The Xenia Relief Project

bluejacketbooksshopIt began as a disaster, but ended with celebration. Read IOBA member Zhenya Dzhavgova’s (ZH Books) tribute to how collegial camaraderie, friendship, and true appreciation for books transmuted despair into triumph when IOBA members and the local community launched “The Xenia Relief Project” to aid Dr. Lawrence Hammar, proprieter of Blue Jacket Books, when half of his inventory was destroyed by a burst pipe.

The Xenia Relief Project

New Member-at-Large Appointed to IOBA Board

The IOBA Board has just concluded its inaugural meeting, and the first order of business was to fill the Member-at-Large (MAL) vacancy created by Jonathan Smalter’s resignation to accept the position of Vice-President. Rock Toews, of Back Creek Books, first runner-up for MAL in the recent elections, has accepted the appointment, and will serve until the conclusion of Jonathan’s original term, in January 2015.

Here is the complete roster of the IOBA Board of Directors for 2013:

Elected Members:

President — Chris Volk –
Vice President — Jonathan Smalter – Yesterday’s Muse Books
Treasurer — David Friedman – Barner Books
Secretary — Mark Lambert – Cereal City Books
Members at Large (3-year terms)

Ex-Officio Members:

Bylaws Committee Chair: Sandra L. Morris – Nan’s Book Shop

Ethics Committee Chair: Melanie James – Carolina Moon Books

Finance Committee Chair: Linda Strike – Optical Insights

Membership Committee Chair: Greg Gibson – Ten Pound Island Book Company

Membership Committee Co-Chair: Howard Prouty – ReadInk

Public Relations Committee Chair: Karin Isgur Bergsagel

Standard Committee Chair/Editor: Brian Cassidy – Brian Cassidy, Bookseller

IOBA Election Results 2013

From Elections Officer Howard Prouty (ReadInk):

The votes have been counted, and I am happy to present you with the roster of newly-elected IOBA Board members for 2013:

President — Chris Volk (
Vice President — Jonathan Smalter (Yesterday’s Muse Books)
Treasurer — David Friedman (Barner Books)
Secretary — Mark Lambert (Cereal City Books)
Members at Large (3-year terms) — Zhenya Dzhavgova (ZH Books) and Gabe Konrad (Bay Leaf Used and Rare Books)

IOBA Elections 2013

IOBA elects a new Board every January, voting for President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer, as well as two Members at Large. Since the Members at Large serve 3-year terms, only 2 are voted into office each year.

Here is the schedule for this year:

Saturday, Jan. 19th

The Final Ballot was sent out to all members via Announce. If you did NOT receive a ballot, please email the Elections Officer, Howard Prouty:

Wednesday, Jan. 23rd, 9 p.m. (Pacific Time)
The polls close, at the stroke of 9.

Friday, Jan. 25th, 9 a.m. (Pacific Time)
Announcement of election results.

Friday, Feb. 1
Beginning of the terms of our newly-elected Officers and Members at Large.

Books for the Reading: Reading Surprises

by Lynn Wienck, The Chisholm Trail Bookstore

It’s now winter in southern Oklahoma, complete with freezing temperatures and occasional snow. Frost forms on window panes; I’ve traced elegant, branching designs with my fingers. There is such surprising, amazing beauty in frost

I always enjoy the Newbery Medal and Honor Books, although sometimes it takes me several years to read them; I usually just depend on serendipity to locate them. Over the last several weeks, I started and finished The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly, a 2010 Newbery Honor Book.

The protagonist, Calpurnia, is a precocious 11-year-old girl who aspires to study natural history. However, in Texas in 1899, women have lives mapped out for them in such domains as deportment, knitting, embroidery, recipes, marriage, and minding babies. Calpurnia, despite her mother’s traditional frame of mind, receives support from an unexpected source; her grandfather proves a staunch and learned ally in her nontraditional quests. It is he who offers her Charles Darwin’s book, The Origin of Species (first published in 1859 as On the Origin of Species) as an aid to her research; he also provides guidance and encouragement regarding scientific investigative methods and serves as an example.

And so Calpurnia’s real learning begins; she experiments and observes and records. Her scientific endeavors are sandwiched between sewing, music lessons, cooking instruction, and family squabbles. Her domestic skills are abysmal; her scientific discipline exceptional. She gradually realizes her own strengths.

For an element of surprise and beauty, step outside and take a moment to view winter’s frost closely. Then enjoy a book for the same reasons.

IOBA’s New Members in 2012

Gregory Gibson, Membership Chair, and his Committee were happy to welcome the following new members to IOBA in 2012. They come from 20 US states, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, and Japan. Why not browse their website offerings and get to “know” a new member?


Diversity Books Archer, Anne Langwarrin Victoria, AU
Garry R Austin Austin, Garry R Wilmington VT, USA
Quaint Book Shop Baker, J Wesley Springfield OH, USA
Old Bag Lady Books Blom, Madlyn Sun City Center FL, USA
Prairie Creek Books & Tea Bond, Michael Torrington WY, USA
Chardonmedia Bryce, Charleen Boulder City NV, USA
Old Florida Book Shop Chrisant, William Hollywood FL, USA
Central Street Books Coleman, John Knoxville TN, USA
Paladin Fine Books Coorsh, Robert Toronto ON, Canada
ZH BOOKS Dzhavgova, Zhenya Fremont CA, USA
Old New York Book Shop Graubart, Cliff Atlanta GA, USA
Ariel Books Harcus, Deborah & Ron Auckland, NZ
Commandant’s Cottage Hoekstra, Sandra College Station TX, USA
The Book Lady Ltd Jansen, Janna Waiheke Island, NZ
Lux Mentis, Booksellers Kahn, Ian J. Portland ME, USA
First Place Books Kinley, Kevin Walkersville MD, USA
J. Lawton Booksellers Lawton, James Readville MA, USA
The M.A.D. House Artists Lillie, Candace & Dennis Eucha OK, USA
McInBooks McIntyre, Marvin Farmington NM, USA McKenna, John East Northport NY, USA
Attic Books and Treasures Metzer, Tina Mathias WV, USA
Robinson Street Books Moran, Rhett Binghamton NY, USA
Underground Books Niesse, Josh Carrollton GA, USA
Harvest Book Company LLC Okamoto, Eugene Fort Washington PA, USA
Bibliodditiques Piper, Michael Bradford ON, CA
Richard C. Ramer Ramer, Richard C. New York NY, USA
Good Books In The Woods Rohfritch, Jay Spring TX, USA
Paper Books Rovito, Jason Toronto ON, CA
H&R SALERNO Salerno, Henry Hauppauge NY, USA
First Class Used Books Sampson, Ronald L. Rockaway Beach MO, USA
Caliban Book Shop Schulman, John Pittsburgh PA, USA Smith, Mike Palm Harbor FL, USA
Jeff Stark Books Stark, Jeff Barstow CA, USA
Moonlighting Librarian Thornton, Mary Highland IN, USA
Revere Books Varane, Kenneth Valley Forge PA, USA
LJ’s Books Verderame, Laura Cody WY, USA
The Land of Nod Vincke, Christine Oostende, Belgium
Books Watanabe de Tokyo Watanabe, Naoshi Tokyo-to, Japan
Empire Books Wingfield, Mark Greensboro NC, USA


An Interview with IOBA Member (and ILAB President) Tom Congalton

“Book collecting is a vibrant, exciting and engaging pastime”An interview with ILAB President Tom Congalton

Tom is the owner of Between the Covers Rare Books LLC, which has one of the most fun and vibrant websites around. Through his work with the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar, Rare Book School, the ABAA, and ILAB, as well as his presence at book fairs, he has done a tremndous amount to nurture newer book sellers, and to keep the trade alive and relevant.


Read the whole interview, and take heart from the closing Q & A. Although Tom speaks for ILAB, the same sentiments may apply to IOBA:

“What do you think about the future of our business?”

Everyday I meet people, both young and old, who are fascinated by what we do for a living. Rare book collectors have always been a very narrow slice of the population. I think the Internet has broadened our market and that market will develop greatly over the next decade or two. Booksellers will have to learn new tricks, develop new specialties, and utilize technology to broaden their markets. Collectors will develop as they always have – perhaps encountering a random book or object that attracts their attention, looking into it further, and eventually pursuing the objects of their desire – in some cases objects that they hadn’t even known existed.

I’m really very optimistic over the future of book collecting, although those who want it to function in the exact same way that has in the past couple centuries are probably going to be disappointed.

Here, ILAB can do a lot. We can continue to preserve the ethics and professionalism of our members – the things that make us the obvious portals for objects of rarity to collectors, libraries, and scholars. We can encourage the collegiality that allows our members to network with each other in order to help build collections that enhance our knowledge of both the past and the future. We can challenge ourselves and our collectors to use our imaginations to expand the boundaries of traditional book collecting. Some of my colleagues are selling archives of authors and scholars that consist almost entirely of computer data!

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Books for the Reading: A Potluck Supper of Books

by Lynn Wienck, The Chisholm Trail Bookstore

It’s autumn in Oklahoma, it’s winter in Oklahoma, it’s autumn, it’s winter… The weather doesn’t quite know whether it’s autumn with red leaves on trees, but with winter’s frost in the early morning. Some days, it’s cold and crisp and other days it’s warm and playful. It’s rather like potluck supper – take what comes, in any form dished out.

Like the weather, my reading has also been similar to potluck supper. I had planned to peruse several biographies, but hadn’t considered more literature nor more science fiction. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, a literary classic, by Daniel Defoe was on temporary hold to be resumed at some future date. The science fiction books, All about Emily by Connie Willis, and John Varley’s Mammoth were not in the plan at all. Potluck supper.

The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe as penned by Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) recounts the tale of a lone survivor shipwrecked upon an island. Robinson Crusoe was industrious, using everything he rescued from the ship — tools, firearms, and grain to build his future life. When supplies from the sunken ship were exhausted, the island provided him with many required necessities. Robinson Crusoe learned to craft furniture, produce candles from goat tallow, plant crops, and make clothing. The shipwreck built the man; as he mastered his circumstances, he also mastered his own life. The book is simultaneously profound and practical.

All About Emily by Connie Willis is a novelette loosely based on the 1950 film, All About Eve. This literary approach is a switch as many films are based upon short stories or novels. A young lady, Emily is an adoring fan of well-known and cynical actress Claire, but who or what is Emily and who or what does Emily aspire to be? As a suggestion and although it’s not necessary, start with the film and then read this book. (A little research revealed that the film, All About Eve had as a basis Mary Orr’s tale, “The Wisdom of Eve” and so we come full circle.)

I’ve always liked mammoths; they look so wildly improbable with those huge tusks. I’m sorry to have missed them by only about 14,000 years — give or take a few thousand years; it’s rather difficult to pinpoint the date of disappearance. John Varley, in his book, Mammoth, discusses the woolly mammoth, the Columbian mammoth, and the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, California. Although the tale is science fiction and I haven’t finished it, the mammoth information is based upon fact and makes a nice introduction to a mammoth pun-intended science.

Have a reading potluck supper; who knows what exciting books you may discover. Enjoy, too, the last days of autumnal confusion. Is it winter or is it autumn? No one, including me, knows for sure.

Books for the Reading: Blackout, All Clear, and Time and Again

by Lynn Wienck, The Chisholm Trail Bookstore

Autumn has clearly come to Oklahoma. Much cooler temperatures have arrived, and while it’s not quite frost on pumpkin in the early morning, it is quite close. Red and gold leaves have fallen from trees, although some foliage remains green. Soon winter will be here, the days have that flavor.

Several time travel science fiction novels have been started and completed. The first two, Blackout (2010) and All Clear (2010), are, according to the author, Connie Willis, one book which became two books. The first book, Blackout, opens in the year 2060 to set the stage for all that follows, and then leaps to 1939 war-torn England. World War II history is revealed in detail as time travelers swap between future and past and take on various tasks. Polly works as a shopgirl and quotes Shakespeare – an unlikely combination; Eileen, competent and knowledgeable, manages children who have been evacuated from London; Mike is hauled off to Dunkirk in a derelict boat; Colin, young, impetuous and forbidden time travel, remains underfoot. By the book’s close, situations look rather hopeless.

The second book, All Clear, is a continuation of the tale. If the first book presented complicated plots, characters, and situations, the second book is much more complex. The time travelers miss connections, and time travel drops don’t open. Gradually and over time, situations resolve themselves, but not necessarily as characters envisioned the results. It’s “all clear” with a satisfying, gentle, and complete conclusion.

Published 40 years earlier than Blackout and All Clear is the classic Time and Again (1970) time travel book by Jack Finney. A young man travels back to 1882 New York City as part of a top-secret project. As he works between then and now, time-travel researchers pursue the question: Can the past be changed? Only time and the protagonist, Simon Morley, will tell. Simon Morley balances his own agenda against those of his employers. The plot soon becomes complicated, but all time travel seems to be complicated. The descriptions of the then New York City are vivid, incredibly detailed, and somehow very fresh.

So, complicate your life, and try a little book time travel. Reading is a timeless pursuit, you know. Enjoy autumn, too, with its golden glow, not quite frozen chill, and the hint of winter to be.

Motte & Bailey: Staying on the page in the digital age

IOBA Member Gene Alloway, Motte & Bailey Used and Rare Books, was recently profiled by The Michigan Daily in Ann Arbor. Perhaps this excellent coverage will inspire a student or two to pursue a career in the trade. “I want to be a bookseller,” he told [the reporter] one afternoon last April, with gumption. “I want to sell all the best books, whether they’re new or used or rare.” Read the complete and well-illustrated interview here.