Member Blogs > ten pound island book company

  • Malton's Views

    Sat, 15 Jun 2013 04:24:43 Permalink
    One of the things I love about this business is the way it stays fresh. Just when you think youve seen it all, another surprise comes along.Last summer I purchased a scarce color plate book. I know, color plates books arent my thing. But this one had Irish interest, and I was pretty sure I could flog it. I put it in catalog 213 described as follows:Malton, James. A PICTURESQUE AND DESCRIPTIVE VIEW OF THE CITY OF DUBLINDISPLAYED IN A SERIES OF THE MOST INTERESTING SCENES TAKEN IN THE YEAR 1791.   Lon.  n.d.  b/w and handcolored engravings. Oblong folio, unpaginated Read More
  • How Many Ways?

    Sun, 09 Jun 2013 12:06:33 Permalink
    How many ways are there to do this business? Here is my old friend Adrian Connolly of Connollys Book Shop, Cork City, Ireland.Adrianpresides over a heap of mostly worthless books.You know... the kind that Gotbooks or Better World Books pick out of those drop boxes they leave around cities. Books they want you to think youre donating to charity when, in fact, they'll sell them (you've already tried and failed).Adrian once told me he buys his books by the pallet load from a jobber in London. Like bales of rags. He then prices them at 3 - 10 and shelves them Read More
  • Dandelions!

    Fri, 31 May 2013 10:57:22 Permalink
    I work all spring on the lawn at Flatrocks Gallery, and what do I get?Dandelions!recent additions to the Flatrocks sculpture gardenBut seriously folks, Anne Marie and Cynthia have curated a wonderful (and suitably Ten Poundish) new exhibition called "Our Working Waterfront." The show runs May 30 - July 7, and it features the work of some of Cape Ann's finest artists.Ordinarily, I'd miss this Saturday's opening reception at Flatrocks Gallery because I'd be in Concord, NH, setting up for the 23rd annual New Hampshire spring book fair.But promoter Laura Parr has cancelled it!A sad commentary on the state of book fairs Read More
  • This Week's Guest Blog

    Sun, 26 May 2013 02:54:55 Permalink
    Last week I wrote about naval hero James Lawrence, Washington Irving's biography of him, and friend Tom Halsted's article in the Boston Sunday Globe about his famous naval battle. A few days later Tom forwarded a link to another article he'd written, this one on his blog "Beam Reach." Well, it was right in Ten Pound's wheelhouse (I am mentioned in the article, but actually it was colleague Garrett Scott who solved the mystery therein) and I asked Tom if I could reprint it. He graciously assented so, without further ado, here is this week's guest blog...The Sailor King and IMy grandfather, the Read More
  • Surrender the Ship?

    Mon, 20 May 2013 10:19:15 Permalink
    I got stumped last week, trying to catalog a book Id recently purchased. It was the first full length biography of the American naval hero James Lawrence, and it was supposed to be 244 pages long. However, my copy seemed complete at page 240, which ended with the word finis.I mustve spent an hour  pouring through my reference books trying to reconcile the discrepancy. Meet my friends the reference books (left to right) BAL, Molnar, Sabin, S&S, Smith II, HowesI had a dim recollection of the pagination issue being explained to me by the gentleman from whom Id purchased the Read More
  • Then and Now

    Mon, 13 May 2013 11:32:34 Permalink
    Last Wednesday I gave a talk about the genesis of my new novel The Old Turks Load. People laughed. Were they laughing with me or at me? To decide for yourself, click here, then click again on Greg Gibson.The rest of the week was pretty routine. I bought a nice English chart of the Arctic and Pacific (1839) over the phone from another dealer,and a copy of Scoresbys Whalemans Adventures, via email, from the widow of the customer to whom Id sold it in the 1990s. (Thats been happening a lot, lately. Its getting to seem as if the ultimate secret Read More
  • Science Experiment

    Sun, 05 May 2013 10:25:48 Permalink
    OK, what kind of way is this to drive into a book fair? That damned box sat right at the entrance of the parking lot at the Shriners Auditorium in Wilmington, Mass., site of the 37thannual MARIAB (Massachusetts and Rhode Island Antiquarian Booksellers) Book Fair Gotbooks pretends its a charity, sending books to teachers and soldiers and keeping the environment green, but actually its just a scam to get free books, which they then peddle at one of their superstores, or have chimps with barcode scanners put on the Internet. (Peter Stern observed, Well, at least we have a place to leave Read More
  • Curation and Creation

    Mon, 29 Apr 2013 11:47:54 Permalink
    A lot has happened at 77 Langsford St. since February 2010. On this date one year ago the walls at Flatrocks Gallerywere pink.Now theyre off white, a perfect backdrop for talented artists from Bostons North Shore area.Owners Anne Marie Crotty and Cynthia Switzer Roth have curated an astonishing five exhibitions in the seven months of the existence of their new gallery. Most recently, theyve assembled an exciting and visually challenging exhibition called Fabrications in which five woman artists transform ordinary materials into objects of whimsy, delicacy, beauty, and strength.The pieces in Fabrications operate in three dimensions and, in many cases, depend on Read More
  • Boston Strong, World Sick

    Sun, 21 Apr 2013 09:31:28 Permalink
    I admit to being a Moron Sportstalk Radio junkie.Monday, after an exhausting week in New York launching TheOld Turks Load and navigating the New York Antiquarian Book Fair, I recuperated on the couch with six hours of the Boston Marathon (an excellent spectator sport, by the way) and the Boston Red Sox game. Then I paid a few bills and schlepped to the post office. During this short drive Felger & Mazz, two of my favorite sportstalk morons, told me about the Marathon Bombing. They said it put the game of baseball, and all sports, into perspective.Indeed, falling down a Read More
  • Of Apes and Underwear

    Mon, 15 Apr 2013 05:19:26 Permalink
    As I was getting ready to depart for New York last Monday I received a most interesting email. Your Amazon.com Today's Deals See All Departments Greg Gibson, Are you looking for something in our Mystery, Thriller & Suspense books department? If so, you might be interested in these items. Mystery, Thriller & Suspense books The Old Turk's Load by Gregory Gibson List Price: $24.00 Price: $14.19 You Save: $9.81 (41%) Amazon, at the apogee of its algorithmical perfection, was soliciting me to buy my own book. That afternoon, having arrived in the Big Apple, I went down to the Mysterious Read More
  • Of Apes and Underwear

    Mon, 15 Apr 2013 02:05:00 Permalink
    As I was getting ready to depart for New York last Monday I received a most interesting email. Your Amazon.com   Today's Deals   See All Departments    Greg Gibson, Are you looking for something in our Mystery, Thriller & Suspense books department? If so, you might be interested in these items.     Mystery, Thriller & Suspense books          The Old Turk's Load by Gregory Gibson  List Price: $24.00 Price: $14.19 You Save: $9.81 (41%)        Amazon, at the apogee of its algorithmical perfection, was soliciting me to buy my own book. That afternoon, having arrived in the Big Apple, I went down to Read More
  • Imaginary Toads, Real Gardens

    Mon, 08 Apr 2013 10:46:08 Permalink
    (Please take a moment to read Marianne Moore's wonderful poem from which this week's title is stolen.)It'll never fit!Impossible to go about packing up for the New York Book Fair Ahhh...without remembering fairs past - the leaky Armory of old, the cramped Americana Hotel, the fresh start with promoter Sandy he made the trains run on time Smith. All those early bookfair expeditions to the Big Apple for the  Trinity, Greenwich Village, and Park Avenue events, staying with pals in Jersey City and Brooklyn, and Puffys or the Raccoon Lodge, or Walkers in Tribeca. We were young then, and didnt need to sleep. And Read More
  • Hegemony

    Sun, 31 Mar 2013 07:07:32 Permalink
    (Just as a courtesy I want to inform you at the outset that this is not in any way an April Fool blog, though it is April and I have done my fair share of foolish things.)When I published Gone Boy, my first book, in 1999 my publishers Kodansha and  Random House did what companies did back then to publicize a book; they took out ads in print media, arranged a long string of radio and television interviews, and sent me on book tours to the Pacific Northwest, LA, the greater Atlanta area, and, of course, the Northeast. I Read More
  • The Man Who "Really" Invented POD

    Sun, 24 Mar 2013 04:18:28 Permalink
    The Joshua Ward HouseBob Murphy grew up behind a cash register in a family owned drugstore. He exhibited an enlarged collecting gland at an early age, and wheedled his parents into driving him around to the many antique shops that existed in those days in search of antique coins, guns and colonial artifacts, as I recall. Then books as historical references, then books as collectible things in themselves.He set up his first shop in the reference room at the Boston Public Library. In the morning hed go hunting in Bostons many old and used book stores, making copious notes Read More
  • Objects of Desire

    Mon, 18 Mar 2013 10:43:09 Permalink
    The good news is that Ive made a few hefty sales in recent weeks. The bad news is that nobody is in any hurry to pay me. So I left home Friday morning for Ephemera Thirty Three - the Ephemera Societys international conference and show held at the commodious and very pleasant Hyatt Regency Hotelin Greenwich, Connecticut - with about $50,000 in receivables and $30,000 in ummm, obligations rattling along after me like tin cans on a newlyweds car.The situation was not conducive to aggressive buying. Indeed, I entered the show determined to sit on my hands (Auction room Read More
  • Report from Murderer's Row

    Sun, 10 Mar 2013 11:17:21 Permalink
    The cold weather followed John Thomson, Lin Respess and me south from last week's Rosslyn book fair. Blinding flurries in Virginia, night time temperatures in the 20s in Alabama, and worrisome showers in the panhandle. Transitioning, finally, to sunny skies in Bradenton, Florida, just in time for the Pirates Tampa Bay spring training ballgame on Thursday. By Friday we were thawed out and ready to go back to work.Maybe its because so many people have been doing this show for so long, or maybe the fine weather combs everybodys nerve hairs back, but setup at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair Read More
  • Miserable Pirates

    Sat, 02 Mar 2013 06:34:46 Permalink
    A chilly wind in Washington DC this week. I got frostbitten ears walking across the Key bridge from Georgetownto the Washington Antiquarian Book Fair in Rosslyn, VA.Pity those rowers in their sculls on the Potomacfar below.As usual promoter Beth Campbelland her staff got us moved in to the second floor of the Holiday Inn smoothly and efficiently. It helps that most of the dealers here have been doing the show for years, but still. Beth is definitely a hands on organizer, scooting between the three rooms of the fair with tablecloths, invoices and sympathy.Beth says this event has a mailing Read More
  • "Finest Kind!" - A Modest Proposal

    Sun, 24 Feb 2013 10:46:58 Permalink
    Fish Hatchery Ten Pound Island. John Hoagland, circa 1930. In a far sighted effort to maintain fish stocks, this hatchery provided lobster and cod fry from eggs. Operated by the US Fish Commission, it ran from 1889 to 1954. Hoagland was an American painter active in the 1930s. Framed, $300Its an expression that came fresh off the docks. When a fisherman wanted to invoke the utmost superlative, hed say, finest kind. Eventually usage morphed to more mundane levels. How ya dooin?Finest kind!But these days life along the waterfront is anything but the finest kind.In an effort to conserve a Read More
  • Weird S**t

    Sun, 17 Feb 2013 09:31:38 Permalink
    Weve been doing this for nearly thirty years, and its still a thrill to step off the airplane into sunny skies and balmy air (when we're on the ground, I mean). This year, in particular, exchanging snow drifts for temperatures in the 70s has been a blessing. Anne Marie found us a cheap room at the wonderfully named Vertigo Hotel so, when we werent taking care of book business, we got to spend quality time in a Hitchock movie. Wednesday afternoon, on our way to visit friends in Oakland, muscle memory propelled me to the parking lot of Serendipity. Except for Read More
  • The Power of Publicity

    Sun, 10 Feb 2013 07:49:28 Permalink
    All night during the blizzard of 2013, beneath the winds steady roar, I kept hearing a thumping noise from the back of our house. It sounded as if a door had come loose and was blowing open and shut. But of course, that was impossible. There was already a foot of snow on the ground enough to inhibit swinging doors. What, then?The noise had stopped when I went out to shovel next morning. In fact, I became so absorbed in excavating my car that I almost forgot about it. Only as an afterthought, on my way back inside to sit Read More
  • 7000 Teddy Bears

    Sun, 03 Feb 2013 03:20:28 Permalink
    Yeah, I know its a little off topic. Just consider this a message from our sponsor. Last week I read in the venerable Newtown Bee that more than 7000 teddy bears had been sent to Newtown, Connecticut, site of Decembers horrific school shootings.I thought that was a sweet gesture.Then I got to thinking of those caring individuals who wished so strongly to comfort the grieving Newtown parents. It must have taken quite a bit of energy and planning to go out and buy a toy, and wrap it, and figure out where to send it, and schlep it down to Read More
  • 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
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