Member Blogs > ten pound island book company

  • More Metrics

    Mon, 30 Mar 2020 04:49:59 Permalink
    Four years ago, when I signed up for the Pasadena Book Fair, my regular booth mate decided to take a year off. So, rather than buddy up with another old chum, I decided to let the organizers pick a booth mate for me. I figured it would be a good way to meet new colleagues, and it was. I shared that year with Bill Butts of Main Street Fine Books & Manuscripts , and his wife Yolanda.Continue reading More Metrics at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Metrics

    Sun, 22 Mar 2020 10:07:19 Permalink
    The envelope, please!Okay, the numbers are in and, though the sample size is limited, the story they tell is pretty much what you’d expect.On February 24th I issued a 70-item list.  That list sold 45 items, or 64% of those on offer. Private customers accounted for 27 orders; institutions for 8; dealers for 2; and overseas customers for another 8 orders.Three weeks later, on March 16th, I issued a list containing 50 items, of which 21, or 42% sold.Continue reading Metrics at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Good Odds

    Sun, 15 Mar 2020 10:53:53 Permalink
    Like everyone else everywhere else, Ten Pound Island Book Co. is gonna take a viral hit. Can’t say right now what this will translate to in terms of dollars, but the cancellation of public gatherings will definitely have an impact.Uncataloged books, stashed down in the catacombsOver the years, as the trade has evolved and my own business has changed in an attempt to keep up, ephemeral and manuscript items have become increasingly important commercially.Continue reading Good Odds at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Professional Advice

    Sun, 08 Mar 2020 03:49:27 Permalink
     My comfy boothIt’s late Saturday morning and I’m sitting in booth #503 at Marvin Getman’s 6th annual New York City Book and Ephemera Fair. The dealer next to me in #504 cancelled at the last minute, so I’ve got room to stretch out. I’m waiting for Anne Marie to come in so I can go around the corner to the deli for a sangwich.Continue reading Professional Advice at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • They Brought Him Home in a Barrel of Grog

    Wed, 04 Mar 2020 08:01:13 Permalink
    Six years ago, at the Pasadena Book Fair, I met an affable old geezer with a big silver belt buckle and a string tie. The old fellow had looked in the book fair directory, saw that I specialized in maritime manuscripts, and came over to my booth. His wife had recently died, he told me, and he was “clearing things out.” One of the cleared-out things happened to be the log of a whale ship in which the Captain had died during a whale chase. Continue reading They Brought Him Home in a Barrel of Grog at Ten Pound Island Read More
  • Last Week's Op-Ed

    Tue, 25 Feb 2020 04:10:30 Permalink
    Here’s last week’s op-ed.If Wednesday night’s Democratic debate had happened on the schoolyard, five of the participants would have been called into the Principal’s office for bullying.  Personal insults, cheap shots, out-of-context allegations and piling-on the new kid characterized the proceedings, and the jeering  studio audience was part of the circus. We don’t tolerate this sort of behavior from our children, yet we seem to encourage it in our presidential candidates.Continue reading Last Week’s Op-Ed at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • It was the best of Pasadena Book Fairs, it was the worst of Pasadena Book Fairs

    Mon, 10 Feb 2020 10:00:07 Permalink
    Brad Pitt couldn’t make it this year, but the Three Stooges (courtesy of EPI – about whom, more later) put in a surprise appearance. They were laying carpets in all the aisles, and it was quite a show. By the time Larry, Mo, and Curly finished their routine, the prospect of making one’s way from the entrance to, say, booth 308 or the snack bar at the back of the room was rather like hiking through a newly-plowed field, or even attempting the same hike while plowed. Continue reading It was the best of Pasadena Book Fairs, it was the Read More
  • If Mail Could Talk

    Sun, 02 Feb 2020 12:50:51 Permalink
    A copy of one of my catalogs was sent back to me by the Post Office last week. Apparently it had been damaged in transit, so USPS put it in one of those plastic baggies along with a note letting me know they were returning it to me and apologizing for the mishandling of my item. When I flipped the baggie over I saw that a yellow labels had been pasted on the verso, indicating that, not only had it been mishandled, it had been addressed incorrectly and could not be delivered to the address I’d specified. Continue reading If Read More
  • Whoa, Dude… That's Heavy!

    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 12:09:56 Permalink
    Excuses abound for another late entry in “Bookman’s Log.”Got caught up this week in Mike Bloomberg’s presidential nomination run in Massachusetts. Having worked for him as an Everytown volunteer since 2014, I’ve come to respect his beliefs and his approach. As far as I’m concerned he ought to buy the whole damned election right out from under that phony “billionaire” con man who’s making such a mess of things now.But that’s not what this blog was going to be about.Continue reading Whoa, Dude… That’s Heavy! at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • California Dreamin'

    Tue, 21 Jan 2020 08:03:31 Permalink
    Sorry for the late post this week. I’ve been completely caught up in preparations for the53rd California International Antiquarian Book FairI mean, seriously. For a week or ten days I was unable to do anything else but fret over what I’d be bringing to the fair. Finally, this past weekend I took the bull by the horns and rounded up my fresh stock to send to California.Yup, that was it.Continue reading California Dreamin’ at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • A few thoughts on this past weekend's Papermania show in Hartford, CT…

    Mon, 13 Jan 2020 09:30:57 Permalink
    Poor old Papermania has been shrinking for years.John Hendsey used to have a stand hereThis was Paul Murray’s aisle. Robin’s, tooReceived wisdom has it that Gary, son of Paul Gipstein, the show’s original promoter, has simply been “mailing it in” – relying on the reputation of this once-magnificent event to bring customers through the door.In fact, the opposite is true.Continue reading A few thoughts on this past weekend’s Papermania show in Hartford, CT… at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • 2019 – The Year in Review

    Wed, 01 Jan 2020 10:36:11 Permalink
    Jan 7 – Purchase a very cool whaling log at Papermania.Jan 10 – Gather financial documents for Jan 15th tax filing and discover Ten Pound Island Book Co netted minus $7500 in 2019Jan 28 – Complete work on “The Survivor Apocalypse Manifesto” and Survivor Apocalypse Facebook pageFeb 11 – Skip the 52nd annual California International Antiquarian Book Fair.Continue reading 2019 – The Year in Review at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • A Gourmet Christmas

    Tue, 24 Dec 2019 10:20:47 Permalink
    Our 7th year at Gourmet Trees (100% gluten free!) started slowly. Delivery was a week later than usual, owing to a late Thanksgiving, and two of our big sales weekends were marred by heavy snow and then rain. By the end of last week we still had about 30 trees on the lot, so we held a half price sale. That took care of 25 more, but by Saturday night, we still had five trees left, so on Sunday we left the lot open and let people take what they wanted for free. Continue reading A Gourmet Christmas at Ten Read More
  • Semiotics

    Mon, 09 Dec 2019 09:08:53 Permalink
    Every year about this time, for the past couple of decades,  promoter Marvin Getman produces an event he calls the “Holiday Antiques, Vintage, and Decorative Arts Show, Including Book and Paper Row.” It takes place in the venerable Shriner’s Auditorium in Wilmington, Mass, just a few miles west of Boston – somewhere north of a swap meet, but way south of the Winter Antiques Show. The 90-odd “antiques and design” dealers (mostly mom & pops) are supplemented by a dozen or so raggedy book and paper dealers, and the resulting show is always funky, junky, and fun. Continue reading Semiotics Read More
  • It's That Time Again…

    Mon, 02 Dec 2019 09:35:07 Permalink
    The setupThe CrewThe BossThe jobThe standThe sales forceThe customersContinue reading It’s That Time Again… at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Back in the Saddle Again

    Mon, 25 Nov 2019 11:39:11 Permalink
    As I suggested in my blurb for Maritime List 278 I have a considerable backlog of excellent material that still needs to be evaluated and cataloged. So, after cleaning up from last weekend’s Boston Antiquarian Book Fair, and attending to fulfillment of orders from List 278, I set to work on the pile of recent acquisitions. I blew through the archive of a family of New Bedford whale ship owners, cataloged a clutch of hair-raisingly rare Gloucester items (surely I can’t be the only person in creation who finds artifacts of our local history fascinating), a clutch of nifty whaling Read More
  • The Blinder Walk

    Mon, 18 Nov 2019 10:02:36 Permalink
    It happens without warning every decade or so. I have a good book fair. I buy great stuff from other dealers, and people keep coming into my booth and buying things from me. There’s no accounting for such happenings (though I have a theory, which I’ll discuss in a moment), and no predicting them. Certainly, having good stock helps, but when you’re grooving along in that rare, Good Fair mode, people purchase tired old stock as readily as they gobble up fresh material.Continue reading The Blinder Walk at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • My Big Fat Boston Book Fair List

    Mon, 11 Nov 2019 06:29:23 Permalink
    Dang! It’s Veteran’s Day again. Where did the year go?As usual, in the weeks leading up to the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair I’ve been besieged with requests from assorted high-end dealers (or dealers who consider themselves high-end) for lists of the books I’ll be bringing to the fair. I used to get all righteous about this practice, believing it detracted, somehow, from the electricity of opening night and the possible discoveries that await.Continue reading My Big Fat Boston Book Fair List at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • My "Other" Book Fair

    Mon, 04 Nov 2019 10:00:09 Permalink
    Poster by poet Ed Sanders advertising ARCHIVAL POETICSNot quite ready to start freaking out about the 43rd annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair (November 15-17) because I’ve got a prior event in New York to prepare for.Faithful followers of this blog may recall posts from October 3, 2015 and October 18th, 2015. in which I recounted moving the thousands of books comprising the Maud/Olson library from Vancouver, BC, Canada to Gloucester, Mass., USA.Continue reading My “Other” Book Fair at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • The Disappearing Ghost Book

    Mon, 28 Oct 2019 07:07:11 Permalink
    OLD FRIEND Molly Hardy, formerly of AAS, now bound for Washington, DC and the NEH, has volunteered to write a Guest Blog this week. Her essay will serve as “a reminder that the digital can at times conceal as much as it reveals.” It’s about “Ghost Books” – which, I think you’ll agree, is a suitably bibliographical Halloweenie topic. Sincere thanks, Molly!From Microprint to Database: The Disappearing Ghost Book in the Early American Bibliographical RecordMolly O’Hagan HardyBooks have been alive since at least the Early Modern period.Continue reading The Disappearing Ghost Book at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • This Week's Special

    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 03:40:33 Permalink
    Manuscript. Log of the Whalingship William, 1838. Atlantic Ocean. Elisha Cudworth, Master. Folio, unpaginated. (38 pp.)This is a pretty specimen. It is the complete log of this 107 ton brig, which went on an Atlantic whaling voyage between June and December 1838 and returned 400 barrels of sperm oil. She departed Fall River, Mass. on June 26 1838 and, by July 14, was in the Azores, having already killed and tried out a blackfish.Continue reading This Week’s Special at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • The Best Little Book Fair Ever

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 05:13:34 Permalink
    Downtown Seattle from the roof deck of the Mediterranean HotelOkay, let’s get this out of the way right at the top… The Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair is the best provincial book show in America.Brooklyn comes in second, but it doesn’t have the legacy, or the depth of collectors, bibliophiles, and institutional librarians that Seattle does. Florida rounds out the top three, though from what I hear, Brad and Jen Johnson’s LA show might soon be presenting a challenge.Continue reading The Best Little Book Fair Ever at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Earth Not a Globe!

    Wed, 09 Oct 2019 10:52:01 Permalink
    About ready to leave for the left coast. Here are a couple of lovelies from the forthcoming Maritime List 277 that will not be accompanying me to Seattle.“Parallax”. Zetetic Astronomy – Earth Not a Globe! An Experimental Inquiry into the True Figure of the Earth: Proving it a Plane, Without Axial or Orbital Motion; and the Only Material World in the Universe! London: 1881. xii, 430 pp. b/w ills.Continue reading Earth Not a Globe! at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • My Big Fat Seattle Book Fair

    Mon, 30 Sep 2019 05:29:28 Permalink
    Ahh, Seattle!Sometimes, when my nose is pressed right up against this business, it seems as if I’ve been doing the same thing, over and over, for decades… Take a chance on a book, catalog it, price it, try to sell it, try again and again to sell it, finally sell it, then ship it, wait for the check, and use the money to take another chance.And in some ways that’s an accurate scenario.Continue reading My Big Fat Seattle Book Fair at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • To Catalog or Not to Catalog

    Mon, 23 Sep 2019 09:28:24 Permalink
    Not much left on the Salem shelf I had fun rolling out the list of books about Salem from the stock of Howland and Company, and the results, in terms of sales, were surprisingly good. So when I discovered a small collection of books about Bermuda I thought, “What the heck?” and commenced cataloging them. This resulted in a 67-item list, just published on our website. Louie’s “sentimental” Bermuda collection As was the case with the Salem books, I’ve handled many of the books on the Bermuda list repeatedly over the years. Continue reading To Catalog or Not to Catalog Read More
  • A Little Something New

    Mon, 16 Sep 2019 09:34:18 Permalink
    In my father’s house are many mansions, and in my colleague Howland’s house there are many rooms. And in these rooms are many shelves. And on these shelves are many books. There is no end of things in the heart, and sometimes it seems there will be no end of Louie’s books. Upon closer inspection, however, it is apparent that Louie Howland, in his wisdom, grouped the books roughly (VERY roughly) into subject categories. Just for the fun of it, in the calm that followed the publication of Maritime List 276 I thought it would be fun to create a Read More
  • Greater Expectations

    Mon, 09 Sep 2019 08:01:15 Permalink
    Six years ago workers were still putting the finishing touches on the Brooklyn Expo Center as we wheeled our books onto the floor. It was a stinky hot afternoon and the air conditioning pipes were dripping into our booths. That evening the show opened to great fanfare and greater expectations. The crowd buzzed with youthful energy. Two days later we limped home, dazed and confused. The young and the hip had turned out in droves – baby carriages, metrosexuals, kids with jobs bigger than your head.Continue reading Greater Expectations at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Sun, 01 Sep 2019 12:23:42 Permalink
    I originally planned to have Maritime List 276 up on tenpound.com by Thursday or Friday. Then I realized it was Labor Day Weekend and people were more likely to be at the beach or in the mountains than hunched over their computers. And anyway, I’ll be leaving on Thursday for the Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair and need to gather my resources for that event. (If you want a preview of List 276, stop by our booth in Brooklyn.) Under the guidance of innovative promoter Marvin Getman, Brooklyn has become one of the more intriguing book fairs of late, and one Read More
  • Facing the Strange

    Mon, 26 Aug 2019 07:43:26 Permalink
    Well, life is all about change. Everything flows, and you never step in the same river twice. Whatta we gonna do about it? As David Bowie says, “Turn and face the strange.” How strange was it to see metal detectors at the entrance to this year’s summer iteration of Papermania Plus? (Book fair report – No terrorists were seen on the floor. Otherwise, just the same only less.) About as strange as setting my booth up across the aisle from Bayo Ogunsanya, the real-life version of the character known as “the Nigerian Prince” in my cult classic book Hubert’s Freaks  Read More
  • Adios… for now

    Mon, 08 Jul 2019 11:30:43 Permalink
    I started Bookman’s Log back in 2010 on my little Toshiba netbook (evolutionary forerunner of the tablet). The idea was that I could take it anywhere and record my adventures as a bookman and, occasionally as a writer. In fact, I think some of the early blog entries came from the place up in the Canadian woods where I do my writing. Originally, I was inspired by the idea that the blog might gain readers in the trade and among the cohort of people who collect the kind of stuff I sell. Continue reading Adios… for now at Ten Pound Read More
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