Bookselling is my second career. As a ’74 graduate of the US Coast Guard Academy, I spent the first 23 years of my professional life as a “Coastie.” In the mid-80s, I discovered collecting first editions, Charles Dickens specifically.
Wilson left his job at a cuckoo clock factory and scraped together the necessary $12,000, which was a tidy sum in 1962. His previous experience in the rarified world of bookmanship was basically limited to a serious hunt for the first editions of four particular authors. Wilson quickly realized that he was in over his head and the figures were not adding up, so he threw all his energy into printing and mailing out catalogs (some 1500), following the pattern set forth by fourth Phoenix owner Larry Wallrich in Catalogs 50 through 59 (there were no earlier numbers because he did not want to look like a beginner).
“If I could have my pick I really rather enjoyed the old days. I enjoyed the hunt. I enjoyed finding material in out of the way haunts. I enjoyed the serendipity. And I enjoyed having an exclusive set of knowledge built upon my reference works, my experience, and my ability to find out information.”
In this issue, three online bookseller insiders weigh in on the ABE takeover; a New Hampshire bookman says farewell to a beloved children’s author; IOBA supports our South African colleagues; a cool letterpress Q & A; and Joe Perlman writes about Great Unexpectations. The Reference Desk performs a strip search; the book review comes with Goodspeed; and we open a new drawer for exciting interviews with up and coming authors. The Tool Box gets into a bind and fights corruption. IOBA Bookseller Profiles say Havre de Grace, MD; go leather in Devon, U.K.; yet bow to royalty in Palm Desert, CA.
The Independent Online Booksellers Association shares the deep concern of our South African colleagues over Second-Hand Goods Bill [B2-2008] and the effect it would have on independent booksellers in South Africa.
First of all Robert, thanks for taking time out from your very busy schedule, and congratulations on the recent addition to your family. By way of introduction, tell us a bit about Christina and yourself. Christina and I are both…
Anyone who has gone to Boston to look for rare books in this century will have memories of Goodspeed’s Book Shop.