Member Blogs > ten pound island book company

  • 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 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
  • IN HARBOR – Louie Howland

    Mon, 01 Jul 2019 11:58:08 Permalink
    During his career as an antiquarian book dealer (specializing in books about the sea, with a concentration on yachting),  my friend, colleague, mentor, and sometime business partner Louie Howland issued 98 hard copy catalogs. These went to a cadre of yachting enthusiasts, many of whom became friends with Louie – because that was the kind of guy he was.Beginning in the 1990s, somewhere around Catalog 40, “Spring Lines,” Louie began publishing a list on the back cover of each catalog.Continue reading IN HARBOR – Louie Howland at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • The Tease

    Tue, 25 Jun 2019 04:29:50 Permalink
    USS “Constellation”I had a pretty good blog idea for writing about last week’s RBMS Dealer’s Showcase in Baltimore. It had to do with all the years I’d spent doing book business there – since the 1980s, anyway – mostly centering around the big Labor Day Antique Show, and all the shops along 25th St. The Antique Show had its own bustling book ghetto, and for many of the dealers this was the first big show after a long summer layoff.Continue reading The Tease at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Dealer's Showcase RBMS, Baltimore, 2019

    Sun, 16 Jun 2019 05:05:23 Permalink
    Here, in no particular order, are a few of the things I’ll be bringing for the amusement of 200 rare book and manuscripot librarians from across the country.Manuscript. Whaling Journal of William A. Washburn, Aboard Ship Benjamin Rush, 1849 – 1851; Bark Virginia 1851 – 1852. Folio, unpaginated. About 150 pages of manuscript entries. [40749]This journal, kept by 3rd mate William Washburn, is quite typical of a certain kind of career in the whale fishery.Continue reading Dealer’s Showcase RBMS, Baltimore, 2019 at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • A Map of Moby Dick

    Tue, 11 Jun 2019 07:46:23 Permalink
    Here’s a neat item I bought last weekend at the Concord Book Fair. I think I’ll take it to the ABAA Bookseller’s Showcase at the RBMS Conference in Baltimore next week. Think any librarians have ever heard of Moby Dick? The Voyage of the Pequod from the Book Moby Dick. Cleveland: Harris-Seybold Co., 1956. Color lithograph on heavy paper, 24 x 17 1/2 inches. Being a Melville geek, I keep my eye out for interesting Moby Dickianna, and I’ve had pretty good luck finding offbeat items, like the copy of Moby in Hebrew that turned up a couple of years Read More
  • Unsellable Books

    Mon, 03 Jun 2019 10:33:35 Permalink
    Richard Mori took over the venerable New Hampshire Book Fair, and I’m relieved to say it was pretty much like the last 45 iterations or so, only slightly less. Fewer of the same old crowd of dealers and attendees. Fewer photos, too. I got distracted and failed to snap a single shot. For those of you who need visuals, I suggest you go to last year’s report of this event. With the exception of Joe Phillips and wife, who didn’t make it this year, things were exactly the same.Continue reading Unsellable Books at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Memorial Day

    Mon, 27 May 2019 07:55:04 Permalink
    This is a copy of my DD-214, the document that signifies your discharge from the Armed Forces. It shows that, between 1967 and 1971, I served three years and nine months, two and one-half of which were at sea. It also shows that I made Shipfitter, Second Class – an E-5 government rating.What it doesn’t show is how I got there.I’d just graduated from college. Grad school would have gotten me a deferment from military service but I had no desire to pursue an academic career.Continue reading Memorial Day at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Newspaper Quiz

    Tue, 21 May 2019 03:48:57 Permalink
    I’m swamped this week, but old friend Vince Golden of AAS has stepped in to fill the void with some fun quizzes. He writes,Below is a list of newspaper titles.  Can your clever readers pick out the three titles that are fake?Sucker and Farmer’s Record  (Pittsfield, IL) Widow’s Bite and Lincoln Advocate  (Cleveland, OH) Horseneck Truth-Teller and Gossip Journal (Greenwich, CT) Criminal Life of Albany  (NY) Honest Politician  (Washington, D.C.) Estabrook’s Great Public Chowder  (Boston, MA) Stephen H.Continue reading Newspaper Quiz at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Lagoda

    Sun, 12 May 2019 05:55:45 Permalink
    Last Thursday and Friday I set up and exhibited at the Marine Antiques Show at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. The show kicks off the museum’s annual Scrimshaw Weekend, during which scrimshaw collectors from all over America gather to attend lectures, chew the fat, and brag about their acquisitions.Scrimshaw is expensive and you have to be pretty well-heeled to collect it, so this was a good crowd for me.Continue reading Lagoda at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • It's a Hard-Kock Life

    Tue, 07 May 2019 09:40:22 Permalink
    Whaling Journal of William A. Washburn, Aboard Ship Benjamin Rush, 1849 – 1851; Bark Virginia 1851 – 1852. Folio, unpaginated. About 150 pages of manuscript entries.This journal, kept by 3rd mate William Washburn, is quite typical of a certain kind of career in the whale fishery. Washburn, from a small town in New York state, was about 24 years old when he signed aboard the “Benjamin Rush,” a 384 ton ship built in 1814.Continue reading It’s a Hard-Kock Life at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • How I Got To Be So Damn Smart

    Mon, 29 Apr 2019 10:24:41 Permalink
    In 1975 I moved to my second shop, a cute little building that had been a fish market in East Gloucester, Massachusetts. I was so enthralled with my fantasy of the perfect location that I failed to take full advantage of my earliest opportunities for true enlightenment in the art of book scouting. As in a Greek myth, these Godly offerings were delivered in human form.Chief among them was Matthew Needle, a legend in the book scouting trade.Continue reading How I Got To Be So Damn Smart at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Canadian Refrigerator

    Tue, 23 Apr 2019 11:20:54 Permalink
    Canadian RefrigeratorI’m up here in my shack working at my “other job”writing an article about keeping schools safe by giving guns to teachers.It’s pretty nasty outsidebut cozy in  here.And don’t worry, you faithful maritime book lovers. The long-awaited co-op catalog with Howland and Company will be out at the beginning of next week.Continue reading Canadian Refrigerator at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Wild Things

    Mon, 15 Apr 2019 06:46:19 Permalink
    First things first. Wild things later…Old friend and long-time colleague Garry Austin died a couple of days ago. I met him back in the late 1970s on one of my first book scouting trips, in Merv Slotnick’s shop in Wells Maine. Merv and Doug Harding and someone else were lecturing me about the realities of the trade when a trash truck pulled up outside. As it noisily compressed its latest load, a big burly guy in coveralls ambled in and immediately joined in the discussion.Continue reading Wild Things at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Guest Blogger – David Chesanow

    Wed, 03 Apr 2019 08:00:22 Permalink
    Last time I featured a guest blog it contained a link with malware that shut my website down for months. But I’ve been too distracted of late to even remember the weekly blog so, when one of my loyal readers bugged me about it, I told him he could write it himself. He did, but then told me I probably wouldn’t want to publish it because it was too flattering. Nonsense! I told him.Continue reading Guest Blogger – David Chesanow at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Time Traveler

    Mon, 25 Mar 2019 11:40:21 Permalink
    12-foot-long panorama of the Hudson River, 1846I enjoy cataloging rare books and manuscripts. It’s one of the few activities – along with mowing the lawn, stacking wood, and painting the house – in which I can actually see the result of my labors. A big, messy pile of papers and books turns into an orderly list of goods – priced, described, and expounded upon. What could be better than that?Continue reading Time Traveler at Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
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