Feature

Articles specially written or curated for the IOBA Standard

Serendipity in Bookselling – Tim Doyle

February 28, 2016
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Serendipity in Bookselling – Tim Doyle

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines “serendipity” as: “the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.” The word has just celebrated its 262nd birthday, having been coined by Horace Walpole in a letter to Horace Mann, dated 28 January 1754. Walpole built his neologism on the name of a land in a Persian fairy tale from Amir Khusrau’s Hasht-Bihisht of 1302. For an interesting discussion of this, see Dr. Oliver Tearle’s “A Short History of the Word ‘Serendipity‘.” The key role that the concept of serendipity can play in book buying and selling is well-illustrated by…

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Book Blogging: Don’t Do What I Do – Rachel Jagareski

February 28, 2016
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Book Blogging: Don’t Do What I Do  – Rachel Jagareski

In 2007, I started blogging. I wanted to have a blog associated with our bookstore, but first wanted to test-drive the blogosphere and work the kinks out with a personal blog. My husband Dan had recently been diagnosed with celiac disease, an autoimmune disease requiring folks to avoid eating wheat, barley, and rye for the rest of their lives. In Dan’s case, his symptoms reversed after being on a gluten-free diet for several months, though retooling our pantry, dining out and learning how to cook and bake without wheat flour proved to be a real pain in the ileum. I…

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Embracing the Unexpected – Joe Perlman

February 27, 2016
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Embracing the Unexpected  – Joe Perlman

The following article was originally published in the Summer 2008 issue of The Standard. One of the best things about being in the used book business is that you never know what to expect. When you get up in the morning, you can never predict what the day will bring. Usually, the first thing I do when I get out of bed is check my e-mail for orders that came in overnight. Earlier this year I noticed a pattern that most of the orders were coming in at the beginning of the week. By Thursday, the orders slowed down to…

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From On-Line to Selling at Antiquarian Book Fairs

July 9, 2013
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IOBANL-CooperstownB-8-03

with Lee Kirk, Ken Karmiole, and Nancy Johnson We asked several IOBA members for their perspectives on selling at book fairs. The focus of this article is not on the large international and member only trade association fairs, but on the smaller regional fairs where booths are open to all sellers with a good reputation. Many of these fairs sell out of booth space, so if you are interested in exhibiting at one, get on the waiting list early. Madlyn Blom of OldBagLady Books has some advice for first-timers. She exhibits at The Florida Antiquarian Book Fair - or the St…

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Book Selling at Antique Malls

July 7, 2013
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Doyle_Antique_Mall_2

with Lee Kirk, Gayle Williamson, and Sharon Eisenberg So as part of this month’s theme of alternate selling venues for online book sellers, I thought it would be interesting to do a piece on selling in antique malls. Over the years I’ve heard many anecdotal accounts of dealers who set up spaces in antique malls, with mixed positive and negative results. I’ve been selling at the Westminster Antique Mall  for over a year, taking over my current space as of January 2013. Selling at an antique mall is pretty simple in concept: the mall owners rent you space in which to…

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2013 IOBA Scholarship Announcement

July 5, 2013
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newlogo

The IOBA Scholarship Committee reviewed a number of worthy applications this year, and we have two very deserving winners.  Before getting to that, though, just a few words about the scholarships. As those who have been keeping up with announcements on the IOBA lists know, our organization offers two scholarships each year. The first is for the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar, held in Colorado Springs in August each year. The second is an open scholarship which can be used for a number of educational opportunities (e.g., the University of Virginia Rare Book School). These scholarships are an important aspect of…

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Book Selling at Genre Conventions

June 27, 2013
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Balticon_oz

“Fandom” is a term that certain science fiction fans use to describe themselves, and conventions are where fandom congregates to indulge their mutual interest in the genre and meet some of the authors and artists (the “pros”) who make it happen. While the majority of genre conventions are science fiction (SF) and fantasy themed, there are even more specialized cons including media (e.g. Star Trek or Star Wars), anime, manga, gaming and comics. In the broader genre context, there are also horror and mystery conventions. The first SF convention was held in 1936 in the United States (New York City),…

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“Don’t Do It!”

February 28, 2013
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Greg Gibson, Ten Pound Island Book Company

Editor’s note: My first encounter with this article was actually at its debut, as a talk delivered by Greg to the Class of 2009 (of which I was a member) at the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar. I thought it was brilliant then, and my opinion hasn’t changed. In fact, it’s only improved with age — like a fine wine, or a good book, or, heck, like Greg himself — and I’m pleased to be able to bring it to The Standard’s readers. Enjoy! — H.P. I. In the spring of 1975 I went to work for a genius who made…

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Building the World’s Best Collection of _________ Using the Internet

February 28, 2013
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St Nicholas Magazine THE MALLORY INHERITANCE story Dec 1922

1. How I Got Going. Let me begin with a confession that will surprise no one: like many booksellers, I have a strong collecting streak. I am first and foremost a voracious (even compulsive) reader, and I have always liked owning the books I read, so for as long as I can remember I’ve been a book accumulator. It was the Internet that set me on the path to full-time bookselling, but it also changed me from an accumulator to a collector (although I still do plenty of accumulating). As a bookseller, I can’t collect everything — if I did…

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