Member Blogs > Pistil Blog

  • 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
  • Meet Pistil Book's Web Designer - Nate K

    Tue, 22 Jan 2013 12:17:00 Permalink
    What is your history with Pistil Books and what is your current role? I have had a love affair with books my entire life, so I was very pleased when Pistil Books & News opened its doors in my neighborhood in the mid-nineties. I loved browsing the stacks and discovering titles Id always intended to read, but had never picked up before; always at better prices than buying them new. I gradually got to know the proprietors, Sean and Amy.I also attended a few of the events they held at their shop, book readings, lectures, etc. I was working for Read More
  • Lucky 2013

    Mon, 31 Dec 2012 07:14:00 Permalink
    Another year, another Pistil Books Collage Calendar!  This year's calendar is hot off the presses and features artwork by Amy, Sean, and Nathan, made from old books and ephemera.  The artwork reflects its sources, of course, and we had a lot of old art auction catalogs, as well as broken discarded library books and other books that have been damaged in some way.  Sean favors a 1950's male nudist book called Mountain Men that had pages removed by its previous owner, no doubt for pin-up purposes.  Nathan mentioned that he hopes there won't be too much nudity for his mom...Our Read More
  • Cool Cultural Artifacts

    Fri, 21 Dec 2012 08:02:00 Permalink
    19841985I've been taking a lot of book photos lately, using the keen photography setup Sean constructed for me over what doubles as our packing table.   Here I can use the specially designed tripod that swings out from the wall to take horizontal photos of books laying flat on a table.  I've been impressed by how cool vintage book covers look when photographed.  I use the term "vintage" pretty loosely - the books shown are from the seventies and eighties and reflect the aesthetics of their time.   19841972197219741971  Read More
  • Vintage Holiday Books

    Sun, 09 Dec 2012 06:44:00 Permalink
    We have some very cool vintage holiday sheet music and books for sale.  I love the bright colors, especially the blue in this book:This one has bright, full page colorful illustrations by Swedish-American illustrator Gustaf Tenggren, known for his Arthur Rackham influenced fairy-tale style.  With simplified piano arrangements by Inez Bertail.  44 pages.  Some of the songs included:  Silent Night; It Came Upon a Midnight Clear; O Little Town of Bethlehem; Hark!  The Herald Angels Sing.Some more holiday items can be found here. Read More
  • Happy Thanksgiving

    Tue, 20 Nov 2012 06:20:00 Permalink
  • Beautiful Old Bindings

    Sun, 04 Nov 2012 10:29:00 Permalink
    Here are some examples of beautiful old bindings published in the late 1800's, most by theHenry Altemus Company, Philadelphia.  Faded, but silvery. Stories of the deeds of valor of the heroic children of France:  "To suffer for their beloved France, to die for her, has been a sacred privilege to these youthful patriots, rather than a thing to be shunned and abhored."  The boy on the cover is about to be dropped from a balloon onto the battlefield...Samson is buff!This one has a passion flower and lily design. Read More
  • Recycled Blank Journals

    Tue, 16 Oct 2012 09:23:00 Permalink
    Kam, Troy, and I  have been busy making blank books and journals out of old library books and school books.    The first step in the process is to take apart the old book, using an exacto knife to carefully remove the text block, then comes cutting blank pages of the same size and thickness.  The fun part is choosing pages from the deconstructed book to leave interspersed amongst the blank pages - these are often illustrations, or pages with cool ex-library marks like a perforated name stamp.A stack of books with their new blank text blocks.After the paper has been Read More
  • Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar

    Tue, 02 Oct 2012 11:04:00 Permalink
    I attended the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar (CABS), a week-long intensive course on all aspects of bookselling, last month thanks to a scholarship from the ABAA (Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America).  The course was held at Colorado College and was taught by a faculty of ten people (but only one woman), including several rare book dealers, a couple of special collections librarians, an internet bookseller, and  Terry Belanger, University Professor Emeritus, University of Virginia, who started Rare Book School. The faculty were very generous with their time and knowledge, happy to answer questions, and even spent the lunch hour each Read More
  • My Job at Pistil Books by Kam M

    Fri, 31 Aug 2012 10:38:00 Permalink
    Kamposer at work.My job consists of cataloging and pricing sheet music. My favorite part of this job is being surrounded by shelves of interesting books and people.  Oh, and the beverage service. I have a classical music background, so if a piece says TTBB, I know what that means and can price accordingly.  For this I went to grad school.I am paid in gastronomic currency as well as cash money and book credit.  Amy and Sean are what you would describe as laid-back bosses.  On-time is a relative concept.Currently I am reading Thomas Kinkade (really), RL Stevenson, Zane Grey, Unamuno, Read More
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