Member Blogs > Tavistock Books

  • Archival Cataloguing for Booksellers: Notes Toward a Guide

    Thu, 25 May 2017 05:54:10 Permalink
    By Kate Mitas archive n. ~1. Materials created or received by a person, family, or organization, public or private, in the conduct of their affairs and preserved because of the enduring value contained in the information they contain or as evidence of the functions and responsibilities of their creator, especially those materials maintained using the […] Read More
  • Where the Sidewalk Ended – Shel Silverstein: Poet, Comic, Musician and All Around Totally Awesome Guy

    Thu, 11 May 2017 10:38:57 Permalink
    “Although I cannot see your faceAs you flip these poems awhile,Somewhere from some far-off placeI hear you laughing—and I smile.” Yesterday in 1999, the United States lost a fantastic poet, cartoonist, writer and amazing person – one who influenced hundreds of thousands of lives with his humorous poems and eccentric cartoons. However, we aren’t here to […] Read More
  • OTD in 1830 – the First Passenger Steam Train Begins a Rigorous Schedule!

    Wed, 03 May 2017 10:24:02 Permalink
    On this day, May 3rd, in 1830, the first steam train regular passenger service began! Though trains had been in use in the early 1800s, they had not been used for the transportation of people – only the transportation of goods! The incredible discovery that these trains could be used as a way to deliver people […] Read More
  • Announce: UNCOMMON SURVIVORS, A Catalogue

    Wed, 26 Apr 2017 10:21:05 Permalink
    We are pleased to announce that our latest (and greatest) catalogue has hit online shelves everywhere! Don’t miss out on a chance to view and purchase these uncommon and surprising items, beautifully laid out by our very own Kate Mitas! Check it out here> Read More
  • What We Found in a California Gold Mine! I Mean, Book Fair. California Book Fair.

    Wed, 12 Apr 2017 09:08:14 Permalink
    So, it’s been a couple weeks since the Sacramento Antiquarian Book Fair and over a month since California’s Pasadena Book, Print and Paper Fair and the California ABAA Fair! What that means in layman’s terms is that it has given us just enough time to catalogue some of the highlights found at these fairs and […] Read More
  • OTD in 1926 : H.L. Mencken Gets Arrested in Boston for Selling a Banned Copy of The American Mercury!

    Wed, 05 Apr 2017 09:27:12 Permalink
    On this day in 1926, the Jazz Age was in full swing in the United States. Censorship was not an uncommon or unlawful idea at the time, and many Americans were being held to strict moral codes (like that of the prohibition) that they didn’t necessarily believe in. This was the case all over the […] Read More
  • The Northern California Chapter Quarterly Meeting

    Fri, 24 Mar 2017 08:09:15 Permalink
    This past Tuesday the 21st of March saw the members of the Northern California Chapter of the ABAA at their Quarterly meeting, this time held in Walnut Creek at the elegant Massimo Ristorante restaurant. Tavistock Books had three in attendance, Commander Vic Zoschak, trusty Aide-de-Camp Kate Mitas, and myself! There were 20+ members and guests in […] Read More
  • Beware the Ides of March Today, Folks… But What on Earth are the "Ides of March"?

    Wed, 15 Mar 2017 10:50:24 Permalink
    Have you ever heard anyone say “Beware the Ides of March”? I have known this phrase my whole life, and even known that it speaks of March 15th. However, I have never truly known the whole story behind the Ides or why it was something akin to a Friday the 13th – a date to […] Read More
  • "If people did not want their stories told, it would be better for them to keep away from me." The Life of Sherwood Anderson

    Thu, 09 Mar 2017 12:01:15 Permalink
    As embarrassing as this is to admit, I was first introduced to this great American author through a guilty-pleasure-teenage-girl-TV-show (that shall NOT be named) and began to research him after hearing his works mentioned several times. What I originally thought might turn into a Stephanie Meyer situation (author of Twilight… It was a teenage girl show, after […] Read More
  • Some New Treasures at Tavistock

    Tue, 28 Feb 2017 08:53:57 Permalink
    It’s finally the after-California-craziness time of year (though the Sacramento fair IS coming up again in March…) and boy did we find some neat new items while exhibiting at the Pasadena and Bay Area Fairs! We always like to feature a few new, great (in our humble opinion) things after we get a large amount […] Read More
  • Fair-ly Blue in the Face… That's a Wrap, Everybody!

    Thu, 16 Feb 2017 12:30:49 Permalink
    By Margueritte Peterson Well, another year has come and passed us by. Another Book Fair has come and gone. I would venture to say not just any book fair, of course, but the ABAA’s 50th California International Antiquarian Book Fair, to be precise. Despite no longer being an antiquarian bookseller personally, I still attend the California ABAA fairs […] Read More
  • "The Art of Losing": Honoring Poet Elizabeth Bishop

    Wed, 08 Feb 2017 11:47:41 Permalink
    So begins my favorite poem. I was never much of a poetry buff – having to read out badly handwritten poems in the 5th grade and then being the last one in the class to be chosen to be published in a strange Florida Kids Poetry Book pretty much nipped any dreams I might have […] Read More
  • Celebrating Children's Authors and Illustrators Week… with an Antiquarian Spin

    Wed, 01 Feb 2017 11:02:12 Permalink
    February 1st marks the beginning of Children’s Authors and Illustrators Week! Now, we’ve written several blogs on some of our favorite children’s book authors, but what we haven’t done in a while is take a look at some of our most popular antiquarian children’s literature items! We thought we’d take a little tour through some […] Read More
  • Mastering Modernist Literature… A Guide by Virginia Woolf on Her Birthday

    Wed, 25 Jan 2017 07:23:50 Permalink
    There have been many authors over the past century that have been considered forerunners in the art of the Modern Novel. As a matter of fact, we have written about quite a few of them in the past. Some tell-tale signs of modernist literature are a few literary techniques like a stream-of-consciousness voice or interior […] Read More
  • Who's Afraid of… What Happened to Amelia Earhart?

    Tue, 10 Jan 2017 08:12:42 Permalink
    Most of our blogs are about books, bookish things, about author holidays or birthdays, about book fairs and bibliophilia. However, sometimes we like to report on important or significant historical events. Often, those close to our heart (or our homes). So tomorrow, on the 82nd anniversary of her first completed solo flight from Honolulu to Oakland […] Read More
  • Get Ready for Spring Book Fair Season!

    Wed, 04 Jan 2017 12:00:20 Permalink
    Happy New Year! For us California folk, the New Year means one main thing… the beginning of the California Antiquarian Book Fairs! There are quite a few to check out, if you’re so inclined, starting at the end of January and spreading through to mid-February! Though we are partial to our California fairs (probably because […] Read More
  • "I delight in what I fear": Happy Birthday to the Mistress of Terror, Miss Shirley Jackson

    Wed, 14 Dec 2016 11:40:23 Permalink
    For those of you unfamiliar with Jackson’s work, consider yourself warned of potential SPOILERS right now and exit out of this page. Preferably to pick up one of her books and see for yourself. I still remember the first Shirley Jackson piece I ever read. Like most American high school teenagers, it was one of […] Read More
  • "A Date Which Will Live in Infamy…" Today we Remember the United States' Entrance into WWII

    Wed, 07 Dec 2016 06:14:46 Permalink
    Bookstores and businesses in the antiquarian book world are numerous enough that no matter what you are looking for, you can be sure to find it somewhere. On sites like and, you can search for booksellers based on what genre of books you are looking for. One genre we would like to salute on […] Read More
  • The Latest and Greatest from Tavistock Books

    Tue, 29 Nov 2016 05:50:29 Permalink
    The fall book fair season has slowed to a crawl, but the elves at Tavistock Books have been working overtime, cataloguing away! Presented here are a few notable new items at Tavistock Books, ones found at recent fairs such as Sacramento and Boston – and carefully picked out by Vic & Kate (you know, the Tavistock elves) […] Read More
  • Welcome Home, My Lovelies

    Wed, 16 Nov 2016 06:26:37 Permalink
    Taylor Bowie doesn’t look like much of a tough guy. He’s short and thin, with a wispy goatee and wire glasses, and he wears a baseball hat and sneakers for almost all occasions. He loves books and food and cats, not necessarily in that order, and he’s been in the book trade so long even […] Read More
  • "We sit in the mud… and reach for the stars": A Tribute to Ivan Turgenev

    Wed, 09 Nov 2016 11:58:31 Permalink
    Recently I sat down and made a list of some authors and book-related events that I wished I knew more about. Too often we can find ourselves leaning towards what we already know – authors we are comfortable with and like. So to avoid stagnancy, we are going to do a couple blogs on things […] Read More
  • Boston or Bust! One Bay-Area Bookseller's Look at the Boston Antiquarian Book Fair (Said Bookseller Being our Very Own Vic Zoschak)

    Wed, 02 Nov 2016 10:51:41 Permalink
    If it’s the second weekend in November, I must be in Boston.  Wait, I was in Boston last week, late October…?  Yes, this year, due to a date conflict at the Hynes, the Boston fairs were right in the middle of the 2016 World Series.  Can you imagine the craziness in town if the Sox […] Read More
  • A Birthday Cheers to Pablo Picasso, Father of Cubism

    Wed, 26 Oct 2016 10:40:37 Permalink
    Ask ten people near you right now who the most famous artist of all time is. I guarantee you (in the way where I can’t really pay up if I’m wrong) that at least half will name Pablo Picasso as the first artist who comes to mind. Picasso, a Spanish painter, sculptor, designer, poet and […] Read More
  • The Migratory Habits of Booksellers

    Thu, 13 Oct 2016 06:54:14 Permalink
    Ahh, book fair season is upon us once more: when booksellers of every stripe take to the skies and highways of America in search of fresh resources and temporary bibliophilic nesting grounds. It’s one of the book trade’s enduring mysteries, and a sight to behold. Drawn by forces scientists have not yet managed to explain — collective memory, […] Read More
  • Happy Birthday to our Favorite Children's Book Serialist… Mr. Edward L. Stratemeyer!

    Tue, 04 Oct 2016 02:21:36 Permalink
    On October 4th, 1862, a children’s literature tycoon was born. With his humble beginnings, of course, no one ever would have suspected that a talented writer and publisher was in their midst. Stratemeyer was born the youngest of six children in Elizabeth, New Jersey to a young tobacconist and his wife. Both of Edward’s parents […] Read More
  • Our Fearless Leader Reports from the 42nd ILAB Congress in Budapest!

    Wed, 28 Sep 2016 01:24:58 Permalink
    In 2010, the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of Hungary was admitted to be a member of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB). They marked their admittance with a promise to be active within the community, and they took their promise very seriously! Thus marked the beginning of a plan to hold the ILAB Congress in […] Read More
  • [Insert Clever Title Here]

    Fri, 16 Sep 2016 02:24:05 Permalink
    One thing has become abundantly clear since I worked my first book fair a year ago: these post-fair blogs have gotten harder to write. I’m no longer the wide-eyed book fair ingenue I once was, after all, fresh off the bus (or pickup truck, as the case may be) from Ohio and armed with a […] Read More
  • Happy International Literacy Day! All Hail the Printing Press

    Thu, 08 Sep 2016 01:37:46 Permalink
    As everyone (at least, everyone who is reading this blog) probably knows, the advent of the Printing Press in 1454 (the year the Gutenberg Bible was printed) instigated a major boom in reading and literacy worldwide. Suddenly even the common man could afford a booklet or even a book… there was no longer an aristocratic or […] Read More
  • Happy Birthday to Mary Shelley… and the Birth of Frankenstein

    Tue, 30 Aug 2016 11:30:49 Permalink
    Once upon a time, there was a large house that sat alone on a cliff in the countryside. It contained more dark corners and cobwebs to count. On one dark and stormy night, inside that house a birth took place. One young lady (and a terribly naive young and handsome doctor) created a terrible creature […] Read More
  • Welcome to the Biennial Reference Book Workshop with Tavistock Books (For All You Lazies Who Didn't Sign Up)

    Wed, 24 Aug 2016 11:19:57 Permalink
    1. Hooray! Another Reference Book Workshop! Who attended and how was the vibe of the event in your eyes? This was like the 11th or 12th I’ve hosted this workshop since the first in 2001.  Due to space constraints, I limit registration to 7, which was attained this year shortly after the announcement but relatively […] Read More
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