Frankly, I would not have a job if this were easy. … Either way, I’m pretty much just teaching, and that’s why I like Pawn Stars: There are people who love books and feel intimidated, and I want people to feel like they can learn about rare books. I want people to be excited about them. They’re amazing, and I want to share them. If it’s intimidating, it’s going to be hard to share.
What is her educational background?
This Idaho native began reading about ancient history as a child. She got her degree in classics and linguistics and lived and worked in Japan for a year. She double majored in classical studies and holds a minor in philosophy.
Later she became a graduate of the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar and Rare Book School and serves on the Rare Book School Scholarship committee.
Rebecca can speak fluent English, French and Japanese and she can read Ancient Greek, Latin and Old English. She belongs to The Grolier Club, The Baker Street Irregulars, The Philobiblon Club and the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing.
Do the experts on Pawn Stars get paid?
According to Deadline, “They work without a script and they’re not paid a dime, but being on the show has boosted their businesses and made them brand names in the appraiser field.”
Does she oversee any contests for book lovers?
Rebecca Romney’s love of books spills over to many contests that she runs and promotes on social media, including this one below.
What are some book/print/manuscript collections you all have been building? @ me descriptions (and pics!) so I can RT. Especially want to see collections built without a lot of money spent, like many of the past entries in our prize:https://t.co/ATSkVfWxPI
— Rebecca Romney (@rebeccaromney) February 22, 2019
She also shares very cool and useful resources for all book lovers on Twitter:
From declassified documents to learning a new language, these are some of our favorite online resources. https://t.co/5U8PkNelF7
— NY Public Library (@nypl) February 26, 2019
What is today’s equivalent of the genre pulps of the 1920s and 30s? Material treated as trash that will one day be collected and culturally cherished? There are TONS of great answers to this question and it’s fun to think about! https://t.co/ZLmJmL1FQO
— Rebecca Baumann (@arkhamlibrarian) February 25, 2019
And, if you are seeking a book evaluation, Rebecca can assist with that too, even off-screen.
Pawn Stars airs on Mondays at 10/9c on History.
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