Member Blogs > ten pound island book company

  • Year in Review

    Sun, 30 Dec 2018 08:56:10 Permalink
    If the NY Times can do it, why can’t TPI?January 3, 2018 – We speak bravely of cleaning the basement in preparation for our impending move across the street. (It’s still impending).February 12 – Splendid photo ops in Pasadena at the California International Antiquarian Book Fair. I snapped the view from the San Gabriel foothills that would become the branding image for Survivor Apocalypse,and got this lovely portrait of “The Three Wise Men” – Adios, Ricky and Bill.Continue reading Year in Review at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Stocking Stuffers

    Mon, 24 Dec 2018 07:58:33 Permalink
    As you may recall from last week’s entry, I set 53 good books under the tree, all for sale at half their listed prices. The results were surprisingly normal. I sold 51% of them,      which is about what I usually do, but the response was gratifying. A lot of good will came in with the orders. Some folks even offered to pay postage. Is there anything better than that?Continue reading Stocking Stuffers at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • All the Books We Cannot See – Selections from my Perrsonal Collection

    Tue, 18 Dec 2018 08:58:23 Permalink
    (NOTE – Owing to technological difficulties emanating from the crappy WordPress platform, publication of Maritime List 267 will be delayed. I was holding this post until the list was on the website, but now God only knows when that will happen…)Compared to other, bigger, operations, I turn a high percentage of my stock fairly quickly. I try to offer interesting material at reasonable prices, and my customers usually respond by snapping the “good” stuff up in short order.Continue reading All the Books We Cannot See – Selections from my Perrsonal Collection at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Signs

    Mon, 10 Dec 2018 10:24:35 Permalink
      The signature Shriner’s Camel oversees goings-on at the Shriner’s Auditorium in Wilmington, Mass. Let’s get the words out of the way first. Specifically our report on Marvin Getman’s 20th annual Holiday Antiques, Vintage, & Decorative Arts Show and Sale with “Book and Paper Row” (whew!) This is the show I look forward to every year because it’s not just books and paper. It’s got texture – a mishmosh of funky nostalgia, decorative, antique, and wonderful, strange stuff – not to mention the aforementioned “Books & Paper.” This event will never be confused with the Winter Antiques Show and, for Read More
  • Great Expectations

    Mon, 03 Dec 2018 03:44:00 Permalink
    Got the basement flood mess all cleaned up, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. In fact there were some beneficial side effects. Everything got moved around – kinda like turning my garden over in the spring. First and most importantly, we were forced to get a dumpster in which to throw the wet paper and other water-damaged stuff.That only partially filled it. So now we’re on a throwaway binge.Continue reading Great Expectations at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • It's That Time Again… (Already!)

    Sun, 25 Nov 2018 05:07:37 Permalink
    Well, the Boston book fairs are in the rear view mirror, I’m down to my last turkey sandwich, all the wet paper has been removed from the flooded basement and is getting wetter in the dumpster, Maritime List 266 is nearly finished and, best of all, my 2019 Dayminderjust came in the mail from eBay. I’ve heard that some people keep track of appointments in their phones. But I find that hard to believe.Continue reading It’s That Time Again… (Already!) at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • This Time It's All About Me

    Mon, 19 Nov 2018 05:05:10 Permalink
    Or, as several of my colleagues have observed, it’s always about me, with a thin veneer of news from the trade applied, observing the pretense of modesty. So let’s proceed on that basis. The 2018 version of the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair was one of the best-run affairs in recent memory. Betty Fulton, Julie Roper, and the Commonwealth Promotion crew have the drill down pat, and enough of the 120-plus dealers from around the globe are familiar enough with the load-in and load-out routines that things went off without a hitch. Continue reading This Time It’s All About Me Read More
  • "Love That Dirty Water"

    Tue, 13 Nov 2018 09:56:45 Permalink
    Taking a breather while packing for the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair. I think I did my first one in 1986. I’d joined the ABAA that year, and I remember Doug Harding counseling me in an unusually avuncular manner to exhibit in Boston. “You can make a lot of money there,” he told me. “Last year I made $12,000.” It didn’t seem possible, but I knew Doug wasn’t given to bullshitting, so I took a deep breath and signed up.Continue reading “Love That Dirty Water” at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • So Proud of My Colleagues!

    Sun, 04 Nov 2018 07:19:04 Permalink
    ABE is a major Internet bookselling site. In 2008 it was purchased by Amazon. I quit them years ago because they weren’t a fit for my quirky business, but many of the people in the trade depend on them as a reliable source of income – even as they ratchet up the percentage they gobble up on each transaction. In the past week a sort of uprising has taken place, and it makes me proud to be a member of this trade.Continue reading So Proud of My Colleagues! at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • From a Friend in Pittsburgh

    Sun, 28 Oct 2018 11:02:12 Permalink
    Here is part of an email I just received from a Friend in Pittsburgh, sharing thoughts from his city on the book community andfund raising for victims or… a donation in the ABAA’s collective name to ACLU or Everytown for Gun Safety in America, or wherever (Anti-Defamation League, and Moms Demand Action)… people should think about their communities and how they could get more involved, from giving blood to getting out the vote.Continue reading From a Friend in Pittsburgh at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • What is a personal library, anyway?

    Sun, 21 Oct 2018 11:41:38 Permalink
    My cheap book list was a great success, selling 88%. I have blisters from wrapping packages, and my Media Mail stamp is just about worn out, but the cheap book lovers on my list are quite happy. To them I say, “Stay tuned! There will be more such lists as I clean out the stable in preparation for this winter’s move across the street.” In fact, I’ve spent the past few days thinning out my secondary collections of personal books – two carloads to the thrift shop so far. Continue reading What is a personal library, anyway? at Ten Pound Read More
  • Seattle 2018

    Mon, 15 Oct 2018 01:51:14 Permalink
    I’ve been blogging about the Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair since 2010, and every year I say pretty much the same thing… Seattle’s a great town. This is an excellent venue. The crowds are strong – including a healthy number of librarians. Sales are steady, though my sales are always meager. That’s all right though, because I’ve purchased some extraordinary items. This year’s report would be exactly the same. Bill Wolfe has done a seamless job transitioning management of this event from the late, lamented Louis Collins.Continue reading Seattle 2018 at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Critical Theory

    Sun, 07 Oct 2018 05:32:45 Permalink
    No books this week. I’m back up in my shed working on an essay calledAnyone’s Right to Sex or, Notes Toward a Critical Theory of Survivor ApocalypseI have great hopes for the piece.Soon’s I get back I’m flying out to Seattle for the Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair. It’s one of my favorite events and I’m looking forward to it.Continue reading Critical Theory at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • WABF 2018

    Sun, 30 Sep 2018 04:51:01 Permalink
    Innovative marketing by Ten Pound Island…resulted in over $200 worth of sales.I’m getting a little worried about this one. I’ve been exhibiting in the Washington Antiquarian Book Fair for several centuries now, and for the first time I have doubts about is continued existence. This is no reflection on the efforts of promoter Beth Campbell. Indeed, she’s been as diligent, innovative, and receptive to dealer input as any of the good contemporary book fair impresarios.Continue reading WABF 2018 at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • What Was I Thinking?

    Mon, 24 Sep 2018 08:09:21 Permalink
    Twenty years ago I got a call from a man who ran a prestigious marine art gallery. It was located in Salem, Mass., in the shadow of the equally prestigious Peabody Essex Museum, and it was one of those intimidating places where you had to stand in front of a glass door (for inspection purposes, no doubt) and press a buzzer to be allowed to enter. He was on my mailing list, though he’d never bought anything.Continue reading What Was I Thinking? at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • The Bottom Line

    Mon, 10 Sep 2018 12:06:40 Permalink
    This is the future, right in front of us. Does it get any sweeter?Whiling away the hours at this year’s Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair I had an interesting talk with Elizabeth Pope of the American Antiquarian Society (she was one of several institutional librarians present) about what it takes to attract the attention of the young, hip, and monied denizens of Brooklyn, NYand, by extension, the young, hip, and monied everywhere.Continue reading The Bottom Line at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • One Day at a Time

    Mon, 03 Sep 2018 12:13:19 Permalink
    I met the most remarkable gentleman this weekend. His name is Thomas White. Originally from a large family in Massachusetts, he became a lawyer and moved to Brooklyn, where he and his brother Charles started T & S.C. White, a firm that managed two successful manufacturing companies. He also invested early and wisely in land in Brooklyn, Queens, and New Jersey. When he was 37-years-old he married the love of his life, Harriet (she was fourteen years younger than he) and they had one child, a daughter named Salome, upon whom they doted. Continue reading One Day at a Time Read More
  • Thanks, Papermania

    Sun, 26 Aug 2018 12:50:08 Permalink
    Last Friday morning, as I was pushing my cart full of ephemera into the XL Center in downtown Hartford, CT, it dawned on me that I’d been exhibiting at this show – Papermania – for quite some time. After calculating as closely as I was able, I determined that I’d first done the show in the winter of 1988. I’d participated in every winter show since then, and in about half of the summer shows.Continue reading Thanks, Papermania at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Look What I Found!

    Sun, 19 Aug 2018 10:47:40 Permalink
    Hoola van Nooten, Berthe. Fleurs, fruits et feuillages choisis de la flore et de la pomone de l’ile de Java. Brussels: Faubourg de Louvain, 1866. Large folio. (6) pp. plus 40 chromolithograph plates with text descriptions by van Nooten. $7500 As a specialist book dealer I walk a kind of tightrope. I need to conserve my limited resources to purchase items within my specialty. At the same time I have to be able to take advantage of a good deal when I see one, even if the item is beyond the pale in terms of subject matter. Continue reading Look Read More
  • This Isn't About That

    Mon, 13 Aug 2018 08:33:17 Permalink
    No books all week, nary a one. Unless you want to count the two texts I ordered on eBay for my gun studies. (I love buying stuff on eBay because I can buy it with PayPal dollars which, because they come to me for rare book and manuscript sales through the Interweb, aren’t real dollars, so I can spend as much of them as I want. Until they run out, which is another blog for another time…) No books all week because I was down in Atlanta GA, teaching and auditing classes at Gun Sense University, which is the annual Read More
  • Pleasing Everyone

    Sun, 05 Aug 2018 02:45:49 Permalink
    Some years ago, in a burst of marketing inspiration, I stopped charging for postage and insurance on orders shipped within the US. I thought it would be a classy thing to do, and that my customers would appreciate it. And, for the most part, they have.My rationale was as follows: Back when my catalogs were full of $25 books, shipping costs (say, $3.50 media or $7.50 first class) represented a large percentage of the total.Continue reading Pleasing Everyone at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Tour de Greg

    Mon, 30 Jul 2018 05:54:53 Permalink
    As you may or may not know, I paint one side of my house each summer. This has been going on for 20 or 25 years; I think I’ve worked my way around the house 6 times. The painting ritual is timed to begin with the opening of the Tour de France, allowing me to paint (or scrape) a little, then retire to the air-conditioned TV room to watch a little bike racing. Over the years, the ratio of bike racing to painting has increased until it’s now at the point where I spend most of the morning watching the Read More
  • Hen Ship

    Sun, 22 Jul 2018 02:50:58 Permalink
    Sunny days, cool evenings. It’s been a classic July and I’ve been engaged in my classic July pastimes – painting the house, riding my bike around, working in the garden, and watching the Tour de France.Inevitably this idyll gets disrupted by one thing or another. Perhaps it’s the unannounced appearance of a distant relative, or a week of cold winds and lashing rain. Maybe the car breaks down or one of the grandchildren gets sick.Continue reading Hen Ship at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • How I Spent My Sunday

    Sun, 15 Jul 2018 04:18:25 Permalink
    Top Finishers: 23MBIKE Place Male Finisher Age Gun Time Diff 1 JOHN MOORE 37 1:13:05.4 +:00 / +:00 2 ILYA SHESTOPALOV 37 1:13:06.3 +:02 / +:02 3 CHARLES GOLUB 37 1:13:13.3 +:02 / +:04 4 GREG GIBSON 73 1:13:38.4 +:18 / +:22 5 MICHAEL AHERN 51 1:17:53.0 + 4:16 / + 4:38 6 DAVID SURETTE […] Read More
  • Anyone's Right to Sex or, Notes Toward the Development of Survivor Theory

    Wed, 11 Jul 2018 07:11:08 Permalink
    I have a pamphlet tacked to my wall called Eldridge Cleaver: At Exile’s End. On the cover of this pamphlet is a black and white photograph of Cleaver regarding the viewer with his usual, hard, knowing, slightly paranoid gaze, as if to say, “You’re not putting one over on me, Whitey.” His arms encircle the waist of his wife Kathleen who, with her striking facial features and giant dome of an Afro, looks like a beauty queen from another galaxy.Continue reading Anyone’s Right to Sex or, Notes Toward the Development of Survivor Theory at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Writer's Camp

    Tue, 03 Jul 2018 03:07:51 Permalink
    Back here in my shack until July 9, and so distracted that I forgot to post this week’s blog. I think it was supposed to be about some interesting items I have in Maritime List 261, which is prepared for publication upon my return. Oh, it’s gonna be a GOOD catalog! But now it’s all about this piece I’m trying to write about the secrets of my family, and how and why we kept those secrets – from one another and from the world – and how that shaped what our family became. Continue reading Writer’s Camp at Ten Pound Read More
  • What Works?

    Sun, 24 Jun 2018 07:53:56 Permalink
    I’m having a hard time these days figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Here’s a case in point:The annual RBMS Dealer’s Showcase took place in New Orleans last Tuesday and Wednesday. I spent a couple of days preparing for this event – selecting alluring manuscripts and ephemeral items that would represent the range of my stock while fitting into and surviving transit in a hard-sided suitcase.I made sure they were in fresh plastic envelopes or wrappers, with terse and easily visible descriptions attached.Continue reading What Works? at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Ain't Seen Nuthin' Yet

    Mon, 11 Jun 2018 02:06:08 Permalink
    Slammed this week. Gun stuff in DC, Restorative Justice Retreat at Norfolk Prison, and I’m still trying to get that catalog out. So no blog post for you Bookman’s Logophiles. Sorry.But here’s an encouraging note from promoter Marvin Getman, in response to something I’d written about the London Book Fair, comparing its potential to Brooklyn: New comment on your post “Battersea Evolution, 2018”Author: Marvin GetmanEmail: mgetman@bookandpaperfairs.comURL: http://www.bookandpaperfairs.comComment:Thanks Greg,You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.Continue reading Ain’t Seen Nuthin’ Yet at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Not Exactly a Day at the Beach

    Mon, 04 Jun 2018 01:18:12 Permalink
    All that’s missing is a little sun and sand. Mr. & Mrs. Phillips of Commonwealth Books relax on the concreteAh, yes. If it’s the first week in June, we must be in New Hampshire for the Granite State Book and Ephemera Fair. Held each year in Everett Arena, formerly home to the Budmen (a semi-pro hockey team), and still an event center for contact sports such as hockey and book scouting.Continue reading Not Exactly a Day at the Beach at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Battersea Evolution, 2018

    Sun, 27 May 2018 05:04:50 Permalink
    A pleasant walk to work each day. London canines are impeccably trained. No fighting, no biting. I encountered no dog mess on the sidewalks or capacious lawns, and have come to believe that these city dogs have been taught by their owners to poop in proper doggie toilets.The entrance to the fairgrounds was marked thusGot into town last Tuesday afternoon and went right to work, calling on colleague Anthony Simmonds out in Greenwich.Continue reading Battersea Evolution, 2018 at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
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