Member Blogs > ten pound island book company

  • Fred Rosselot

    Mon, 23 Feb 2015 05:31:39 Permalink
    While in Ireland and out of the book world, I've been posting chapters from a story I'm working on. (See entries below.) The story is set in the town of Talman, a fictional iteration of Nyack, NY, one of the stops on my book route for decades. One of my favorite guys in Nyack is Fred Rosselot, a lovely guy with a sharp mind and a sharper eye for books - with which he filled his house.This past weekend, Fred was severely injured in a fire which destroyed his house and his entire stock.For details go to https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/6wjd6Presumably the ABAA Read More
  • Chapter IV

    Sun, 22 Feb 2015 03:19:00 Permalink
    Jerry is making a Manhattan on the rocks for Mister Windle. He pours the frothing liquid from the shaker into the glass where it settles to amber with hints of yellow, scarlet, and blue from the reflection of the Christmas lights strung above the bar. No cherry. Mister Windle is a Brit and has an accent, but he's turned out to be a good guy despite the way he sounds - which, afterall, isn't his fault - genuinely interested in Americans and things American. He’d introduced himself three years ago as, “Windle, John Windle” and Jerry, just to see what Read More
  • Not Coming to a Theater Near You Anytime Soon

    Mon, 16 Feb 2015 03:59:30 Permalink
     II Kelly shambles out of his living quarters as if he’d been hibernating there. He’s dressed, but might have slept in his clothes. Needs a shave. Jarkey, who also needs a shave, is sitting at one of the two desks in the front office, pecking the typewriter, scowling at the article he’s writing about Radio Row, the Lower West Side neighborhood recently obliterated to clear the way for the new World Trade Center. He’s wondering if anyone cares. The whole place was a rathole anyway. Kelly sits at the other desk, rummages through the top drawer, finds a packet of Read More
  • Used Books of the Future that Never Made it to the Future

    Sun, 08 Feb 2015 02:09:33 Permalink
    Spent the weekend on Sherkin Island, where our Irish friends Kathy and Mike have some family property that they're developing into an event center.  It's beautiful here, in the rugged but calm way that typifies so much of the Irish coast. Lovely scenery, good friends, and plenty of excellent food, drink, laughter, and talk. It's easy to think of this place as its own kind of paradise. But this morning, as I was looking out over the water back toward the town of Skibbereen,I remembered the proposal I wrote in 2004 for a non-fiction book about Ireland that presented quite a Read More
  • Super Bowl Sunday

    Mon, 02 Feb 2015 08:02:01 Permalink
    Super Bowl didn't start until 11:30 pm in Ireland, so there was plenty of time for an afternoon walk up Mt. Clara in County Cork. The game itself was surreal.Al and Chris frequently interrupted by Irish presenters with little feel for the game, and, strangely, no Super Bowl commercials! Instead we got the usual round of cheesy Irish ads for Lucozade, phone sex (the dial-in number ended 69-69-69) and Budweiser, which these people think is a fancy imported beer. A nation of savages!Guess that's why I love it here.The contest was one of the best in years. The weird circus catch Read More
  • Super Bowl Sunday

    Mon, 02 Feb 2015 05:53:06 Permalink
    Super Bowl didn't start until 11:30 pm in Ireland, so there was plenty of time for an afternoon walk up Mt. Clara in County Cork. The game itself was surreal.Al and Chris frequently interrupted by Irish presenters with little feel for the game, and, strangely, no Super Bowl commercials! Instead we got the usual round of cheesy Irish ads for Lucozade, phone sex (the dial-in number ended 69-69-69) and Budweiser, which these people think is a fancy imported beer. A nation of savages!Guess that's why I love it here.The game itself was one of the best in years. The weird circus Read More
  • Chapter I. Dicky's Dream

    Mon, 26 Jan 2015 12:06:03 Permalink
    He'd been having a dream; one of those turgid, anxious dreams you might get from eating too much before going to bed. In the dream he'd been sitting in a car with his family watching an exciting basketball game. Then he realized it was 5:50, leaving him only a little more than an hour to get to his hotel uptown and then get back down to meet his friends. He said his goodbyes and began to leave, then remembered he'd forgotten his suitcase, which was not much bigger than a big briefcase. It had a zippered pouch in front and Read More
  • Mon, 19 Jan 2015 04:33:41 Permalink
    The Emerald Isle had a surprise for me when I arrived. Read More
  • Same Old, Same Old..

    Mon, 12 Jan 2015 07:51:27 Permalink
    Same old white knuckle whiteout snowstorm drive down I-84 Friday morning. Same old cold and gray Hartford. Same old dank concrete basement, with its toxic lights, slushy galoshes, weary porters, and slightly bewildered staff. Same old dealers. Same old customers. At least some of the paper was new. In all the years I've been exhibiting at Papermania in January in Hartford, Connecticut, the scene has hardly changed at all. If you were to compare an image of booth 92 taken on Sunday, January 11, 2015 with an image taken at the same booth in any other year between now and 1988, Read More
  • Home of the Camel

    Mon, 05 Jan 2015 04:44:39 Permalink
    Every winter I pay a visit to The Camel. This distinguished dromedary lives on a balcony in a huge steel and concrete structure reminiscent of an airplane hangar. He is tended by kindly old men in funny hats who prefer to do good things for sick children rather than just sit around and drink and tell bad jokes and tired stories. Or, they do good things for sick children AND sit around and drink and tell bad jokes and tired stories. I'm speaking, of course, of the Shriner's Auditorium just off Interstate 93 in Wilmington Mass. Every year, in this venue, promoter Read More
  • Home of the Camel

    Mon, 05 Jan 2015 03:13:42 Permalink
    Every winter I pay a visit to The Camel. This distinguished dromedary lives on a balcony in a huge steel and concrete structure reminiscent of an airplane hangar. He is tended by kindly old men in funny hats who prefer to do good things for sick children rather than just sit around and drink and tell bad jokes and tired stories. Or, they do good things for sick children AND sit around and drink and tell bad jokes and tired stories. I'm speaking, of course, of the Shriner's Auditorium just off Interstate 93 in Wilmington Mass. Every year, in this venue, promoter Read More
  • Used Books of the Future (continued)

    Mon, 29 Dec 2014 01:35:02 Permalink
    Years ago a colleague named Owen Kubiksent me an enigmatic manuscript. After considerable headscratching I determined it was the journal of a young naval officer sent to the Pacific to capture a sociopath who had committed murder and mutiny on the whaleship Globe. We sold it to the New Bedford Whaling Museum, and felt quite pleased with ourselves.Then it occurred to me that this manuscript would be an excellent frame for a new non-fiction book about the gory events aboard the Globe.Owing to the unexpected success of Philbrick's In the Heart of the Sea, there was a bull market for Read More
  • Venting and Flogging

    Sun, 21 Dec 2014 04:26:11 Permalink
    Rant alert. If the pressures of the Holiday Season have left you feeling a mite tetchy, you are advised to skip directly to the interesting offerings at the end of this essay.My annual gift issue of the magazine Sea History arrived this week. They send it free every Christmas to former subscribers, with an advertising supplement attached. This year the supplement was from A.G.A. Correa, a company that sells cute gold stuff to wear around your neck or wrist – lighthouses, seagulls, clam shells, rope knots, sailboats. Prices range from hundreds to mid-thousands. Hey, it's 14K gold.Ten Pound Island Book Read More
  • Putting the Book Back in Bookselling

    Mon, 15 Dec 2014 11:23:06 Permalink
    My favorite thing about IOBA (Independent OnlineBooksellers Association) is the chat line. On the chat line I learn over and over how diverse a business this is. Here's a fairly typical string in which IOBAns help each other sort out a problem: ...I thought I had figured out a way to up the prices by a fixed amount in Excel. The problem was I ruined all the 978 ISBNs and didn't even realize it for a few months. It seems BookHound uses some kind of equation in the ISBN field, which I guess helps with the 10-digit, 13-digit conversion. When the Read More
  • Xmas Rant (one in an ongoing series)

    Mon, 08 Dec 2014 11:37:43 Permalink
    Okay, it's the Christmas season. I think I remember, from an abortive Sunday School career, Jesus telling us to suffer the little children – a tricky collision of images, that. And I recall him saying, “Blessed be the peacemakers: for they will be called children of God.” And, one I spent a lot of time thinking about, “the truth shall make you free.” But nowhere, to the best of my knowledge, did Jesus of Nazareth advise us to clog highways and box store parking lots, to roam malls like zombies in heat, or to line up outside stores at 6:00 Read More
  • House Calls and Archives

    Sun, 30 Nov 2014 07:34:49 Permalink
    Portrait of the artist as a young dog, circa 1967As readers of this blog may be aware, I exited the retail “bricks and mortar” trade years ago. Sold my thousands of books, book shelves and store furniture, and settled down to life as a big shot highfalutin rare book dealer. Almost immediately I found myself in acute distress owing to an unanticipated shortage of cash – I mean in the form of undeclared singles, fives, tens, and twenties that leaked in every day. Like any sensible retail shop owner I had depended on this trickle of green to provide for Read More
  • Funny Business

    Sun, 23 Nov 2014 08:37:20 Permalink
    It's a funny business. There is no accounting for why or when things come to you. Every time I buy an American whaling log, for example, I think I may never see another one again. And then...Over the past month I've gathered, from various sources, a mind boggling stack of 18thand 19th century logbooks and sailor's journals. Not much to look at, I'll admit. But the gravitational force of this remarkable accumulation has dragged me, like a wayward comet, from my comfortable orbit in the 21st century to the dicey seafaring days of the 1800s. The phone rings. I pick Read More
  • Boston 2014: Rheumatology

    Mon, 17 Nov 2014 02:16:14 Permalink
    The fair is over. I made some money. I needed it. What else is new?Well, for one thing, Boston's hotels have uniformly adopted a new ripoff algorithm. The moment room demand reaches a tipping point, rack rates go into overdrive. Boston was crawling with rhumatologists on book fair weekend, and demand for rooms was at an all time high. A couple of prominent rheumatologists, doing what rheumatologists doThese Docs don't care what they pay – they're doctors. But little people like us will suffer. I'm on the book fair committee and when our promoter, the capable Betty Fulton, announced that she'd Read More
  • A Very Special Collection

    Sun, 09 Nov 2014 12:39:49 Permalink
    A couple of weeks ago, on the Exlibris listserve, the resident genius and presiding spirit of the rare book and special collections worlds, Terry Belanger, published summaries of presentations at the “National Colloquium on Library Special Collections.” The roster of speakers featured luminaries such as Stephen Enniss (The Ransom Center), Jay Satterfield (Dartmouth), Mark Dimunation (Library of Congress); and our own Ken Lopez. It interested me that, according to Terry's reports, these people spent a lot of time talking about archives. And it was even more interesting to hear them repeatedly asking, “What constitutes an archive?” Because, obviously, the nature of Read More
  • Book Show Wars Heat Up

    Mon, 03 Nov 2014 09:44:08 Permalink
    In my October 20 blog entry I outlined the turf war that is shaping up between two book fair promoters, Impact Events Group and Flamingo Eventz. At that time it seemed as if Marvin Getman of Impact - by scheduling a New York Shadow Show closer to the big ABAA fair, and opening it earlier - had stolen the march on John and Tina Bruno of Flamingo. This morning subscribers to IOBA, Rarebook, and ABAA chatlines received the following email from Garry Austin:Recently there has been much discussion regarding the future of the “Shadow Show” to the New York ABAA Read More
  • To E or Not to E

    Mon, 27 Oct 2014 01:23:52 Permalink
    Maritime Lists 1-225. Thirty-eight years of agony and ecstasy in a foot and a halfA few years ago, in the course of one of my hyper-dramatized but mostly benign financial panics, I decided to stop issuing printed catalogs. Though I loved, and was proud of, my catalogs, they cost nearly of $4 each, and seemed to serve primarily as a vehicles for frustrated customers to complain about my grossly unfair manner of distributing them, or excuses for non-ordering pedants to inform me of the many grammatical and spelling errors they contained. I sent hyper-dramatized farewells to customers who did not Read More
  • Book Show Wars

    Mon, 20 Oct 2014 07:37:05 Permalink
    Back in the 1990s Bernice Bornstein saw an opportunity and took advantage of it. Her husband Marvin owned a parking lot directly across the street from the Hynes Auditorium, where the Boston International Antiquarian BookFair was being held. “Why not have a smaller show for non-ABAA dealers that same weekend?” she asked. “We could use the basement of Marvin's garage.” Thus the first “Shadow Show” was born.The idea met intense resistance at first. Old-line ABAA dealers were concerned that another show would steal customers and dilute earnings. They feared the public would confuse the ABAA show, where rigid standards for Read More
  • "Govern Yourselves Accordingly"

    Mon, 13 Oct 2014 10:37:12 Permalink
    This was supposed to have been a review of last weekend's Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair. But the event went so smoothly, and was such a success, that there isn't really much to say about it. Load in and setup proceeded without a hitch. The venue was roomy and well lit, and a steady and enthusiastic crowd kept us on our toes all weekend, dealing with librarians, private collectors and even a smattering of that most sought after demographic, young people. Almost everyone made money. I had dinner Sunday night with two dealers who each sold over $100,000, and now I have Read More
  • Robbie

    Mon, 06 Oct 2014 08:28:15 Permalink
    I'm up in Cape Breton working on the last of the Ledyard essays, clearing land, and hauling gravel for the foundation of the writer's shack that, time and $$ permitting, will some day be sitting at the top of my field. Aside from a few email queries, there's not much business going on at Ten Pound Island Book Company, so I thought I'd give you a little sample from the current Ledyard piece. As you may recall, the project centers around my walk from Hanover, New Hampshire to Hartford, Connecticut, tracing a canoe voyage made by the famed “American Traveler” Read More
  • Last Walk

    Sun, 28 Sep 2014 09:46:28 Permalink
    Headed to the farm on Cape Breton to lay the foundation for my Thoreau-not writer's shack, and to finish writing up the last of the Ledyard walk. And yes, you're right. Walking it was a snap compared to writing it...PrefaceLedyard bleeding out upon the sands of Egypt. A quick flashback montage of Dartmouth College, Captain Cook, John Paul Jones, Jefferson in Paris, those seductive ladies of the night, Joseph Banks, the Nile (“Do you know the river Connecticut? Of all the rivers I have seen it most resembles it in size.”) The sand.But I’m finished with Ledyard, long before his Read More
  • Paper Town

    Mon, 22 Sep 2014 03:13:08 Permalink
    It was a beautiful morning, one of the last fine days of the summer, with trees just beginning to turn the corner toward the explosion of colors that precede winter's monotone. But instead of going into the woods, where I know the swamp maples along the brook are already flashing their pinks and deeper reds, I got in my car and drove to Paper Town That's what promoters John and Tina Bruno call it, anyway. Actually, it's nothing more than a large conference room in a former Radisson (I think)  Hotel, now repurposed as a slightly seedy, past-its-prime Holiday Inn. Which is, Read More
  • Marvin's Daughter

    Tue, 16 Sep 2014 05:42:35 Permalink
    In the 1980s a buddy of mine who worked for a union in Manhattan got to know some people who knew some people who made it possible for him to purchase a three family tenement in Greenpoint. This deal required some social engineering because Greenpoint was a very tight neighborhood. I used to hang out there when I had business in New York, and I remember it as tidy but bleak, sporting long rows of asbestos clad tenements under gunmetal skies. When I parked my car and walked to by buddy's place, eyes followed me every step of the way Read More
  • Marvin's Daughter

    Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:23:57 Permalink
    In the 1980s a buddy of mine who worked for a union in Manhattan got to know some people who knew some people who made it possible for him to purchase a three family tenement in Greenpoint. This deal required some social engineering because Greenpoint was a very tight neighborhood. I used to hang out there when I had business in New York, and I remember it as tidy but bleak, sporting long rows of asbestos clad tenements under gunmetal skies. When I parked my car and walked to by buddy's place, eyes followed me every step of the way Read More
  • Marvin's Daughter

    Mon, 15 Sep 2014 12:38:35 Permalink
    In the 1980s a buddy of mine who worked for a union in Manhattan got to know some people who knew some people who made it possible for him to purchase a three family tenement in Greenpoint. This deal required some social engineering because Greenpoint was a very tight neighborhood. I used to hang out there when I had business in New York, and I remember it as tidy but bleak, sporting long rows of asbestos clad tenements under gunmetal skies. When I parked my car and walked to by buddy's place, eyes followed me every step of the way Read More
  • Marvin's Daughter

    Mon, 15 Sep 2014 01:44:10 Permalink
    In the 1980s a buddy of mine who worked for a union in Manhattan got to know some people who knew some people who made it possible for him to purchase a three family tenement in Greenpoint. This deal required some social engineering because Greenpoint was a very tight neighborhood. I used to hang out there when I had business in New York, and I remember it as tidy but bleak, sporting long rows of asbestos clad tenements under gunmetal skies. When I parked my car and walked to by buddy's place, eyes followed me every step of the way Read More
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