Member Blogs > ten pound island book company

  • The $25 Book

    Mon, 11 Jan 2021 09:02:53 Permalink
    When I began my bookselling career as a maritime specialist, I made my living peddling $25 books. There were thousands of them – histories by people like Lubbock, Chatterton or Morison; autobiographies and adventures by Villiers or Newby; technical studies by Chapelle, Herreshoff, or MacGregor; sea yarns by Kent, O’Brian, and Forester; reprints of literary classics by Melville or the incomparable Slocum. There seemed to be an endless demand for them among ship modelers, amateur historians, and armchair sailors.Continue reading The $25 Book at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • The Year That Was

    Mon, 04 Jan 2021 10:41:51 Permalink
      I’m not telling you anything you don’t know when I tell you that our government’s response to the Pandemic has been shameful. Since last March more Americans have died from Covid 19 than we lost in all of WW II. Tens of millions of innocent people have endured financial devastation while our country’s billionaires increased their wealth by one trillion (yes, trillion) dollars. Meanwhile, Covid’s assault has laid bare the systemic racism and oppression we’ve allowed to flourish for generations, even as the everyday sadness, loss, and displacement we’ve all suffered since last spring have pushed us toward despair Read More
  • The Game That Is My Life

    Mon, 21 Dec 2020 04:31:01 Permalink
    Well, here we are again – Solstice, the absolute bottom of the year. Maritime List 295 Maritime List 295 – Which Way is Christmas? has come and gone, as have the several Virtual Book Fairs that were helping to confuse things. All my packages, crammed with sold books, have been taken to the Post Office, and now I’m staring out the window at the gathering dusk (it’s 3:30 pm), thinking about cocktail hour (if it gets dark earlier do I get to start drinking sooner?) and waiting for the checks to float in. Continue reading The Game That Is My Read More
  • A few thoughts while waiting for the Grinch who stole my Christmas to begin permanent quarantine…

    Mon, 14 Dec 2020 09:02:16 Permalink
    I’m sure many of you watched the FB video link, provided by Lorne Bair of the destruction of the old Holiday Inn in Rosslyn, VA  home, for decades, of the famed Washington Book Fair. It was terribly sad to see the Old Girl go down, but at least she didn’t suffer.The Washington show started, as so many provincial fairs did back in the day, as a fundraiser for a school.Continue reading A few thoughts while waiting for the Grinch who stole my Christmas to begin permanent quarantine… at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • How Desperate Are We?

    Mon, 30 Nov 2020 10:16:20 Permalink
    Well, our Norman Rockwell-style family Christmas tree farm had a great run – 8 years of selling Gourmet Trees© to our friends and neighbors. Thanks to these fine folks, we sold out every year. Sadly, inevitably, the cost of goods kept rising. Because we only ordered 250 trees each year, it became increasingly difficult to compete with bigger operations who got better price breaks by ordering thousands of trees. In the end, it just got to be too much work for too little money.Continue reading How Desperate Are We? at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • "I have had to learn the simplest things last."

    Mon, 16 Nov 2020 09:52:32 Permalink
    There’s been a lot of chat, pro and con, on industry listserves and chatlines, about the efficacy of the platform on which Boston Virtual Book Fair has been presented. The VBF dashboard can be confusing to non-Biblio users, and the time lag between post and appearance, as well as the occasional disappearance of entries are daunting. The reason for all this confusion is a simple one. The Biblio platform is confusing. At least when it comes to setting up virtual book fairs – because, as colleague John Kuenzig has pointed out, it was designed to do something else entirely. Continue Read More
  • See you in court, Don.

    Sun, 08 Nov 2020 07:28:19 Permalink
    The salute is my favorite part…Continue reading See you in court, Don. at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Just wanted to let you all know that …

    Mon, 02 Nov 2020 06:40:32 Permalink
    Last Week Was the First Week of the Rest of My Life. Which is to say, I Reset My Boundaries and Rebuilt My Future. Or, to put it another way, I knew that If I Waited Until I Was Ready, I’d Wait the Rest of My Life, because Great Things Never Come from Comfort Zones. You know what I mean? Also, I got sick of thinking about November 3rd and listening to people angst about the two pink-faced septuagenarians vying for control of our nation. Continue reading Just wanted to let you all know that … at Ten Pound Island Read More
  • Living the Dream

    Mon, 26 Oct 2020 10:05:00 Permalink
    Okay. This time I mean it. As soon as I finish uploading my 20 items for the Boston Virtual Book Fair, I’m gonna finish shelving my entire stock of 1500 books in alpha order. Then I’m going to go through the inventory, book by book, and make sure each title is listed on Biblio and ABAA. While I’m at it, I’m going to update the keywords for each item, so that yachting people won’t have to wade through whaling stuff, and whaling people won’t be distracted by clipper ship material, and so forth. Continue reading Living the Dream at Ten Read More
  • Letter from a Customer and Friend Regarding an Earlier Conversation

    Mon, 19 Oct 2020 02:06:15 Permalink
    Greg,I feel that if you rethink how you use your website, you may be able to liberate more time for yourself while selling more books.Here are four websites I suggest you have a look at: of these are specialty dealers just like you, although they are not book dealers.Jeffrey Kraus of Antique Photographics… is one of the major photo dealers and cornered the stereoview market early on.Continue reading Letter from a Customer and Friend Regarding an Earlier Conversation at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Thank-You Note

    Mon, 05 Oct 2020 09:20:10 Permalink
    My son used the Payroll Protection Plan to help pay the employees of his construction company. My daughter did the same for her florist business. She also got a grant from the state. Inspired by their successes I began the process of applying for financial aid.I quit because my situation is so fluid (and my bookkeeping so lousy) that I had no way of accurately documenting how much, if anything, I’d lost each month during the pandemic.Continue reading Thank-You Note at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • FAQ

    Tue, 29 Sep 2020 01:47:15 Permalink
    1. WHERE’S THIS WEEK’S BLOG ENTRY? ANSWER – I’m too busy trying to upload books and images for the next 3 virtual book fairs. 2. HOW COME YOU ONLY HAVE 17 ITEMS IN THIS WEEK’S ABAA VIRTUAL FAIR? ANSWER – I was too busy trying to catalog books for Maritime List 293 to fill my virtual booth. 3. WHERE IS MARITIME LIST 293, ANYWAY? YOU SAID IT WOULD BE OUT WEEKS AGO. ANSWER – I was too busy trying to upload books and images for the next 3 virtual book fairs to finish the list. Continue reading FAQ at Ten Read More
  • Sorry, Not This Week…

    Mon, 21 Sep 2020 01:27:02 Permalink
    I had a great entry in mind for this week’s blog.I was going to reveal the Secret of Life, and how I’ve employed this recondite but simple trick to drive my career to the heights of the the international book trade, guaranteeing success, fiscally and in terms of the reverence with which my colleagues and customers have come to behold me.Unfortunately, I just didn’t have time to get to it.Continue reading Sorry, Not This Week… at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Too Much of a Good Thing?

    Mon, 14 Sep 2020 09:45:11 Permalink
    Well, I’ve made three sales after the first three days of the Brooklyn Virtual Antiquarian Book Fair. Results reported by colleagues are as mixed as they’d be in a “live” book fair. The difference might be that having only 15 books per booth allows for greater focus on the part of buyers.After searching by keyword and finding two interesting items (already sold within the first 5 minutes of the show!) I worked through all the booths, book by book.Continue reading Too Much of a Good Thing? at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Just in the Nick of Time, Some Timely Thoughts by a Guest Blogger

    Sun, 06 Sep 2020 10:27:14 Permalink
    Whew! I’ve been so swamped in the mess occasioned by my decision to try to arrange my stock in an orderly manner, that I despaired of having time to post my weekly “Bookman’s Log” entry. Fortunately, old friend and colleague Rich West, of Periodyssey, sent in a guest blog. I found it thought-provoking, and so will share it with you (while I head back down to the catacombs to search for books whose authors’ names begin with E-F-G- or H).Continue reading Just in the Nick of Time, Some Timely Thoughts by a Guest Blogger at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Fulfillment

    Mon, 31 Aug 2020 10:27:26 Permalink
    Have you noticed how much stuff is sitting on the side of the road these days with a FREE sign printed on cardboard, propped up against the (fill in the blank) moldy teddy bears/broken office chair/couch that smells like old shoes/old-fashioned baby carriage/worn out tires/glass front bookcase with broken glass/85-pound color TV circa 1995/box of Grannie’s Reader’s Digest Condensed Books? That’s because people are stuck in their houses. After a few months they look around and realize no one has sat on that couch in years because it smells like old shoes. Continue reading Fulfillment at Ten Pound Island Book Read More
  • Authenticity

    Mon, 24 Aug 2020 05:46:10 Permalink
    Had an interesting email conversation with an IOBA colleague the other day. Although he dealt mainly in fantasy and science fiction, he had just acquired a letter written by a US Navy admiral. He wanted to sell it with a fantasy novel that, I presume, had a naval theme, but he was concerned about the letter’s authenticity. Could I help?He’d already found an example of the Admiral’s signature, and had done quite a bit of research into his correspondence.Continue reading Authenticity at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • There really isn't much more to say…

    Sun, 09 Aug 2020 09:49:49 Permalink
    Dear _____:It’s difficult to believe that I’ve let an entire month pass without sending a response to your thoughtful note. Seems to me this is one of the major effects of the virus – every day is now so much like the ones before and after it that time whisks past with dizzying speed. So I kept saying, “Got to write back to ____ today.” And all the sudden it’s 30 days.Continue reading There really isn’t much more to say… at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Salad Years and Leftovers

    Sun, 02 Aug 2020 10:26:55 Permalink
    Got a call from Ron Bourgeault last week. After more than 30 years of operating the prestigious Northeast Auctions firm, he was calling it quits. He wanted to know if I had any interest in purchasing his extensive arts and antiques reference library? We agreed that the market for such books had collapsed, or was collapsing, and that the books would be difficult to resell. But I made an appointment anyway, just to see what he had.Continue reading Salad Years and Leftovers at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • "What's your best price?" – In praise of bottom feeders

    Sun, 26 Jul 2020 02:32:54 Permalink
    There’s been a lot of talk this weekend on the ABAA and IOBA chat lines concerning the phrase, “What’s your best price?” The original poster shared his answer to this perennial question on the several Discuss lists, and most of the regulars pitched in with answers, anecdotes, and advice. It’s a question every book dealer has heard, and responses to the original email were as varied as the  responding dealers themselves. We were treated to canned lectures about the dignity of the trade, stories of hundred dollar bills thrown back in the faces of bargain hunters, encouraging explanations, canny empathy, Read More
  • Left Behind

    Sun, 12 Jul 2020 12:07:04 Permalink
    Whew! This Schulman business has me plum tuckered out. I thought of another 25,000 words to share with you on the topic, but I just don’t have the heart to write them. Suffice it to say that Priore and Schulman are guilty, and nothing will mitigate or alter that truth. However, Carnegie librarians still await their serving of guilt pie, and I hope it comes soon. As for the regrettable and, frankly, embarrassing behavior of some of our colleagues, well… Since I got nuttin’ more to say on the topic, what about this week’s blog entry? Continue reading Left Behind Read More

    Mon, 06 Jul 2020 08:25:27 Permalink
    I have been shocked by the vitriol directed at convicted book thief and former ABAA colleague John Schulman throughout the development of the Carnegie Library story, and especially upon his sentencing last June 18.Forbes Smiley, the Galileo forgers and accomplices, and even John Jenkins (who allegedly destroyed thousands of rare books in his two warehouse fires) did not receive such stiff sentences from the ABAA court of collegial opinion.I admit to being a long-time friend of Schulman’s.Continue reading OFF TO THE RACES! at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Our Own Private Carnegie

    Mon, 29 Jun 2020 01:21:19 Permalink
    ?   I wrote a character reference for John Schulman, which I repeated in person at his recent sentencing hearing. It went like this:His current legal troubles are incomprehensible to me because, over our 35-year association, I have never known him to be anything but a generous, considerate and caring man who does not in the least resemble the criminal portrayed by his accusers and by the national media.Continue reading Our Own Private Carnegie at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Tulsa Blog

    Sun, 21 Jun 2020 05:14:21 Permalink
    Man, what a rally! Trump said a million people came!Making Germany Great Again, 1933And get a load of this guy, taking the selfie with his man-crush in the background.Does he think he’s the cat’s pajamas, or what?He probably also thinks, if he’s capable of thought, that he’s exercising his 1st Amendment rights.Maybe the 9th, too…But all he’s really gonna do is…Make America Sick Again.Continue reading Tulsa Blog at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • When We Get Back to Normal, Normal Will Have Moved

    Tue, 16 Jun 2020 11:24:37 Permalink
    Sorry to be a day late with this, but I’m also a dollar short. I threw away my first “stimulus” credit card, thinking it was a scam. The card was made out and mailed to a non-existent person with my first name and my wife’s last name – “Gregory Crotty.” Judging by the support already in place when my wife applied to get us a new one, it must’ve happened to millions of people, just as it did to me.Continue reading When We Get Back to Normal, Normal Will Have Moved at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Marvin Getman's Guest Blog

    Mon, 08 Jun 2020 07:34:44 Permalink
    Our Inboxes are exploding with pronouncements about last week’s four virtual book fairs. In search of something as authentic as, but different than, book dealer bleatings, I thought I’d go to the source, one of them, and ask promoter Marvin Getman  to share with us the process through which he arrived at So, without further ado…When Greg Gibson invited me to write a guest entry in his “Bookman’s Log” about my new virtual book fair, I was surprised.Continue reading Marvin Getman’s Guest Blog at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • The Future Is Now! (Well, actually, it will arrive at noon on Tuesday, June 2)

    Mon, 01 Jun 2020 11:20:56 Permalink
    Okay, folks, hold onto your hats (but let your wallets loose). You’re about to be zapped into an alternate universe, AKA THE FUTURE** in which book fairs happen on your computer! First of all… Then, on Thursday, June 4, at 10 am, go to  Hundreds of dealers, thousands of high-quality books!   ** N.B – In the event these assertions regarding the Future (that it is here now) turn out to be incorrect, and that the Future will, in fact, be along a little later, the management of Ten Pound Island Book Co. Continue reading The Future Is Now! Read More
  • In what Sense is "Analog" the Opposite of "Digital?"

    Tue, 26 May 2020 01:03:50 Permalink
    I’m a day late with this blog entry because I spent most of yesterday selecting, cataloging, and photographing items for sale at the first of Marvin Getman’s monthly virtual book fairs.  It is scheduled to run Tuesday, June 2, at 12:00 pm through Thursday, June 4, at 6:00 pm. Marvin’s effort will be followed on Thursday June 4 – Sunday June 7 by the larger ABAA Virtual Book Fair. Where Getman’s event limited entries to 12 items, the ABAA extravaganza allows up to 50.Continue reading In what Sense is “Analog” the Opposite of “Digital?” at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • The Future is Now, We Just Aren't There Yet

    Sun, 17 May 2020 11:16:22 Permalink
    Many years ago old friend Ken Karmiole showed me how he scouts online. Go to ABE Select a dealer Click the red “Search” button on the dealer’s site Select “highest price” on the search menu when the dealer’s inventory comes up Browse down I found this method particularly effective as a preliminary step for scouting a dealer’s open shop. You find a book on the dealer’s ABE site that interests you and, when you’re in the shop, you ask the dealer if that item is still in stock. Continue reading The Future is Now, We Just Aren’t There Yet at Read More

    Mon, 04 May 2020 03:30:37 Permalink
    For those of you who are thoroughly sick of my weekly raving, here’s a guest column by old friend and colleague Rusty Mott, one of the deans of the antiquarian book trade in America. Catching up with Greg’s last few “Bookman’s Log” pieces (I read them in batches) I remembered that some months ago he asked me to consider contributing a guest column to his blog. He made the suggestion because of a conversation we’d shared about collecting, during which I mentioned that I had a collection consisting of one, yep (1) item – a concept that caught Greg’s fancy Read More
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