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

Monthly Archive May, 2008

“Have the right books”

That’s Larry McMurty’s simple advice to booksellers from this profile. He continues:
Junk is a major problem, it tends to creep in. The taste of the bookseller is important. We sell only our kind of books, a general humanities selection, all in very good condition.”

The 40 Most Inappropriate Children’s Book Covers

I apologize in advance for this tasteless spoof from Cracked. More or less NSFW.

Oh yeah, and a book too!

Hostage-taker demands:
$100,000 in cash, a getaway car and a copy of The Widow’s Son, a 1985 novel about secret societies in an 18th century Parisian prison.
From Time.

“…And he wants to grow up to be a druggist.”

In a box of books I bought the other week, I found one of the strangest little items I’ve encountered in quite a while. It’s a promotional booklet used by Johnson & Johnson to advertise their 1953 marketing program for drug stores and pharmacists.
And the flier stars…monkeys, apes, and other primates.
As pharmacists.
With [...]

Semi-Off-Topic: Rock-N-Roll Writers

Not really book related, but just great and hilarious pieces of writing…
Tom Waits Interviews Tom Waits:
Q: You’ve always enjoyed the connection between fashion and history…talk to us about that.
A: Ok let’s take the two piece bathing suit, produced in 1947 by a French fashion designer. The sight of the first woman in the minimal two [...]

Unusual Bookplate

I’ve never seen a bookplate that so prominently included a portrait of the owner before. The good (hirsute) doctor even stamped the title page of the book: “Private Library / O.V. Lawson M.D. / Seattle, Wash.” Guess he REALLY wanted people to know it was HIS book.

BLOG: BibliOdyssey

Beautiful, unusual, and compelling book images: another blog that long-ago should have hit the blogroll. Now remedied.

I knew my MFA in poetry would never lead to riches…

…But I certainly didn’t expect it to shorten my life.

Does this man look like an antiquarian book dealer to you?

Well, he is:
John might look like a man possessed when he is watching football but, in reality, he is yet another Portsmouth curiosity. It is rather bewildering to find him going about his day job – he is an antiquarian book dealer in the pretty market town of Petersfield.
“People look at me and think I [...]

Two Announcements

First, if you’re going to be in or around the Monterey area before June 1st, our spring sale is going on. 20% off almost everything in the shop (sorry, in-store sales only).
And in other news, fellow bookseller Michael Lieberman of Wessel and Lieberman has invited me to be a regular contributor on his blog, [...]

E-book Readers

Today’s Globe and Mail has an even-handed review of the new Sony reader, discovering much to praise, but still finding the technology wanting:
Advancements in book technology include binding, glue and typography, an artistic/technical undertaking that computer manufacturers are just beginning to glimpse. Page and type sizes have subtleties most makers of digital counterparts have yet [...]

The (Frank) Herbert Syndrome

When “a large advance induces a good writer to extend a successful series beyond its natural span.”
From: 7 Reasons Why Scifi Book Series Outstay Their Welcomes.

It’s icanhascheezburger for book geeks…

Friends, god-help-me, but I give you LOL Manuscripts!

A 30,000-Volume Window on the World

Alberto Manguel on his library:
My library is not a single beast but a composite of many others, a fantastic animal made up of the several libraries built and then abandoned, over and over again, throughout my life. I can’t remember a time in which I didn’t have a library of some sort. The present one [...]

Penguin Deck Chairs

A bit steep, but they’ll ship to the US.

Edwards Books to close

Edwards Books of Springfield, MA was at the center of one of my favorite bookselling memoirs: Suzanne Strempek Shea’s Shelf Life: Romance, Mystery, Drama and Other Page-Turning Adventures From a Year in a Bookstore about her time working in the shop after battling breast cancer.
Sadly, the shop is closing.

So many books…

I’ve spent the past two days going through over 300 boxes of books that were part of an estate. I estimate I looked at over 7500 books. Now, here’s a question. How many books/boxes did I go home with? Take a minute. I’ll wait.
Ready? Have your number?
Answer: Five boxes. [...]

Another on bites the dust…


This IS the t-shirt you’re looking for…

Faux-R-2-manual-in-form-of-an-auto-repair-book t-shirt.
(Just click through…will make sense. Must….Not….Order….One….)

Bond Birthday

Okay. I admit it. I have never actually read any of Ian Fleming’s Bond books. Don’t get me wrong – I love the movies (even the bad ones), but somehow I’ve just never gotten around to picking up any of the novels on which they’re based. For the hundredth anniversary of [...]

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