Member Blogs > Pistil Blog

  • 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
  • Annual Outdoor Book Sale - Aug. 29

    Mon, 03 Aug 2015 11:16:00 Permalink
    It's time to make room for new inventory - out with the old books, in with the new!  The Pistil Books Annual Outdoor Book Sale has been scheduled.  We'll have hundreds of great books for one and two dollars, free lemonade, and, of course, thrills!  Hope to see you there-- Read More
  • Pistil Penthouse Premiere Party

    Thu, 18 Jun 2015 09:41:00 Permalink
    Pistil Books had our first literary and musical event in our upstairs space (the Airbnb apartment mentioned in the previous post) this week and it turned out to be really fun.  Our format was an hour of music, food, wine and mingling followed by three readers, then more music as the party wound up.  Since our space was limited, all the guests were invited and we had a full house at about twenty people.Thanks go to Kamposer and Moss Willow for providing the music, and to Kat Humphrey, Russell Scheidelman, and Stacey Levine for their readings.Russell reading "Aphoristic Alibis." (Photo Read More
  • Pistil Penthouse

    Sun, 17 May 2015 12:34:00 Permalink
    We have been busy the last two months starting a new business - the Pistil Penthouse Airbnb vacation rental.  We live in a 1903 built house, turned triplex, on Capitol Hill, one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in Seattle.  We live in one of the apartments, Pistil Books is in the renovated basement, and the other two apartments have been traditional rentals until our top floor tenants recently moved to Amsterdam.  We spent about three weeks getting the place ready - some maintenance, painting, and furnishing needed to be done first.  We are located pretty much on top of Capitol Read More
  • Coming up: Group Collage at Magmafest

    Sat, 14 Feb 2015 07:25:00 Permalink
    When: Sunday, March 1, 2015 - 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM   Where: Hollow Earth Radio,  2018 East Union Street,  Seattle, WA 98122  Cost: Free   Get your creative juices flowing like lava and join Pistil Books for the making of a wall-sized community collage during the Magmafest Warm Up event at Hollow Earth. The collage will be on the wall at throughout the month. Cut-up materials and supplies provided. There will also be Magma soup, bread from http://grandcentralbakery.com/, & popcorn (donations for food gratefully accepted). While you are creating & eating, enjoy Stand-up Showcase. Hosted by Forrest Baum, known in Read More
  • Urgent Crier

    Wed, 28 Jan 2015 07:27:00 Permalink
    We recently came across this altered book in a box of books at a sale.  The cover of the book has a square carefully cut out, not going all the way through the boards, but a partial excision preserving the original interior pastedown endpapers when opened, thus creating a frame for the artist's assemblage. The small format book measures 5 1/2"w x 6", and the title is Urgent Crier by French poet Andre Benedetto, published by Robert Morel Publisher, 1966.The text is in French and the theme of the six poems inside is the horrors perpetuated by humanity: racism, torture, war, Read More
  • Happy Holidays from Pistil Books

    Tue, 09 Dec 2014 10:14:00 Permalink
    Books make great gifts, and we are having a 20% off sale on all our inventory (except blank journals) when ordered directly from us through the month of  December.  Pictured are a few recent additions to our stock.I've been invited by my friend Rosemary, who makes fabulous reindeer wreaths from Astroturf, to participate in a holiday craft fair at the Artspace Hiawatha Lofts.The fair is this Saturday, December 13 from 3pm to 7pm at 843 Hiawatha Pl S, Seattle, Washington 98144. I will be selling a fresh new batch of  Recycled Blank Books, not yet listed on our website, but similar Read More
  • More Noise Yoga Please

    Mon, 13 Oct 2014 12:10:00 Permalink
    Starting this Wednesday, October 15, Sean will be teaching a series of yoga classes at Washington Hall accompanied by.... noise.  Poet Steven Jesse Bernstein's piece, More Noise Please,  inspired Sean's collage advertising these noise yoga classes.The Stranger has a nice write-up, including the schedule,  here. Read More
  • BAG at Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair This Weekend

    Tue, 07 Oct 2014 07:49:00 Permalink
    The Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair is happening this weekend, October 11 and 12 at Seattle Center.  It's only $5 to get in for both days and the fair features over 90 booksellers from all over.Once again the Book Arts Guild (BAG) will have a table with handmade books by the guild's members offered for sale, as well as information about BAG.I will be selling some blank books and postcards at the BAG table.  The blank books will be recycled ex library books as well as hardback blank books with a Japanese stab binding.Hand printed postcardsHandmade blank books with Japanese stab Read More
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