Member Blogs > ten pound island book company

  • Breadfruit Noir

    Sun, 27 Jan 2013 11:57:17 Permalink
    The incomparable Peter Howardonce said something to the effect that Books are mysteries for booksellers to solve. If thats the case, my professional life has been one long Raymond Chandler novel.Last week, as I was making my way down the mean streets of the Eastern Macro Metro Corridor, a kindly lady placed a book in my hands.What do you think of this? she asked.I think I should buy it, I replied.It was a 47 page quarto, bound in later brown leprosy morocco, and a second 41 page quarto volume, bound with yet a third, 13 page work, with its own Read More
  • YARRR!

    Sun, 20 Jan 2013 12:54:58 Permalink
    Spent the last week cataloging and packing books to take to Washington so that my colleague John Thomson of Bartlebys Books can drive them out to San Francisco for the big international antiquarian book show there in mid-February. John and his wife Karen are specialists in Americana, and they take great delight in traveling the byways of this vast land. (John is also president of the ABAA, and Ill bet he especially relishes byways sufficiently by the way as to put him out of cell phone and computer contact with the ABAA and its tiresome concerns.) In any event, as Read More
  • The Amazing Donaldson Dumpster Archive

    Sun, 13 Jan 2013 09:28:44 Permalink
    A colleague sent me a box of papers the other day. He said they contained documents having to do with a ship named the Olive Branch. But it was clear to me at first glance that for the past few decades, at least, theyd had more to do with the dumpster. That was certainly where theyd come from, and probably where they were bound.But after I removed the material that was literally falling apart, I began to see some continuity. Most of the paper had to do with a man named Joseph Donaldson, apparently a ship captain and a diplomat Read More
  • It's Only a Paper Moon...

    Mon, 07 Jan 2013 10:37:58 Permalink
    Not the XL CenterThis is my fourth report on Papermania, the giant ephemera show held annually in Hartford, Connecticut on the first weekend after New Years day.My last three reviews have been scathing. The city of Hartford is falling apart; the Papermania venue formerly the Hartford Civic Center, now the XL Center, is a hideous combination of concrete floors, deathray lighting, and a pathetically bad naming idea. Yes, XL may be the sponsoring insurance company, but it only reminds me of overweight people in tee shirts lined up at Cracker Barrel for the high fructose corn syrup special. The Read More
  • A New Year's Recollection

    Mon, 31 Dec 2012 11:14:56 Permalink
    For reasons I no longer recall, I stopped getting the Sunday New York Times years ago. Reading it these days is a rich and slightly over-the-top experience, sort of like taking a steamy bubble bath.My wife and I are spending the New Years holiday with friends up in Camden, Maine a couple weve known since we were hippies together back in the 70s. Theyve done quite well for themselves since then, and our visits with them now have that same bubble bath feeling, brought on by an abundance of food, drink, laughter, and fondly shared memories. Also a lot Read More
  • All I Want for Xmas is a Droid With Apps

    Sun, 23 Dec 2012 08:03:56 Permalink
    Here, for the third year, is my annual Christmas blog. Id like to say this weeks entry is back by popular demand, but there has been no demand for it. Bookmans Log, Im happy to say, has never been burdened with demands. The truth is, Im taking the day off in honor of the season. Im going read the Sunday paper, then putter around my office, then turn my compost pile, then watch the football game, then walk to dinner and eat and drink and talk and laugh with the inlaws, the wife, the kids, their kids, and our several Read More
  • Tale of Two Book Stores

    Mon, 17 Dec 2012 09:11:22 Permalink
    Santa checks her device. She wants to find out who's been naughty, and who's been niceJust finished reading an inspiring article in Atlantic Magazineabout the opening of a new book store.Two years ago, after Nashville lost its last downtown indie, and both big box book outlets closed, bestselling author and local resident Ann Patchett opened a store of her own.The real story is more complicated and interesting than that, and Ms. Patchett tells it charmingly in her article. The bottom line is that Nashville again has an excellent indie book operation. And Patchett, thanks to her many connections, Read More
  • Two New Book Stores

    Mon, 17 Dec 2012 06:55:50 Permalink
    Santa checks her device - to find out who's been naughty, and who's been niceJust finished reading an inspiring article in Atlantic Magazineabout the opening of a new book store.Two years ago, after Nashville lost its last downtown indie, and both big box book outlets closed, bestselling author and local resident Ann Patchett opened a store of her own.The real story is more complicated and interesting than that, and Ms. Patchett tells it charmingly in her article. The bottom line is that Nashville again has an excellent indie book operation. And Patchett, thanks to her many connections, is Read More
  • Guiding Lights

    Sun, 09 Dec 2012 10:22:10 Permalink
    Ive ranted before about lighthouses being one of those subject areas from which collectors have mysteriously vanished. People scrabbling and clawing in the most fearsome way for lighthouse literature and then one day, more or less out of the blue, they dont want any at all. Not even the rarest material. I suspect that in this case, eBay and print-on-demand technology killed the market. The field was largely information driven, and once people got access to cheap reprints or bargain copies of scarce texts, the game was over for dealers like me. This is not to say that the public Read More
  • Captain Winsor and "The Passengers"

    Sun, 02 Dec 2012 07:58:48 Permalink
    Its been a month since my website was hacked and poisoned with malware. Since then, the tech guys have been working valiantly to du-bug the site, fix broken code, and move tenpound.com to a new host. Somehow, all this activity disabled my email and, for an exciting couple of days, I was dead in the water.    Now, I am happy to report, my email capability has been restored, and the website is clean and healthy. You can go to http://tenpound.com/ without fear.    The bill for all this has yet to arrive, and the cost of having a toxic website Read More
  • Therapy Dog

    Sun, 25 Nov 2012 09:20:11 Permalink
    Pryor, James Chambers. NAVAL HYGIENE.  Phila.  (1918).  Color and b/w plates. vii, 507 pp. Bound in brown cloth with gold spine lettering. Light cover wear, else very good condition. $175 This is the kind of book that brings me joy. It is a serious, comprehensive work dealing with hygiene and preventive care in the WWI-era U.S. Navy. It covers nutrition, diseases, hazards of the sea, health aboard submarines, and so forth. Pursuing this agenda, text and illustrations provide a marvelous view of everyday shipboard life, with a documentary earnestness reminiscent of Lewis Hine. The book is also an artifact of a culture Read More
  • Practice Makes (Nearly) Perfect

    Mon, 19 Nov 2012 10:25:19 Permalink
    Sometimes the years seem to fly by like calendar leaves flapping off the wall in a corny movie. That was much the feeling at this years 36th Annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair, held at the Hynes Convention Center.  Old veterans of Bostons past walked the familiar aisles, nodding at one another Here we are again. Members of the excellent Brede staff, many of whom have been working with us for years, gave us a Good to see you again shoulder clap. And they meant it. Wed each survived another year and were back in the familiar, comfortable confines Read More
  • A Gazelle Speaks

    Sun, 11 Nov 2012 03:49:10 Permalink
    So, to pick up where last weeks rather grim entry left offOn Monday  October 29th I went on my Ten Pound Island website to check a catalog listing. What I found, instead of a catalog page, was a scary looking red sign warning that my site was a Reported Attack Page! My website had been blocked by Google for suspicious activity.It took me a few days to locate a company that could sort the problem out, and it has taken them two weeks, so far, to get it sorted. They tell me my website should be cleaned up and back Read More
  • Of Webb and the Web

    Sat, 03 Nov 2012 05:04:33 Permalink
    William Henry Webb was one of those American geniuses who come along every generation. Men of his type are not noted for their poetry or invention, but for their ability to assemble and organize all the disparate parts of what is known and, from this synthesis, to establish new standards of efficiency and scale.The great industrialists of the 19th and early 20th centuries proceeded in this manner. Rather than devise new technologies men like Henry Ford systematized and perfected existing practices. The railroad barons and oil kings didnt invent locomotives or petroleum products their contribution, whether for good or Read More
  • Einstein's "God Letter"

    Mon, 29 Oct 2012 09:43:13 Permalink
     I first met John Schulman at a bookfair on Cape Cod in the 1980s. He called himself John Ezra Schulman back then. Sported an Ezra Pound-like goatee, sold poetry, and went about his business with a poets joy. I remember thinking, He wont last long in this business. Twenty-five years later, Id have to say I was wrong about that. His Caliban Book Shop in Pittsburgh, with its stock of 45,000 books and a warehouse bursting with another 150,000, is one of the countrys best.  John himself is a leader in our trade, serving as resident appraiser at the annual Read More
  • Not Book People

    Mon, 22 Oct 2012 08:14:13 Permalink
    Shriner's auditorium, main hallWhats up with moving forward? Five years ago everyone said in the future, or in days to come, or even good old later on. Now the default phrase is moving forward a clumsy trope that riddles our daily speech. Its the kind of virus for which there is no cure but time. I suppose Ill just have to ignore it moving forward. Now, where was I?Marvin Getman, promoter of Boston area antique shows, has developed a reputation for energetic, organized, and well advertised events. His shows in Concord, Wellesley, Lexington, Wilmington, and Boston are said to Read More
  • The Best Letter Ever

    Mon, 15 Oct 2012 10:07:23 Permalink
    Seattle, 2012 Bob Dylan and I have been touring for decades, and occasionally our paths cross. But I didnt see him at the Key Arena Saturday night, and he didnt see me at this weekends Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair. As usual, the event was flawlessly organized by local bookselling legend Louis Collins and, although the number of exhibitors was down a bit owing to conflicts with the Torontoand MARIABbook fairs, attendance was excellent. (Louis can really turn em out.) Thursday afternoon I did some scouting downtown, primarily at Brooklyn Seafood, but also at a place where I was able to purchase Read More
  • The Best Letter Ever

    Mon, 15 Oct 2012 09:49:08 Permalink
    Seattle, 2012 Bob Dylan and I have been touring for decades, and occasionally our paths cross. But I didnt see him at the Key Arena Saturday night, and he didnt see me at this weekends Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair. As usual, the event was flawlessly organized by local bookselling legend Louis Collins and, although the number of exhibitors was down a bit owing to conflicts with the Torontoand MARIABbook fairs, attendance was excellent. (Louis can really turn em out.) Thursday afternoon I did some scouting downtown, primarily at Brooklyn Seafood, but also at a place where I was able to purchase Read More
  • The Female Marine and her Sisters

    Sun, 07 Oct 2012 10:27:37 Permalink
    The cover girl for my latest rare book catalog is a lady named Elizabeth Emmons. The fates were not kind to Elizabeth. After her mother died, her father became a drunkard and also died. She lost an eye in a carriage accident, and shortly thereafter her fiance died. Heartbroken and alone, she took to the sea, where she found true love but then was shot and killed by a drunken Spanish madman. All this is related by the otherwise anonymous S.L. who describes the murder in a letter from Key West. The story was published in Boston in 1841 as Read More
  • Used Books of the Future II

    Sun, 30 Sep 2012 10:47:40 Permalink
    Up in Cape Breton all week mowing my lawn (with a chainsaw) and working on my walking book  I did not, I swear, buy, sell, or catalog an antiquarian book for the duration of my stay. So this weeks blog will be about old books in a once-removed sort of way. (See my blog entry of November 27, 2011 for Used Books of the Future I )When I wasnt writing or chainsawing, I was reading a wonderful used book called In the Hand of Dante , a novel by Nick Tosches published by Little, Brown in 2002. Nick, a devotee Read More
  • I've Had It

    Sat, 22 Sep 2012 07:48:15 Permalink
    (Clipper Ship Sailing Card, Wild Rover. See Below)OK. Ive had it. Im fried. Im cooked. Get the fork Im done.The gallery is hovering in suspension of disbelief, the lawns are mowed, the gardens tended, the house painted, Seattle Book Fair books sent to Seattle, purchases mailed to eager buyers, and Maritime List 213 dispatched to the printer. For the moment, at least, I dont want to look at another rare maritime book.Wife and I are headed up to the farm (See "Bookman's Log" for July 2, 2012 "The Feldman Archive.") and, with the exception of a chainsaw fandango Read More
  • Austin Squatty

    Mon, 17 Sep 2012 04:17:13 Permalink
    Hand colored chart of Vineyard Sound, 1882. (See below)I was treated to a relatively lively Boxborough Ephemera show this past Saturday, promoted by the ever present Flamingoz. Someone told me that the New York Pier Show, scheduled for this same weekend, had been canceled, and that this led to a minor influx of new dealers, swelling the ranks of exhibitors. So this show, which seemed to be slipping into oblivion, was given a years respite, at least. Lamentably, the crowds of attendees continue to dwindle. Where once the line awaiting the opening bell stretched through the lobby and down the Read More
  • Life on the Bottom

    Sun, 09 Sep 2012 05:28:18 Permalink
    Investment Quality? See belowLast weeks blog about my attempts to market and sell a collection of inexpensive used books set off a lengthy thread on the IOBA chatline. (For those of you not in the know, the Independent Online Booksellers Association is a trade group for people who sell books online professionally. They have an interesting and active listserv, and I am a dedicated lurker. Ive learned a lot from it about the wide range of people who make livings selling books on the Internet, and the many ways in which they go about that formidable task.)So, seeing as how Read More
  • Saving the Whales

    Mon, 03 Sep 2012 09:37:09 Permalink
    Theres been a lot of whining and I am as guilty as anyone in this regard about the so-called race to the bottom and the destruction this has wrought on the traditional used book market.Heres how it works or doesnt work.On my way home from lunch at the Halibut Point Restaurant I stop at a yard sale and buy, for $1, a copy of Howard Chapelles The American Fishing Schooners. Now, I know this is a $50 book because Ive had about a dozen copies and theyve always sold for $50, give or take.But as soon as Read More
  • Call Me Nuts, But…

    Mon, 27 Aug 2012 01:39:13 Permalink
    Back in the day I couldve bought a row house overlooking Domino Sugar and Baltimores Inner Harbor for sixty thousand. But I didnt have sixty thousand, and my wife didnt like the heat. So what I did was, I built myself a fantasy life in one of those lovely old buildings, writing my detective novels by day, working at night as a watchman at the Chesapeake Box factory across the street. Each year, when I come back to town to do the Baltimore show, I visit my fantasy self on Locust Point. Hes an old man now, mostly toothless, but Read More
  • The Seventh Try

    Sun, 19 Aug 2012 10:13:37 Permalink
    Well, were done with the hard part. Or, at least, this part of the hard part.The building got built, the gardens planted, the walls hung with paintings, and my book corner filled chockablock with books, maps, prints and manuscripts about Cape Ann and its history, along with a sprinkling of general maritime and art books. The girls sent out hundreds of email and printed invitations, and the gallery got a nice writeup on the front page of the local paper. There was nothing left to do but sit back and wait for the people to come.And come they did.More than Read More
  • Ramblin'

    Sun, 12 Aug 2012 06:12:05 Permalink
    Its a lush, drizzly August morning. Im listening to Ornette Colemans wonderful Ramblin and doing a little rambling of my own, brain unhitched, looking out my window at exploding green. Next thing I know, Im thinking about the life cycle of books and manuscripts. Then Im thinking of GWC colleague Ammiel Alcalay and his innovative Lost and Found publishing program at CUNY. Though nominally a scholar of Classical and Middle Eastern languages, Ammiel, who is also a published poet and translator, has wangled himself a position in CUNYs Ph.D. program in English. He says he takes issue with the highly Read More
  • The Last Book Sale

    Mon, 06 Aug 2012 03:59:26 Permalink
    How to design a clipper ship (see below) In the 19th century people writing one another about commercial matters sometimes used the word dull to describe business conditions. Judging from the contexts in which it appeared, the word seems to have two major definitions a little slow and lousy.So, when I say that business this month has been dull, please understand that I mean it in the first sense. Not much is going on.True, someone in Michigan sent me that lovely book on 19th century marine architecture, and I did manage to purchase a whaling log at a recent Read More
  • Orville

    Sun, 29 Jul 2012 11:35:32 Permalink
    Its the end of July again and, as I do every year at this time, I travel out to the town of Great Barrington, in the Berkshires, to do a book and paper show at a venue known as Searles Castle.Its a picturesque structure, with mirrors, chandeliers, paneled walls, and scary old trolls and gargoyles.Since setup is on Friday and the show is on Saturday only (promoters take note!) it's an easy show to do. Traffic on the Mass Pike is always lighter on Saturday night than Sunday.As usual, after setup, I lodge in the same hotel as my old Read More
  • Nantucket Memories or, Where Did They All Go?

    Mon, 23 Jul 2012 09:59:55 Permalink
    Pinkham's Nantucket, 1791 (hand colored reproduction, $300)In the 1990s I used to exhibit at the Nantucket Historical Associations August Antiques Show. It was held during the height of Nantuckets social season and it attracted the usual crowd - long on money and short on any imagination of themselves beyond what the Style of the day demanded, which was mostly white pants, deck shoes, oddly colored shorts, lightship basket handbags with faux scrimshaw adorning the lid, sweaters worn as scarves (sleeves knotted loosely around the neck), and oh, those pink socks! The dealer who set up across from me, an affable Read More
< prev
  • Showing 271-300 (of 308 total)
  • Page 10 of 11
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
next >

Looks like you are ready to submit this application

If you are satisfied that your application is complete, go ahead and click "submit this application."
Otherwise, click "review this application" to review your answers or make additional changes.