Member Blogs > ten pound island book company

  • Gaugin's Model

    Mon, 28 Sep 2015 11:21:08 Permalink
    Today’s entry has to do with the way Tahiti looked to Gaugin, but it is also about colleagues, and buying things, and about surprises – about whether or not they can be surprises if we expect them. Last week at the Brooklyn Book Fair my cellphone went off. It was colleague John Thomson calling me […]The post Gaugin’s Model appeared first on Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • He's In

    Mon, 21 Sep 2015 08:40:42 Permalink
    The weather couldn’t have been better for the long awaited Brooklyn Book Fair – this year re-labeled as the “Brooklyn Books, Art Photos Design Expo.” The venue (which last year lacked indoor toilets) was splendid, setup and breakdown were smooth, security competent, efficient and polite, and the promotion as good as anyone could reasonably have […]The post He’s In appeared first on Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Okay, That's Done

    Mon, 14 Sep 2015 07:18:04 Permalink
    Had a great time breaking in the writer’s shack – though a neighbor suggests it can no longer be called a “shack” since the tar paper has been covered with clapboards. I am negotiating with another neighbor to have her old car rolled over in my side yard, which would go a long way toward […]The post Okay, That’s Done appeared first on Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Phase II

    Tue, 08 Sep 2015 09:25:52 Permalink
    of Writer’s Shack deployment in Cape BretonThe post Phase II appeared first on Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Thanks, Bruce McKinney!

    Sun, 30 Aug 2015 05:18:52 Permalink
    Every once in a while we encounter events that we know will be benchmarks in our careers as antiquarian book dealers. The first shop, with its smell of fresh cut pine shelving, the first big buy, the first book fair, the biggest book fair, the biggest buy, the luckiest find, the first whale (dealer slang […]The post Thanks, Bruce McKinney! appeared first on Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • "There's Something Happening Here / What it Is Ain't Exactly Clear"

    Sun, 23 Aug 2015 07:38:28 Permalink
    (Thanks, Katherine!) It had been a lovely two weeks at home – lawn mowing, bike riding, working in my garden, a little desultory cataloging, filling orders from Maritime List 231 (about 70% sold), and pleasant early morning walks, before the heat of the day settled upon us. In all, a perfect bit of summer. But […]The post “There’s Something Happening Here / What it Is Ain’t Exactly Clear” appeared first on Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Down, Dirty and Distracted

    Tue, 18 Aug 2015 10:11:26 Permalink
      So busy packing for next weekend’s Papermania show in Hartford that I damned near forgot to write this week’s blog. But the topic has been on my mind all week, so I’ll just give you the down and dirty version as I run out the door to tend to business in PA, then shop […]The post Down, Dirty and Distracted appeared first on Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • A Thousand Words…

    Mon, 10 Aug 2015 07:15:06 Permalink
    In 1977 my business partner Jean, something of a counterculture person, and sister-in-law of the great poet Charles Olson, got us into the house of a recently deceased artiste over on Rocky Neck. Of course the old boy’s relatives, who disapproved of his swishy ways and never had time for him when he was alive, […]The post A Thousand Words… appeared first on Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Fun While It Lasted

    Mon, 03 Aug 2015 08:34:59 Permalink
    The post Fun While It Lasted appeared first on Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • His Night on the Town

    Sat, 01 Aug 2015 11:08:49 Permalink
    Flaneur by the age of twelve before I was ever a tired conceit the way was sufficiently interesting to offset the terror of getting lostThe post His Night on the Town appeared first on Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Where Will Everyone Be?

    Sun, 26 Jul 2015 10:36:48 Permalink
    Well, here we are again, at the John Dewey Academy in Great Barrington, Mass., doing the Bernice book show. Our 19th year, I think. I don’t know how Bernice manages to do it, but every year, without fail, the weather is sunny and warm. Sometimes an afternoon thunderstorm, sometimes too warm, but never cold, cloudy, […]The post Where Will Everyone Be? appeared first on Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Nothing Says "Shack" Better Than Tar Paper

    Mon, 20 Jul 2015 07:24:04 Permalink
    I’ve been up in Cape Breton all week working on a proposal for a new book. I suppose that’s going well enough, though one never knows how well it’s really going. That’s what agents and editors are for. I thought, when I wasn’t writing or doing research, that I’d busy myself with chores. My son […]The post Nothing Says “Shack” Better Than Tar Paper appeared first on Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Housepainting Poems

    Sun, 12 Jul 2015 07:52:23 Permalink
    In the 19th century merchants would occasionally report to one another that business was “dull” – an old fashioned word meaning “slow.” Well, the book business has been “dull” of late. But that’s okay because now it’s July. Time to paint my house again, one side a year, and watch the Tour de France. I […]The post Housepainting Poems appeared first on Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • The Reason There Was No Blog Post This Week

    Mon, 06 Jul 2015 12:19:42 Permalink
      The post The Reason There Was No Blog Post This Week appeared first on Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • San Francisco's Brooklyn

    Mon, 29 Jun 2015 10:12:09 Permalink
    Logistics sounded troublesome and expensive, so I packed a few piles of ephemera into a big suitcase, padded it with my week’s worth of clothing, and headed out to Oakland,CA, where this year’s Rare Book & Manuscript Librarian’s Conference was being held. Last time I spent any serious time in Oakland, Panthers roamed the streets. […]The post San Francisco’s Brooklyn appeared first on Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • Thou Canst Never Return

    Sat, 20 Jun 2015 08:39:33 Permalink
     Back in the late 90s (the earliest the Wayback Machine can find is 1999, but I know it was earlier than that), my computer guy – a bearded Harley freak named Doc – was fixing me up with a brand new laptop. “You’ll want a big enough screen so you can work on your website […]The post Thou Canst Never Return appeared first on Ten Pound Island Book Company. Read More
  • A Dog's Life

    Mon, 15 Jun 2015 03:51:40 Permalink
    (l-r: beets, chard, eggplant, beans, carrots, snow peas)Haven't sold a book in a week, but my cash flow is holding steady. (Bookselling Tip #56 - When no money comes in, don't pay the bills). My gardens are looking pretty good, and I feel like I might be getting a start on a proposal for another book (had to put the detective story back in the drawer to ripen... Or maybe it was already too ripe.)Anyway, with so little going on for me in the antiquarian book world, I don't have much blogfodder this week, except for Maritime List 230, which Read More
  • A Dog's Life

    Mon, 15 Jun 2015 03:51:00 Permalink
    (l-r: beets, chard, eggplant, beans, carrots, snow peas) Haven’t sold a book in a week, but my cash flow is holding steady. (Bookselling Tip #56 – When no money comes in, don’t pay the bills). My gardens are looking pretty good, and I feel like I might be getting a start on a proposal for […]The post A Dog’s Life appeared first on ten pound island book company. Read More
  • My Bold Plan and its Daring Execution

    Mon, 08 Jun 2015 02:12:56 Permalink
    You may recall, from a few blog entries ago, my hypothesis that profits in the book trade are the result of occasional “big hits,” and that the secret of success in this difficult business lies in finding ways of keeping cash flowing between big hits. Just to show you that I'm putting my money where my mouth is – or more properly, my mouth where my money isn't – I have recently opened an eBay store, and flooded Biblio, IOBA and ABAA with cheap books, briskly described, and each with its own photographic image. Additionally, instead of sitting in my booth Read More
  • My Bold Plan and its Daring Execution

    Mon, 08 Jun 2015 02:12:00 Permalink
    You may recall, from a few blog entries ago, my hypothesis that profits in the book trade are the result of occasional “big hits,” and that the secret of success in this difficult business lies in finding ways of keeping cash flowing between big hits.  Just to show you that I’m putting my money where […]The post My Bold Plan and its Daring Execution appeared first on ten pound island book company. Read More
  • A Public Service Announcement Regarding the Color Orange

    Sun, 31 May 2015 04:20:14 Permalink
    As you may know, I've been involved in the American Gun Wars since 1992, when my eighteen-year-old son was shot and killed on his college campus, randomly targeted by a mentally disturbed fellow student. So, when I realized National Gun Violence Awareness Day was coming up I thought I'd take a break from the usual commercially driven bibliographic obsessions that characterize this blog, and insert a public service announcement.Tuesday June 2 is National Gun Violence Awareness Day. On Tuesday, you can demonstrate your solidarity with those who wish to put a stop to gun violence by wearing orange. Just like Read More
  • A Public Service Announcement Regarding the Color Orange

    Sun, 31 May 2015 04:20:00 Permalink
    As you may know, I’ve been involved in the American Gun Wars since 1992, when my eighteen-year-old son was shot and killed on his college campus, randomly targeted by a mentally disturbed fellow student. So, when I realized National Gun Violence Awareness Day was coming up I thought I’d take a break from the usual […]The post A Public Service Announcement Regarding the Color Orange appeared first on ten pound island book company. Read More
  • Memorial Day

    Mon, 25 May 2015 01:37:20 Permalink
    In 1967 I graduated college with a broken heart and no desire to continue my studies at a graduate level. My local draft board learned of my situation, and offered to cure my broken heart with a two year hitch in the Army. I was young and innocent but even then I knew that my college degree was likely to land me at the front of a patrol in some sticky jungle in Southeast Asia, so I “beat the draft” by opting for a four year hitch in the Navy. I thought a few years at sea would be a Read More
  • Memorial Day

    Mon, 25 May 2015 01:37:00 Permalink
    In 1967 I graduated college with a broken heart and no desire to continue my studies at a graduate level. My local draft board learned of my situation, and offered to cure my broken heart with a two year hitch in the Army. I was young and innocent but even then I knew that my […]The post Memorial Day appeared first on ten pound island book company. Read More
  • Randi White's Secret

    Mon, 18 May 2015 11:53:51 Permalink
    The evidence has been pouring in for a decade or more, as big box venues gobbled up mom 'n pops, and then were themselves brought low by the likes of Amazon and online used book markets such as ABE and eBay. Now everybody knows it's a bad idea to open a retail used book store in a small town unless you have a mate with a good job, or are a comfortably retired book-besotted romantic, or unless you have a death wish. Being a retiree with a comfortable pension AND a death wish is probably the optimum situation. But Randi Read More
  • Randi White's Secret

    Mon, 18 May 2015 11:53:00 Permalink
    The evidence has been pouring in for a decade or more, as big box venues gobbled up mom ‘n pops, and then were themselves brought low by the likes of Amazon and online used book markets such as ABE and eBay. Now everybody knows it’s a bad idea to open a retail used book store […]The post Randi White’s Secret appeared first on ten pound island book company. Read More
  • Hit Me Again, Please

    Sun, 10 May 2015 06:27:39 Permalink
    A couple of theorems about the biz are in play this week:Most of our profits in this trade come from occasional “big hits,” but our viability depends on being able to survive the trek through the valleys between those big hits.Every time I think I've figured this business out, it changes.Thus the inadequacies of the general used book store concept, circa 1980, led to the development of specialties at Ten Pound Island. Thus the failure of those specialties to meet the economic demands of an escalating real estate market drove Ten Pound Island out of the retail trade in 1993 Read More
  • "And That's the Way It Is", May Third, 2015...

    Sun, 03 May 2015 09:58:52 Permalink
    Walter Cronkite - the most trusted voiceBig day for me yesterday.I was featured in an article in Bruce McKinney's “Rare Book Monthly.” In fact, I got a mention “above the fold” - in the lead text appearing on the home page. Even better, Bruce McKinney referred to me as “ABAA commentator Greg Gibson.”I've never been called a “commentator” before, and I like to think that term confers a certain dignity lacking in the “jackass” and “loudmouth” appellations I usually endure. Walter Cronkite was a commentator. When commentators speak, people listen. In an attempt to defend himself against my charge that Read More
  • Real Books!

    Mon, 27 Apr 2015 08:57:31 Permalink
    Two vol. set $20Last week I got a call from a world class professional model maker who was closing his studio. The market and its fashions had changed, he told me, and rich guys were no longer commissioning his beautiful models. He might still make a few things to sell in ship model galleries, but after they took their cut his hourly wage would be about what he'd get working at McDonalds. So he took a position as a museum curator and moved his workshop to smaller quarters. He planned to keep about half of his extensive reference library and Read More
  • On the Transparency of Markets

    Sun, 19 Apr 2015 04:21:19 Permalink
    item #7 - "Etchings of a Whaling Cruise"Before I got married my girlfriend and I adopted a darling little tabby kitten named Nanny. The girlfriend departed and, for logistical reasons, I was granted custody of the kitty. Nanny and I set up housekeeping, and she soon grew up to be not a graceful mommycat, but a nasty, tough, wonderful old tom – the perfect companion for a randy young bachelor. Nanny ruled the neighborhood and often took longer road trips to lands and ladies beyond the boundaries of his kingdom. He'd return from these rambles with an eye puffed shut Read More
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