Member Blogs > Pistil Blog

  • Lunch and Books

    Wed, 25 Apr 2018 07:44:00 Permalink
    On Wednesdays, we have "Pistil lunch" for whomever happens to be working that day and sometimes guests.  After a rainy spring, we've had a gloriously sunny week here in Seattle.  Consequently, our lunch moved today from the round table in front of the gas fireplace to the red Formica table in the nook off the kitchen, which has a door opening onto our sunny balcony.  Our meal was only slightly marred by the yappy little white dog in the yard across the alley...Today it was just Kam and Amy and we had fried rice (with carrots, celery, onions, peppers, shitake Read More
  • Etsy Shop Spring Sale

    Sun, 25 Mar 2018 06:58:00 Permalink
    20% off your order of $20 or more on orders placed through our Etsy shop, now through March 29. Read More
  • Elegant Endpapers

    Sun, 18 Feb 2018 09:31:00 Permalink
    ffepAka: FFEP or ffepfront free endpaperA common abbreviation for Front Free EndPaper. Generally, it is the first page of a book and is part of a single sheet that also spans across the inside of the front board (called the front pastedown) via a fold along the gutter with the purpose of connecting the boards to the stitched textblock.As a result of this purpose, the paper quality of the ffep is generally of a heavier weight than those used for the pages of the book, and is often decorative.[Biblio.com] Read More
  • A Coupon for You

    Mon, 22 Jan 2018 01:04:00 Permalink
    Here is a coupon code good for $5 off any order of $30 or more placed on our website:  brillig9679We have recently added a good number of art exhibition catalogs to our inventory, as well as a number of vintage children's books.My favorite recent children's book added to our shop is The Snail Who Ran  written and illustrated with beautiful black and white illustrations by Dorothy P. Lathrop. The story of a snail, a mouse, and an eft who are granted wishes by a fairy in the night.Color frontispiece of this wonderful 1934 children's book. Read More
  • More Book Plates

    Mon, 25 Dec 2017 11:44:00 Permalink
    Happy Holidays!  It started snowing here in Seattle on Christmas Eve and it continues to fall this morning.  We are planning a Christmas Day urban hike and expect to see some snow people on our walk.I hope everyone found at least one book under the tree, if you participate in this part of the season.   Will you put your name in your new book(s)? We come across book plates in our inventory, though they are usually of the mass produced kind that you can buy in a bookstore or stationery store in a box, with a blank space for your name Read More
  • Presenting Works by Two Seattle Artists: Jon Strongbow and Tim Fowler

    Wed, 13 Dec 2017 08:01:00 Permalink
    We are pleased to be selling works by two different Seattle artists.In a series started in 1992, Jon Strongbow's detailed black and white line drawings of Seattle cityscapes juxtapose realistic architectural renderings with scenes embracing indigenous cultures from all over the planet, including extinct and endangered species.   There's even a drawing with the old Pistil Books & News storefront on Pike Street in the background.Pistil Books is carrying his two new books, City of Spirits and Mystic City: On our Etsy site, we are also carrying block prints by Tim Fowler, self-taught Seattle based artist, who works in woodcarving, mosaic sculpture, Read More
  • The Sleeping Princess: Camera Studies By Gordon Anthony

    Tue, 24 Oct 2017 06:30:00 Permalink
    This adorable kitty photo is from a book called The Sleeping Princess, which is a photographic record of Sadler's Wells Ballet's 1939 production of Tchaikovsky's ''Sleeping Princess'' based on ''The Sleeping Beauty'', under the direction of Nicolas Segueeff and starring Margot Fonteyn and Robert Helpmann. Read More
  • Pistil Books Annual Outdoor Book Sale - August 26

    Fri, 18 Aug 2017 11:56:00 Permalink
    Saturday, August 2610 am to 4 pm1415 E. Union, in the alleyon Capitol Hill in SeattleMore books than ever - around 2,000 books in all categories including fiction, science, history, art,music, nature, do-it-yourself, poetry. Many like new.Paperbacks $1, Hardbacks $2Free lemonade!(Will be re-scheduled if raining.) Read More
  • Plants and Their Children

    Thu, 13 Jul 2017 04:17:00 Permalink
    This lovely book from 1896 is a child's reading book about plants.According to the author, "A child's reading book , it seems to me, should secure for the child three things,--practice in the art of reading, amusement, and instruction." Read More
  • Pleasing Pastedowns

    Tue, 09 May 2017 11:28:00 Permalink
    Here are some more visually appealing endpapers: Read More
  • Engaging Endpapers

    Wed, 26 Apr 2017 05:31:00 Permalink
    Endpapers are the leaves of paper fixed to the inside of the front and the back cover of a book.  Often endpapers are blank, sometimes they are colored, but best of all they are decorated.  A common decoration is a map.  Marbled endpapers are often seen in older books, especially those with decorative bindings.  Or endpapers may be illustrated with scenes from the book.Here are a few examples of engaging endpapers that have passed our way recently.From "The Fantasy of Pieter Brueghel."From "The Friendly Beasts", illustrated by Nicolas Sidjakov.From "The Red Pony."From "Bedtime Stories", a 1951 Junior Elf book.Map endpapers Read More
  • Making an Orchestra

    Wed, 29 Mar 2017 04:38:00 Permalink
    This week, your correspondent cut up a first edition signed copy of 1931's Making an Orchestra by Dorothy Berliner Commins.  How could he do it? Only because someone in the 30's had already begun the cutting!  He was simply completing a work in progress.  And what a work-- kind of a cross between an obsessive-compulsive disorder (not that there is anything wrong with that) and a Kafka novel (ditto).Printed on good-quality paper that hasn't been seen since the war, this book features drawings of all the members of a standard symphony orchestra, and a few outliers, meant to be cut Read More
  • Museum of Weird Books: The Poodle

    Wed, 04 Jan 2017 08:42:00 Permalink
    It is no surprise that man's best friend has many volumes devoted to him/her/it.Nonetheless, with the passage of time, certain tomes achieve the status required for incorporation in Pistil's Museum of Weird Books. To wit:  Poodle Books.The Poodle, 1984 incarnation: Has the poodle had its day?  In 2017, your correspondent judges that the soi disant Labradoodle is more   popular than his sire.  To contemporary eyes, the poodle of 1971 looks like a marshmallow confection (and that goes for the moustaches of the poodle handlers as well).The poodle of 1966 looks like certain big-haired celebrities we can all call to mind.The future Read More
  • Apropos Bookplate

    Tue, 13 Dec 2016 10:51:00 Permalink
    Today we listed a little book from 1910 called, How to Live on 24 Hours a Day, by the British writer Arnold Bennett which contains vice on the problem of time-expenditure.  I was amused to open it up and find the following bookplate: Read More
  • December Sale

    Sat, 10 Dec 2016 08:19:00 Permalink
    December Book Sale -20% Off Everything. Over 14,000 titles in all categories are 20% Off through the month of December if you order directly from Pistil Books.   Local customers can make an appointment to pick up your order to eliminate shipping costs, or have your books shipped to you.Fiction, art, poetry, nature, do-it-yourself, science, history, cooking, children's, architecture, poetry... and much more are all on sale.We have lots of delightful vintage books, as well as recent like-new titles that would make perfect holiday gifts.  Check out our sturdy, colorful blank books made from recycled ex-library and other old books.Wishing you wonderful Read More
  • Mushrooms and Toadstools

    Thu, 24 Nov 2016 12:13:00 Permalink
    Happy Thanksgiving!  We are spending the holiday in the San Juan Islands where we're experiencing an exciting windstorm.  Looking out the window from our cozy cabin, the water is choppy on the bay, a raven is struggly to fly against the gusts, and madrona berries are scattered festively over the front porch.  It is not raining.... yet.We are planning an afternoon hike in the autumn woods, where we know from previous Thanksgiving vacations we will see a variety of fungi.  At Pistil Books, nature guidebooks are one of our specialties and we have a good collection of mushroom books (in Read More
  • Buckram Beauty

    Sun, 23 Oct 2016 11:23:00 Permalink
    I recently added a new batch of our handmade recycled blank books made from discarded library books to our inventory.  Most of the old library books that I use have a library binding made from buckram cloth.  Buckram is a stiff cloth usually made from cotton or linen and is very durable.  Library buckram bindings are often bright colors and patterns.Check out these beauties:One of the great things about using a recycled book as your journal is it comes with an inspiring title - how about Within the Circle, Poems of Faith and Doubt, or Paradoxes of Order? Read More
  • Gender in the 80's

    Thu, 08 Sep 2016 04:24:00 Permalink
    This week we take a look at 2 books from late-20th century America. You're Either One or the Other, by Joy Wilt (Word, Inc., Waco, TX, 1980), would certainly never pass muster in 2016, when you are not necessarily one or the other.  But the book is politically correct according to the lights of the time. It does not go so far as to suggest that boys can try on their mothers' clothing (see cover), but it does suggest that while some boys enjoy driving nails, others enjoy thinking about having babies (vicariously, of course). As for women's issues, though the drawing illustrating Read More
  • Musem of Weird The Dogs Have It

    Thu, 08 Sep 2016 04:24:00 Permalink
    It is no surprise that man's best friend has many volumes devoted to him/her/it.  Read More
  • Museum of Weird Books: The Poodle

    Thu, 08 Sep 2016 04:24:00 Permalink
    It is no surprise that man's best friend has many volumes devoted to him/her/it.Nonetheless, with the passage of time, certain tomes achieve the status required for incorporation in Pistil's Museum of Weird Books. To wit:  Poodle Books.The Poodle, 1984 incarnation: Has the poodle had its day?  In 2017, your correspondent judges that the soi disant Labradoodle is more   popular than his sire.  To contemporary eyes, the poodle of 1971 looks like a marshmallow confection (and that goes for the moustaches of the poodle handlers as well).The poodle of 1966 looks like certain big-haired celebrities we can all call to mind.The future Read More
  • Tomorrow - Pistil Books' Annual Outdoor Book Sale

    Fri, 02 Sep 2016 02:06:00 Permalink
    We just had a deluge, but the forecast for tomorrow only shows a 20% chance of rain. And now the sun is peeping through the clouds... So most likely our annual book sale is happening tomorrow.Pistil Books' Annual Outdoor Book Sale (Capitol Hill)Saturday, Sept. 3 1415 E. Union, 9812210 am to 4 pm  Hundreds of books in all categories, including fiction, art, science, history, biography, do-it-yourself, crafts, philosophy, and more. Many like new. Paperbacks $1 Hardbacks $2Come on by and say hello. Free lemonade!We will re-schedule in the event of rain.   You can check our website for an update if Read More
  • The 70s in Graphic Form (Museum of Weird Books)

    Tue, 28 Jun 2016 02:03:00 Permalink
    This entry your intrepid correspondent takes you to the decade of disco.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, then these book illustrations say it all.Ralph Nader: Voice of the People is part of the Creative Education Close-Ups series, published in 1974.  My own suggestion for an alternate title-- Pretty in Pink: the People's Politician.Even the Corvair is pink.  Along with the television.  "He doesn't own a car.  He doesn't have a T.V. set... He doesn't smoke.  He doesn't drink."  I hope at least he went dancing when he wasn't speaking truth to power!Remember when children's books could be Read More
  • IOBA Scholarship for Book Collectors

    Fri, 20 May 2016 02:56:00 Permalink
    The Independent Online Booksellers Association is offering a $750 scholarship for book collectors to go to a book seminar.  Details can be found here.  You do not need to be a bookseller or be a member of any organization to apply.I have attended CABS and Rare Book School and recommend both. Read More
  • Found in Books

    Wed, 23 Mar 2016 06:51:00 Permalink
  • Moomin Madness

    Wed, 09 Mar 2016 02:30:00 Permalink
    Moomins are not as well-known in the United States as they are in Europe, but the albino trolls are stepping up their world-wide quest for domination of the child mind-- and the alternative adult mind too.  Moomins are the invention of Swedish-speaking Finnish authoress and artist Tove Jansson (1914-2001).  To your correspondent they look like unarticulated relatives of the Michelin Man (1894), or bestial cousins to the Pillsbury Doughboy (1965).  Others have compared them to upright hippopotami.  Moomins came to fruition in 1945 when they appeared in the first of the Moomin books, The Moomins and the Great Flood.  You Read More
  • Ludwig Bemelmans--Dipping Deeper than Madeline

    Wed, 02 Mar 2016 04:35:00 Permalink
    Ludwig Bemelmans (1898-1962) was an Austrian-born writer and illustrator, naturalized in the United States in 1918.  He led a colorful life, working in hotels and restaurants, consorting with gangsters, and joining the US army, as a non-combatant. Though famous for his children's books featuring Madeline, Bemelmans was exceedingly prolific and wrote numerous books for adult readers, both fiction and non-fiction. His books are collectable on account of their charming illustrations done in a naive style reminiscent of the work of Raoul Dufy (disclaimer: not that there is anything naive about Dufy's art).He travelled widely between the wars, and his books also furnish Read More
  • Fumitized for Your Protection

    Thu, 11 Feb 2016 03:50:00 Permalink
    One of the tasks of the online bookseller is to give accurate descriptions of her book listings, noting all flaws and defects so that the prospective buyer has a good idea of the condition of the book that is being offered.  For this reason, booksellers use standardized condition grades and terminology to describe their books.  These condition grades and terminology were created long before the advent of the online marketplace, as they were used in bookseller print catalogs.  The "Resources" section on the IOBA (Independent Online Booksellers Association) website is a great place to gain an understanding of condition definitions.Occasionally Read More
  • Anton Bruckner: Wagnerian Toady or Symphonic Genius?

    Wed, 27 Jan 2016 04:39:00 Permalink
    The jury on Anton Brucker's originality is still presumably out, although it is probably safe to say that those who find Wagner's music too grandiose for their taste will be equally impatient with Bruckner.Bruckner was everything that Wagner was not: devoutly Catholic, personally unambitious, and professionally obscure for most of his life.  But he was as great a champion of the new musical world opened up by Wagner as anyone.  This earned him the opprobrium of the conservative symphonic school in Vienna, headed by Johannes Brahms. To get technical, Bruckner took the chromatic tonal language of Wagner, with its frequent enharmonic Read More
  • Musical Oddities I by Kamposer*

    Thu, 21 Jan 2016 04:43:00 Permalink
    Richard Wagner is said to be one of the most biographed (if one may coin the word) historical figures, alongside Napoleon.  His music has been exhaustively analyzed, as have his writings.  But there is always room for a fresh approach.  For instance, Richard Wagner: A Mystic in the Making, by Alan David Aberbach (1991, Longwood Academic).A bookplate featuring a winged horse bestriding a rainbow beneath the crescent moon (a nighttime rainbow, no less) gives a clue to the type of previous reader we are here concerned with.According to the preface, "no study has tried to systematically explore (split infinitive at Read More
  • Outdoor Book Sale Rescheduled

    Fri, 28 Aug 2015 05:46:00 Permalink
    The weather forecast shows a 90% chance of rain and wind tomorrow, so we're re-scheduling our annual outdoor book sale.  We think we'll have it next Saturday, Sept. 5, but will confirm closer to the date.Books and rain go well together when the books are inside and the rain is outside! Read More
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