Member Blogs > Tavistock Books

  • Collecting Antiquarian Bibles (What Better Time to Discuss than at Christmas?)

    Wed, 23 Dec 2015 05:12:04 Permalink
    The Bible is the most common English-language book in the world, so it would hardly seem like an ideal focus for rare book collectors. But the history and variety of Bibles make collecting them a diverting and challenging occupation—especially because one can often start a lovely collection without spending too much money. Finding Your Focus […] Read More
  • A Warm Welcome (High-Five Included) to the Newly Nominated Vice President of the ABAA!

    Thu, 17 Dec 2015 09:28:56 Permalink
    Our very own Vic Zoschak Jr. has been recently announced to be the new Vice President of the prestigious Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (the ABAA). We pick his brains about the new role (and how he is to be bribed when in said position…) below! So we are looking at the new Vice President of […] Read More
  • Braving Rush Hour to Feed my Holiday Bibliophilia

    Thu, 10 Dec 2015 03:12:59 Permalink
    Click, clack, click, clack… are these the sounds of the keys on my keyboard puncturing this blank document with letters as I write this? Maybe. Was it also the sound my heels made as they climbed the steps of the Berkeley City Club last night for the annual holiday dinner & raffle of the Northern […] Read More
  • This Thanksgiving, Be Thankful You Aren't… David Colbreth Broderick, Victim of America's Last Notable Duel

    Wed, 25 Nov 2015 01:51:44 Permalink
    On September 13, 1859, the “last notable American duel” took place in a ravine just outside San Francisco. Duels were illegal in California, but that didn’t stop David Colbreth Broderick and David Terry from squaring off to resolve their personal and political differences. In 1849, David Colbreth Broderick came to California from New York with […] Read More
  • Booming Boston!

    Wed, 18 Nov 2015 11:03:18 Permalink
    Our fearless leader, Vic Zoschak, took on the Boston Antiquarian Book Fair this past weekend (as a shopper and explorer). Known as a fantastic event hosted by the ABAA, this year was no different – packed to the brim with interesting items and perhaps even more interesting people! See V’s thoughts below, along with a […] Read More
  • Robert Louis Stevenson's Shocking Christmas Tale

    Sat, 14 Nov 2015 11:09:47 Permalink
    We Interrupt your Weekend Activities to Bring You this Very Important Blog Honoring this Friday the 13th Birthday… On November 13, 1884, Robert Louis Stevenson received a request from the Pall Mall Gazette. The editors wanted a sensational story to publish in its special Christmas issue, and they offered Stevenson a generous £5 per 1,000 […] Read More
  • Giving Thanks to Your Local Bookseller: A Quick Guide using Collectible Books to Answer the Most Important Question of all… "Why?"

    Wed, 04 Nov 2015 07:46:02 Permalink
    When I first became interested in rare books I took myself to as many antiquarian book fairs as I could. My first fair was in London, where I sheepishly wandered around as silently and as invisibly as possible and tried to pretend that I belonged in the same room as a million dollar manuscript of […] Read More
  • Happy Birthday to Lady Lazarus

    Tue, 27 Oct 2015 02:47:22 Permalink
      “I am terrified by this dark thing/ That sleeps in me; / All day I feel its soft, feathery turnings, its malignity.” The author of this quote, and many similar to it, was a haunted being. She struggled with depression throughout her life and eventually succumbed to the constant pain she felt and ended […] Read More
  • Happy Birthday, Lady Lazarus

    Tue, 27 Oct 2015 02:47:22 Permalink
    “I am terrified by this dark thing/ That sleeps in me; / All day I feel its soft, feathery turnings, its malignity.” The author of this quote, and many similar to it, was a haunted being. She struggled with depression throughout her life and eventually succumbed to the constant pain she felt and ended her […] Read More
  • Fair Acquisitions at Tavistock Books! (Seattle items found here…)

    Thu, 22 Oct 2015 12:19:28 Permalink
    It’s that time of year again… the time after our exhibiting fairs of Sacramento and Seattle… the time when we place our new items up on our website and tempt you to look at them with blog posts, that is! Check out this post for an in-depth view of some of our newest (and hottest) […] Read More
  • Sleepless in Seattle: Kate's Second Book Fair

    Fri, 16 Oct 2015 10:32:28 Permalink
      Oh, Seattle. Coffee wellspring of the Pacific Northwest, home to too many musicians and artists for a mere blog post to recount, and, it almost goes without saying, annual host to a much-loved regional book fair. Which, of course, is why I found myself in the Emerald City last Thursday for my first visit […] Read More
  • Happy Birthday, F. Scott Fitzgerald!

    Thu, 24 Sep 2015 08:36:13 Permalink
    September 24th is the anniversary of the birth of one of the most well-known Western writers of the 20th century. Notice I did not say one of the most prolific writers in history, as this novelist only published 4 titles throughout his (unfortunately brief) lifetime. However, it must be said that though these titles garnered […] Read More
  • The Dying Californian, or, Kate's 1st Book Fair!

    Wed, 16 Sep 2015 03:43:17 Permalink
     Kate Mitas, Tavistock Books’ New Right-Hand (Wo)Man, has returned from the Sacramento Antiquarian Book Fair… her first fair (as a worker-bee, that is), and reports back. Beware, readers, as what follows may be a sweetly written, if perhaps slightly disheartening tale! The Sacramento Antiquarian Book Fair was a great place for a beginner to become acquainted with […] Read More
  • Playing Hooky? We Look at the Beginnings of the School System and Some of the Earliest Textbooks

    Wed, 02 Sep 2015 11:09:57 Permalink
    Ah, September. The smell of sharpened pencils and new Jansport backpacks (those are probably not still “in” though, are they? I’m getting old) combined with a boatload of traffic going 15 miles per hour on random streets throughout town say one thing: Summer is out… school is in! We thought, given that many of our […] Read More
  • New Acquisitions at Tavistock Books

    Wed, 26 Aug 2015 01:18:15 Permalink
    Before the hectic Book Fair season begins, we thought we’d give a quick run-down of a few of our most interesting acquisitions in the recent past! Click on the pictures or follow the links to be directed to the item in question. Enjoy! Ambrotype of Mr. & Mrs. James M. Lilley of Virginia, circa 1860s: […] Read More
  • "Knowledge Comes, but Wisdom Lingers": An Inside Look at One of the Most Quoted Writers of All Time

    Wed, 19 Aug 2015 02:40:04 Permalink
    In August of 1809, a boy was born in Lincolnshire, England, who would go on to become one of Britain’s best loved poets. This boy was talented as a writer early on, and together with two of his brothers published a local book of poetry by the time he had turned 17. His family grew […] Read More
  • A Warm Welcome to Kate Mitas, Tavistock Books' Latest (and Most Valuable) Acquisition!

    Wed, 05 Aug 2015 10:42:23 Permalink
    In late July, Tavistock Books gained a new member of the team, Ms. Kate Mitas. We give you the inside scoop on this bibliophile and what made her travel across the country to Alameda, California! What drew you to rare books in the very beginning? Was it before your first ever bookstore job? I didn’t really come into […] Read More
  • An Interview with… A Record Breaking Rare Book School Attendee! (Who also Happens to be the Head of Tavistock Books)

    Wed, 29 Jul 2015 12:03:12 Permalink
    The Lord and Master of Tavistock Books recently finished his 21st consecutive year of attending courses at Rare Book School in Charlottesville, Virginia. We found out what it is like to hold the record of most RBS classes consecutively attended from our very own Vic Zoschak! So, Vic, you’ve just finished another summer at RBS! […] Read More
  • Dire Circumstances at Tavistock Books (Humorous Relief for Your Reading Pleasure)

    Wed, 22 Jul 2015 11:37:09 Permalink
    Something that has happened often enough at Tavistock Books to admit (as long as my boss does not read this blog) is the dropping of books. My first week Vic left me alone with the store (let’s not even talk about how I neglected to charge a guy spending $600 sales tax or that I […] Read More
  • The Brothers Fleming: Peter & Ian and a shared Bond

    Wed, 08 Jul 2015 11:35:22 Permalink
    Everyone knows the name Ian Fleming. It is not, by any means, a new name to the 20th century reading public and almost all could tell you that the great Ian Fleming was the creator of the dashing James Bond and all his escapades. However, all may not know Ian Fleming was not only the […] Read More
  • We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident… that Thomas Jefferson was the Rockstar of the Non-Digital Age

    Thu, 02 Jul 2015 11:52:14 Permalink
    On this here week of Independence, we do hereby pronounce our forefathers to have been a great many things. Determined, Intelligent, Eloquent, and… Romantic. Bear with me here – this blog will be mainly a professional, research-filled and patriotic discussion of the drafting of our Declaration of Independence and one of its main men, Thomas […] Read More
  • Find Another! A Short Summer Miscellany

    Tue, 23 Jun 2015 12:22:14 Permalink
    Announcing the upload of our newest PDF catalogue: Find Another! A Short Summer Miscellany.   In these days of internet bookselling, with thousands of booksellers listing millions of books for sale, it is said to be successful in such a competitive environment, one must routinely offer 1. the cheapest copy, or, 2. the best copy, […] Read More
  • Handel This! A Brief Biography of the Baroque Composer

    Wed, 17 Jun 2015 02:35:25 Permalink
    The year 1685 was monumental in the world of classical music. Domenico Scarlatti, Johann Sebastian Bach, and George Frederich Handel were all born within a few months of each other, and all came to be titans of the Baroque era. Unlike such composers as Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, whose stories are considerably well-known in the musical […] Read More
  • Dickens' Final Chapter: The End of His Life and His Last (Unfinished) Work, The Mystery of Edwin Drood

    Tue, 09 Jun 2015 09:14:34 Permalink
    Charles Dickens was only 58 years old when he passed away. He had long pushed himself too hard for the love of his work and his followers, and in the summer of 1870 (June 9th, to be exact) he succumbed to the exhaustion and after experiencing a fatal stroke, was laid to rest. His work, […] Read More
  • New Acquisitions at Tavistock Books

    Wed, 27 May 2015 12:03:01 Permalink
    We know we’ve been inundating you with blog topics on world class authors, illustrators, artists, and events in history. Is it too much? We thought we’d give you a bit of a reprieve from the education and simply let you read about some new acquisitions we’ve recently catalogued that we are pleased to share with […] Read More
  • A Donation to Children's Illustration: A Short Tribute to Randolph Caldecott

    Wed, 20 May 2015 12:11:41 Permalink
    Randolph Caldecott was born in March of 1846 in a city called Chester, England. He left school at the tender age of fifteen and went to work in a bank branch. In 1861 he saw published his first drawing – and despite the fact that he was to be most remembered for his humorous depictions and […] Read More
  • Two Faces of 20th Century Chinese Painting: Qi Baishi & Zhang Dagian

    Wed, 13 May 2015 11:31:02 Permalink
    These days, it seems as though you could walk into your local coffee shop, shout out names like Matisse, Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh, Pollock, Klimt, Rembrandt, Renoir, Degas, Munch, Chagall, Kahlo, Vermeer, or Dali and every single person there would know what these 14 people had in common. They are painters! They have different styles, […] Read More
  • "Words don't change their shape, they change their meaning, their function…" Marguerite Duras and the Minimal Novel

    Wed, 29 Apr 2015 05:20:53 Permalink
    Throughout history, many writers have been known to cause a stir. The Marquis de Sade was incarcerated in an insane asylum for his erotic tales. Oscar Wilde self-exiled himself to Paris for the unimaginable treatment he received for the “crime” of homosexuality. Harriet Beecher Stowe caused a flurry of activity around the anti-slavery act in the United States. […] Read More
  • "Get me the Hell 'Outta Here!" Or, a Typical Miner's Thoughts on the California Gold Rush

    Wed, 22 Apr 2015 11:19:49 Permalink
    The fact that a typical miner would probably be horrified to discuss his thoughts or feelings to anyone in close proximity to his person matters not to us, because, boy, did they ever write home about it. The California Gold Rush began on January 24th, 1848, when American carpenter and sawmill operator James W. Marshall […] Read More
  • Literature of the Dirigible… If it's all just hot air, what is there to write about?

    Wed, 08 Apr 2015 11:06:45 Permalink
    I assume all here have heard the humorous (if ridiculously sincere) question, “Where have all the anvils gone?” Cartoons and period films seem to have us convinced that, at one point, anvils outnumbered humans at least 10 to 1. And in the blink of an eye, they vanished. (Spoiler Alert: Of course in reality many […] Read More
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