Member Blogs > ten pound island book company


    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
  • Virtual Canada

    Wed, 29 Apr 2020 09:40:48 Permalink
    It didn’t work.Last week, being the time I normally leave my bookselling life behind and drive up to my writer’s shack in the Canadian wilds, I determined to foil international travel restrictions and make a virtual journey to a virtual writer’s shack in virtual Canada. What didn’t work about it was that virtual Canada too closely resembled my office at 77 Langsford St. Gloucester, MA, 01930, USA.I kept unconsciously picking up the phone when it rang, or doing my email when I needed a break from writing.Continue reading Virtual Canada at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Oh, Canada!

    Mon, 20 Apr 2020 03:52:56 Permalink
    Okay, New York is over and done, as is Ephemera 2020 (RIP!). I’ve got a good stash of rares for my next high-octane list, and I’ve been working hard cataloging the chowder (good books, but not great – if they were fish, they’d turn into chowder rather than sushi). In the past month I’ve published three lists for public consumption (you can see them here, here,  and here) and two more subject lists for individual customers – about 350 old and rare books and manuscripts cataloged, photographed and uploaded, of which almost 200 have been wrapped and shipped. Continue reading Read More
  • WFH

    Mon, 13 Apr 2020 02:14:26 Permalink
    Well, the day has finally arrived. In this morning’s Sunday paper the acronym “WFH” appeared – not as an instance of subculture geek talk, but as a common designation, like ADD or DOA – applied as a descriptor to a class of people, like “boomer” or “undocumented alien.” The gist of the newspaper article was that many in the workforce are having to make huge adjustments as they enter the uncertain world of Working From Home, but this is something many of us in the book trade have been doing for years. Continue reading WFH at Ten Pound Island Book Read More
  • Coronadiary 4/6

    Mon, 06 Apr 2020 09:35:09 Permalink
    I wonder how Dennis and Cricket and my favorite raven-haired bartender are doing down at Halibut Point, my dive of choice, my “downtown office,” drinking and chatting of a Saturday afternoon in the reality adjacent to this one, in which everything is just as it has always been? The birds in nesting frenzies on my roof, beneath the solar panels, upon which the sun shines as always, sing out as if nothing has happened.Continue reading Coronadiary 4/6 at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • 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
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