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    Adventures of a rare book dealer (and former small bookshop owner).

Monthly Archive March, 2007

“Um…Are all these books for sale??”

I’m consistently amazed at the number of people who walk into the shop and ask this question. I honestly don’t know what to make of it.


Well, back from the San Luis Obispo FOL. For the most part, a very pleasant event. Weather was beautiful and the drive was nice and relaxing. Got there about 45 minutes ahead of time and was about 30th in line or so. A good crowd: about 125 people deep by the [...]

Swan Song for Sarah

A sad day. One of the best-written and most enjoyable of the biblio-blogs, Sarah’s Books, Used and Rare, has “wrapped up” her posting. As she explains, it’s for good reasons; nonetheless, she’ll be missed.
Quiet in the shop today, which is fine. Catching up on my shelf of “to-be-entered-into-the-database” and taking the time [...]

Another Nice Inscription…

I’ve previously mentioned my interest in books with interesting non-authorial inscriptions. This one crossed my desk last week (my description follows) and is (at least for the moment), for sale:

Barbour, Ralph H. [BOONE, Joel T.]. THE ARRIVAL OF JIMPSON [Signed by Presidential physician and Congressional Medal of Honor Winner Joel T. Boone]. New York: [...]

Bookstore Etiquette: A 10-Step Guide for Dealers

My previous post has gotten me thinking about the rules and mores which traditionally have guided booksellers visiting other bookseller’s shops. I’m often shocked at how few online-only dealers have relationships with their local and semi-local brick-and-mortars. This is a HUGE mistake. Other dealers are not just a great source of stock, [...]

Dear Big-Time Rich Influencial Successful Bookseller Who Was (Almost) in My Shop Yesterday,

I know I’m a relatively small fish in a rather big pond and that compared to yours, mine is a puny, unsubstantial operation. And you were almost certainly on vacation and perhaps didn’t want to think about books on your time off. Okay, fine. But if you’re going to stand outside my [...]

Turning the Pages

The National Library of Medicine has striking virtual versions of Conrad Gessner’s Historiae Animalium and Ouevres now online (as well as a couple of others). (You can read more about this “father of bibliography” here.) The technology behind the Gessners is called Turning the Pages. There’s a short Microsoft commercial video about [...]

Meet my husband…

Ever since I bought the bookshop, both my wife and I have noticed a strange reaction when we tell people what I do. Though I’ve been a book dealer for the better part of four years, it’s only since I’ve had the store that people have begun to react oddly…It’s a hard response to [...]

The Essentials of Book Collecting

Just recently found this well-written and comprehensive guide to book collecting. It was penned by the late Robert F. Wilson and is easily the best guide of its kind on the web, and better than most similar guides you can buy. And on a similar note, John Carter’s classic and indispensable ABCs for [...]