Member Blogs > Pistil Blog

  • 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
  • Coming Soon - Pistil Books' Outdoor Book Sale

    Sun, 10 Aug 2014 07:28:00 Permalink
    Pistil Books' Annual Outdoor Book Sale10 a.m. - 4 p.m.1415 E. Union in the alleyHundreds of books in all categories, including fiction, poetry, art, science, history, biography, how-to, and many more.  Many books in like-new condition.Paperbacks $1    Hardbacks $2Stop by to say hello and have some lemonade, or maybe beer.  Tell your friends!Hope to see you there--Also, a reminder that WE BUY BOOKS.  We are particularly interested in libraries and collections of scholarly non-fiction, art, technical, university press, collectible, and unusual titles. Read More
  • Tests for Colour-Blindness

    Mon, 21 Jul 2014 03:59:00 Permalink
    Here is an example of the beauty and practicality of the physical book.  Tests for Colour-Blindness by S. Ishihara was published by Kanehara Shuppan Co., Ltd, Tokyo, in 1969.This book is plain blue cloth on the outside, and fits neatly into its own slipcase.   Inside, the book holds 24 individual color plates, each neatly tucked into its own blank black page by fitting the corners of the plates into slits in the pages.As the title indicates, the book is used to test patients' ability to see colors.  When I went to the eye doctor for an exam recently, she used Read More
  • Greetings

    Mon, 14 Jul 2014 03:15:00 Permalink
    My friend sometimes shops at the Goodwill by-the-pound store, otherwise known as "The Bins."  I've been to The Bins a couple of times, but the shopping experience is not for me.  Not surprisingly as a used book dealer, I'm a proponent of re-use, recycling, and buying used, but the couple of times I've been I've always wished I had worn gloves and felt like I needed a shower afterward. Giant wheeled bins are filled with piles of clothes, household goods, and, yes, books.  The customers are a mix of regular people, dealers, and crazy people, particularly those after books.  My Read More
  • Typographic Awareness

    Wed, 11 Jun 2014 10:52:00 Permalink
    This is a really cool set of three staple-bound books of black and white photographs of street images containing lettering.  The books have no publishing information, except for the title and this note printed around the edge of the front cover in English and in French:  "little things you may have missed while on your way to work - typographic awareness series - esler's commissioned errol etienne to create & execute this series / regarder sans voir... une activité quotidienne - la collection éveil typographique."I like how the French words "regarder sans voir" translate as "to look without seeing" - Read More
  • Etsy Vintage

    Thu, 29 May 2014 12:54:00 Permalink
    Not surprisingly I am very fond of cool old vintage items, not just books (though books are my favorite).  I recently added some non-book articles to  Pistil Books Etsy Shop.Large plastic sign letters make cool three-dimensional wall art:I love the brightly colored graphics in this Instructo Classification Game, an educational toy from the sixties.  Teaches children the difference between zoo animals, hats, and milk cartons.The Our Universe Space Kit, published by the National Geographic Society, contains a silver and black cardboard "spacescope" to be punched out and assembled, along with a flexi disc recording of space sounds, 3-d glasses, and Read More
  • Found in Books, Yet Again

    Mon, 05 May 2014 08:29:00 Permalink
    Not long ago, Sean and I were doing a book buy at a woman's house.  She was moving and was selling her pretty nice collection of books on eastern religion, psychology, body work, and the like. I flipped through a book to check for marking and two hundred dollar bills fell out.  A couple of other books also had money bookmarks, and they weren't mere dollar bills either.  Of course we returned the money to woman who was quite grateful and now our found-in-books karma has benefited.  Alas, no money of late, but check out these treasures:One thing we found Read More
  • Spring Sale

    Tue, 01 Apr 2014 03:53:00 Permalink
    Spring is here!  This is a very beautiful time of year in Seattle, with blossoming trees and flowers, bright green grass and new leaves, lots of bird activity, and alternating sun and rain, or both at the same time.In honor of spring, and as a method of doing some spring cleaning to make room on our full shelves, Pistil Books is having a 20% Off Sale through the month of April for all books ordered directly from us.We have many books on springtime activities like gardening, and outdoor recreation.  Our entire inventory is included in the sale, however. Read More
  • Oulipo George Washington

    Fri, 28 Mar 2014 08:21:00 Permalink
    Oulipo is a group of French writers (from the first letters of Ouvroir de littérature potentielle, "workshop of potential literature"), founded in the sixties, who use structural writing constraints to create their work.  The constraints used are often mathematical - for instance, in a poem written using the "snowball" technique, the first line is one word long, the second line has two words, and so on.But wait, here is a presidential biography for children from 1893, far ahead of its time:Life of George Washington in Words of One Syllable.George is depicted on the cover standing in a very small boat Read More
  • Found In Books

    Tue, 11 Feb 2014 06:29:00 Permalink
    Usually I feature a number of items in my "Found In Books" posts, but this time my latest find warrants its own post.  This piece of ephemera is double-sided.  On the first side is a page from a grammar test, appropriately titled (from a bookseller's point of view), "Getting Words in the Right Order."  I know I sometimes have trouble with that.Our intrepid test-taker seems to have answered all questions on this page correctly, as the green check mark attests, but his total score is only 70% (remember, we have only one page of the test).  Could you have answered Read More
  • "Land, Sea or Air-- springs take you there."

    Fri, 24 Jan 2014 03:05:00 Permalink
    We recently came across a book of bound magazines for the spring (yes, like a slinky) industry from the 1940's-1960's, called The Mainspring  ("Published in the interest of a better understanding of the design and application of springs in mechanical progress." )You wouldn't think that there's all that much that could be said about springs, especially over twenty years in a regularly published periodical.  Wrong!The Mainspring features beautiful graphics with vibrantly colored backgrounds, and often shows spring humor.A spring cocktail? Read More
  • As Seen on 60 Minutes

    Tue, 03 Dec 2013 10:18:00 Permalink
    On the Abebooks' booksellers' forum there's been a discussion of the recent announcement by Amazon that they plan to use drones to deliver packages.  One person posted this: Read More
  • Collage Show at Blue Bird Ice Cream, December 12

    Mon, 02 Dec 2013 05:13:00 Permalink
    The second Thursday of each month is the Blitz Capitol Hill Art Walk in our neighborhood.  Sean and I will be participating in a group collage show, PhotoChop, this month at Bluebird Microcreamery and Brewery.The show is put on in the spirit of DIY and affordable art, with original analog (not digital!) collage work for sale for $5 to $100.The opening is December 12 at 7pm.  Hope to see you there! Read More
  • December Book Sale - 20% Off

    Sun, 01 Dec 2013 03:14:00 Permalink
    Over 13,000 books in all categories (with the exception of recycled blank books) are 20% off if ordered from us directly in the month of December. 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 cool vintage books, as well as recent titles in like-new condition that would make delightful holiday gifts.Although not on sale because of the labor and materials involved, recycled ex-library blank books are a unique and colorful gift. Seattle customers may make an appointment to pick up books at our Capitol Hill warehouse to save Read More
  • December Book Sale - 20% Off

    Sun, 01 Dec 2013 02:58:00 Permalink
    Over 13,000 books in all categories (with the exception of recycled blank books) are 20% off if ordered from us directly in the month of December. 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 cool vintage books, as well as recent titles in like-new condition that would make delightful holiday gifts.Although not on sale because of the labor and materials involved, recycled ex-library blank books are a unique and colorful gift. Seattle customers may make an appointment to pick up books at our Capitol Hill warehouse to save Read More
  • December Book Sale - 20% Off

    Sat, 30 Nov 2013 07:01:00 Permalink
    Over 13,000 books in all categories (with the exception of recycled blank books) are 20% off if ordered from us directly in the month of December. 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 cool vintage books, as well as recent titles in like-new condition that would make delightful holiday gifts.Seattle customers may make an appointment to pick up books at our Capitol Hill warehouse to save shipping costs. Hand-printed cards are available too. Read More
  • Library Bindings

    Tue, 12 Nov 2013 09:12:00 Permalink
    In the bookselling world, ex-library books are often maligned and scorned as being worthless or beneath the highfalutin standards of many antiquarian booksellers.  While it's true ex-library books are marked by the library (some would say defaced) - with stamps, stickers, bar codes, pockets, and the like, I find these very markings and institutional traces to be charming and sometimes beautiful.  I'm talking mostly about older, specially bound,  library books in this regard.  (Modern library books are often simply regular books straight from the publisher with the dust jacket encased or laminated in a plastic cover, taped to the boards, Read More
  • Happy Halloween and Dia de los Muertos

    Wed, 30 Oct 2013 08:38:00 Permalink
  • R.I.P. Lou Reed

    Mon, 28 Oct 2013 11:09:00 Permalink
    This photo is of the Velvet Underground flexi-disc in Andy Warhol's Index Book, with picture of Lou Reed by Billy Name, still attached. The recording features Lou Reed, Nico and others discussing the proposed book at the Factory, with 'The Velvet Underground and Nico" record playing in the background. Read More
  • Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair

    Wed, 09 Oct 2013 01:24:00 Permalink
    The Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair is happening this weekend, October 12 and 13 at Seattle Center Exhibition Hall.  Book dealers from all over will be displaying thousands of rare books, maps, photos, and ephemera - and it's only $5 to get in for both days. The Book Arts Guild will have a table at the book fair, and I will have some recycled blank journals and linocut postcards for sale there.  I am looking forward to seeing  the work of other Book Arts Guild members. Read More
  • 2013 Outdoor Book Sale

    Fri, 23 Aug 2013 03:50:00 Permalink
    We had our annual outdoor book sale last weekend, followed by a barbecue and hanging of art on the outdoor gallery in the alley behind our building.  Both events were a lot of fun and widely visited by Pistil Books' regulars, as well as many people who didn't know they had an internet bookstore in their neighborhood.  Here's the staff of Pistil Books:Troy, Sean, Amy, Tim, and Nathan.This Sunday, Pistil Books will have a table at the Slow Food Sunday lunch at Bastyr University.  We will be selling copies of Erin Coopey's The Kitchen Pantry Cookbook, as well as a Read More
  • Book Arts Guild

    Wed, 17 Jul 2013 10:17:00 Permalink
    .  I joined the Book Arts Guild(only $20 for a year-long membership) a couple of months ago after a friend and drawing teacher invited me to go to a BAG lecture by a book artist friend of hers who was in town for the event.  The lecture was held in the Special Collections/Map Room in the basement of the Suzallo Library on the UW campus.  I graduated from the University of Washington many years ago, and Suzallo was one of my favorite places, with its beautiful stained-glass-filled graduate reading room, giant card catalog (no longer in existence), and endless stacks.  Read More
  • Save the Date: Pistil Outdoor Book Sale, August 17

    Thu, 11 Jul 2013 04:03:00 Permalink
  • Adventures in English

    Sat, 01 Jun 2013 04:04:00 Permalink
  • More Stuff Found in Books

    Wed, 22 May 2013 06:06:00 Permalink
    Below is a selection of some of the paper ephemera pulled from used books over the past year.  Were the 3-D glasses used to read a book?  R.I.P. the Fun Forest at Seattle Center... it was a place filled with carnival rides.  My sixth grade school patrol went there as an end-of-year treat and we got to ride the Wild Mouse roller coaster.I just listened to a great fiction podcast on the New Yorker website.  These two Canadian women are two of my favorite writers, and the talk with Atwood at the end is quite interesting.  Mavis Gallant is in Read More
  • Progressive Destruction

    Mon, 29 Apr 2013 04:52:00 Permalink
    I recently listed  this book,  Picasso Linocuts 1958-1963, by Donald H. Karshan (Tudor Publishing, 1968).The book showcases Picasso's linocut prints, made by the "progressive destruction" method, in which he printed many colors from the same linoleum block; printing one color, then carving away more of the same block, then printing the next color, and so on.  By the time he was done, most of the block would have been carved away, "destroyed."Linoleum block printing is a fun and easy way to print, especially if it's not really linoleum block printing, but printmaking using "easy cut", a kind of rubbery print Read More
  • Spring Happenings

    Fri, 05 Apr 2013 10:47:00 Permalink
    We're having a very lovely wet, warmish spring here in Seattle, with everything green and blooming.  Now would be a good time to check out Pistil's gardening section.Our entire inventory is 20% off for the month of April on Abebooks, though we are happy to extend the sale discount to orders on our own website if you ask nicely first.Bee and flower... spring is here!  We were contacted not along ago by a Publisher's Weekly writer who was writing an article called How Booksellers are Faring After Going Online-Only.  Check it out. Read More
  • Fun with Books

    Thu, 14 Mar 2013 03:24:00 Permalink
    Making a  book.A stack of blank journals-to-be.An altered book behind the red Buddha. Read More
  • Books are Wild Things

    Fri, 01 Mar 2013 08:26:00 Permalink
     The following is an excerpt from the current issue of Harper's Magazine:From an interview with childrens book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, by British journalist Emma Brockes, published in the November/December 2012 issue of The Believer. Sendak, whose many works include Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen, died in Connecticut last May. Brockes: What do you think of e-books?Sendak: I hate them. Its like making believe theres another kind of sex. There isnt another kind of sex. There isnt another kind of book. A book is a book is a book. I know thats terribly old-fashioned Read More
  • Stairs and Beavers

    Sat, 16 Feb 2013 02:41:00 Permalink
    Last weekend, Sean, our friend Jackie, and I went on a group walk organized by Feet First, an organization that promotes walkable communities, to celebrate the publication of a book Seattle Stairway Walks:  An Up-and-Down Guide to City Neighborhoods  (The Mountaineers Books) by Jake and Cathy Jaramillo:  "For one day, for two hours Feet First Neighborhood Walking Ambassadors led [fifteen] free simultaneous stairway walks to celebrate the Puget Sound Region's amazing elevation changes and the individual characteristics and historical context of our local stairways."The route we went on was the Maple Leaf and Thornton Creek walk, near Northgate Mall, where Read More
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