Books for the Reading

Route 66: Part II

by Lynn Wienck, The Chisholm Trail Bookstore

Two books provided the jumping off point for an U.S. Route 66 search and travel trip: Route 66 The Mother Road by Michael Wallis (1990) and Searching for 66 by Tom Teague (1991). Both books were informative and entertaining, providing much history, folklore, and commentary about the road that was, is no more, but somehow lives on.

In as much as milder weather, late May, makes for wonderful travel, it was time to see the Mother Road: up close, personal, and live. Actually, any weather at all makes for wonderful travel, but this miniature trip was probably a better concept. (Conversely, traveling a logging road in the United States northwest many years past was probably not a better concept, but it made a great memory.)

The weather was hot, but cooperative – that is to say it wasn’t  pouring rain. My spouse and I didn’t quite roll down the windows and strain the bugs through our teeth, but it was close. It’s the first car I think we’ve ever had with working air conditioning.

So, off we went for discovery. About a two-hour drive north, put us at El Reno, Oklahoma and the road. We headed west, but U. S. Route 66 merged into Interstate 40. We got off  I-40 at the 108 exit toward Geary, did a little doubling back south on U.S. 281, and located quite by accident Route 66 again. Route 66 was absolutely unmarked, but the road went west and looked ancient. I was willing to try it which was another better concept.

What road is this, we kept asking each other? Beats me, came the answer, but we’re heading west. The route ran parallel to the interstate and when we crested hills, we could see the interstate to the south of us. I didn’t figure we were too far lost. For this stretch, the Mother Road was narrow two-lane, washboard rough-shake-your-teeth loose, no shoulder, and no center marking until the next major town. A sign marked U.S. Route 66 prior to entering Weatherford, Oklahoma. It was nice to have the sign. Finally.

The road carries with it the past; it’s like shifting time back 50 years. Although my spouse assures me that we have been on U.S. Route 66, we’ve never traveled the section between El Reno and Weatherford. It did seem that the only thing missing was my uncle’s Studebaker. If you think Studebaker is a Danish pastry, then you are younger, as opposed to Route 66 older.

Lunch was at the new Lucille’s, a retro-eatery off U.S. Route 66, in Weatherford and very close to I-40. The old Lucille’s was somewhere around Hydro, Oklahoma; Tom Teague’s Searching for 66 shows a picture of the old Lucille’s. We had passed it coming into Weatherford.

There you have it: books for the reading and for the great adventure. Someday, I have to see The Cadillac Ranch by Amarillo, Texas. Someday, I’ll have to see the road start to finish.

UPak – IOBA Member Discount

As small business people ourselves, most of us like to support other small businesses, especially when the price and service is right. IOBA member Serena Wykoff (Copperfish Books) recommends the quality, service, price, and selection at Upak and has negotiated an IOBA member discount. Details of the discount may be found here. Remember that Member Login has moved to the bottom of the home page, and that you now have a unique User ID and password.

IOBA 2012 Scholarship Winners

From IOBA President Joachim Koch:

There’s many different reasons for being a member of the IOBA.  One of them is the opportunity to share knowledge and to learn from others.  As one way of fostering a learning environment for our member booksellers, the IOBA has been offering scholarships for some of the best institutions in the trade.

On behalf of the IOBA Scholarship Committee, chaired this year by Vice-President Howard Prouty, I am honored to announce this year’s recipients of an IOBA scholarship:

Gabe Konrad
Bay Leaf Used & Rare Books
9 E. Lake
PO Box 105
Sand Lake, MI 49343
Telephone: 616-636-8500

Gayle Williamson
Champ & Mabel Collectibles
PO Box 741
San Pedro, CA 90733-0741
Telephone: 310-833-8629

Both winners have chosen to use the $1,500 scholarship to attend this year’s Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar.  The only regret that the Committee had was that they could not make an award to each of this year’s field of applicants.

Congratulations to Gayle and Gabe. We wish both of you a great time in Colorado!

Books for the Reading

Route 66: Part I

by Lynn Wienck, The Chisholm Trail Bookstore

The search for history is best started in your own back yard. With that in mind, I picked up and read two books regarding local road lore. These two volumes covered the first road to traverse the United States: U.S. Route 66, now legend, memory, and just a shade of larger-than-life myth.

Searching for 66 by Tom Teague (1991) is a first-person recounting of a 1986 trek to discover the mother road – the road that stretched from Chicago to Los Angeles, and covered 2,400 miles. The book is comfortable, personable, and informative; it mixes history, folklore, biography, interviews, personal impressions, and autobiography. The book is one fellow’s discovery. The road has personality, the book has personality, and the road is still there. Believe it.

Michael Wallis in Route 66: The Mother Road (1990) focuses on the visual and the history: more fact, less impression, and numerous photographs. The road and it’s retro-scenery sideshows are photogenic, remarkably photogenic. State-by-state, town-by-town, the highlights are covered in detail and in color.

From 1926 to 1984, inception to close, the route traversed through Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. The road was the brainchild of Cy Avery, who was a transplant from Pennsylvania to Oklahoma and had a vision for an interstate road system. This road went through many small towns and thereby encouraged roadside commerce and tourism – a lot of flavor, much of it unusual or just flat-out bizarre.

Bobby Troup wrote a song about the road. Woody Guthrie wrote a song about the road. There was a television show about the road. John Steinbeck wrote the Grapes of Wrath recounting the trek from Oklahoma to California during the depression, Dust Bowl years. Hence, the road is literature and music, too.

The road is not all memory. The Cadillac Ranch which consists of ten Cadillacs buried face-down in the dirt, is still somewhere outside Amarillo, Texas. The place is a Rand-McNally Road Atlas landmark. I checked; it’s on the map. On. The. Map. Incredible. What are future civilizations going to make of ten Caddies, some with fins, half-buried in the middle-of-nowhere, hot, dry, flat Texas dirt?

It was time to check out the Mother Road. Really. Roll down the highway and spit the bugs out from between the teeth. Yes, indeed, books lead to great adventures. Books are exciting. They are more exciting when put into practice.

Booksellers’ Seminar in Seattle

Booksellers’ Seminar






Digital Tools and Tricks for the Bookselling Trade

Thursday June 28th, 2012: 9:30 am to 4 pm.

Seattle Public Library ** Sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the ABAA

Seminar Speakers (via Skype)

Joel Silver, Associate Director and Curator of Books, The Lilly Library, Indiana University: My Favorite Reference Sources for Researching Rare Books.

Dan Gregory, from Between the Covers: Rare Book Photography for the Busy Book Professional.

Luke Lozier, from Bibliopolis: Don’t Trust the Cloud: Maintaining Control over your Digital Assets: Protecting and maintaining control of your own business assets including book data, images, social media posts, blog posts and ultimately customers.

Joachim Koch, from Books Tell You Why: The Ins/Outs and Importance of Social Media for the Rare Bookseller: Twitter, Blogging, Facebook, et al.

  • Question and answer session for attendees
  • Reception Courtesy of the PNW Chapter to follow.
  • Held at the Seattle Public Library Level 4, Conference Room 2. (also known as the Howard S. Wright Family and Janet W. Ketchum Conference Room).

For directions and parking information:

Please Note: Tickets are complimentary, but pre-registration is required.

To register for the event please contact:

Priscilla Anne Lowry

Lowry-James Rare Prints & Books, ABAA

Langley, Washington (360) 221-0477

The CABS Shadow Knows: A thrilling adventure in 5 episodes

An unknown correspondent (“The CABS Shadow”) shared perceptions of the experience in the best tradition of serials. IOBA is happy to bring this thrilling adventure to you in 5 parts. It will only be “complete” when you have attended.

Episode I: How to Double Your Money

Take a deep breath, flex the trigger finger, and then click “send”.

That’s it.

You have just sent in your application for 2012 CABS, and enabled a great opportunity for you to engage with some of the brightest and best book people on the planet.

Ever fold your own signature?  Collate an amazing book?  Back-up your computer files?  Work with a real live book photographer?  How about having the luxury of asking any book, printing, illustration, business or special collections question that you could ever dream of – and get the straight goods (business is off the record of course!) from an expert in the field?  Or attend a live book auction? Or ….phew!

Your classmates will consist of specialists in all fields, the curious, collectors of all stripes, librarians and even some second time attendees. And you will have a great time earning your 2012 educational tax write-off!

So start saving up your energy and your passion – you’re going to need lots of both for this incredible week.

Now take your cash, fold it in half and put it back into your pocket.

There – you just doubled your money.

 Episode II: Bookselling as a Community

No one does it all, and it takes a very special and dynamic group effort to create a place of learning where the acumen, skills and knowledge of booklovers (collectors), booksellers (business people) and keepers of the flame (librarians) can gather to share it with others.

Why would a successful business person, academic or career professional, share their hard earned secrets with strangers, you ask?

It is because they have acquired an awareness of a simple truth,

“If there is any hope, it is in the future” The Dalai Lama, 1989.

You are the future, so come and find an important piece of yours – at CABS 2012.

 Episode III: The CABS Handbook

A reference book unlike any other.

The record of combined knowledge that has been gathered and distilled through multiple lifetimes of working in the book trades. Updated yearly with modified, improved and proprietary techniques, it unveils the practical and hands-on secrets that will help deepen the commitment to success made in your chosen field.

CABS handbook 2012 however, like many of the best things in life, cannot be bought.

The wisdom and insights held within can only be given.

“Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for life”   Stone Tablet, n.d.

Topics in this new addition to your reference library will include:

  • Evaluating, Buying, and Pricing Books
  • Refurbishing & Conversation
  • Data Bases
  • Bibliographic Description
  • Book Photography
  • Qualified Appraisals
  • Book Fairs
  • Fakes, Forgeries & Theft
  • Types of Illustration (and ID techniques)
  • Consignment, Selling & House Calls, inc. legal paperwork and templates.

Best of all, the CABS 2012 handbook is included as part of the course materials – and yours to keep – along with the great personal notes, contacts and to-do lists that will be created by you!

Episode IV: The People – The Experience (unplugged & uncut)

Who knew….?

Any CABS alumni will crack a smile at those words, having heard their echo many times as yet another pearl was being strategically placed for seekers to find.

CABS faculty bring forward their “A” game to generate the best single learning experience currently available to the book community.

A quick look at the faculty profiles will give you an idea of the high caliber of experienced professionals you will soon be swapping stories with.

Profiles off the record – why not?

L.B.: This tall drink of educated mountain air sees all through his radical eyes, quick wit and “steady-on” approaches – nary an unclear or ambiguous sentence is allowed passage under his watchful gaze.

D.De S.: Accomplished literary sleuth with many moons of experience as a bookseller and curator, he brings the broad perspective earned through intimacy with both sides of the trade – along with his ready smile – to the table.

D. G.: Expert in many fields, his willingness to share database, photo and technical details, as well as bookselling concepts and general hilarity, will force you to fine tune your hearing-aid.

K.J.: Master Wizard. This ex-CIA guy is not the fellow you want to be knocking on your door (or email) if he hears that the “…no tape recorders or other similar devices, please” edict has been breached. “I do remember those dark knights …”

N.M.: Incunabula specialist with the best catalogs in the room. Honed her skills duking it out with the big boys in some of the most famous auction rooms and galleries in the world. She knows that of which you speak…

D.P.: Straight shooting sheriff that helps ensure higher global standards in the wild west of the online marketplace.

K.L.: Nothing – and I mean nothing – happens without the nod of this omnipotent dynamo!

R.R-M.: Team captain, and always sounding a key note. Has the trade in his veins and shipped out early on his career voyage. A capable bloke, still selling more good books – and with more panache – than Bob’s uncle. Better watch this guy.

S.S.: a.k.a. Super Savvy. Can spell disambiguation backwards, and knows what it means. He can hand press 4to’s and folios, so not to be trifled with. Frequently seen with K.J. when there is a need for added muscle.

T.B.: One of a kind – and very kind. Emphatically states “I do nothing!” but Humphrey Bogart still says it best regarding this scholarly giant: “The whole world is about three drinks behind”. If you have a thirst for knowledge, come have a drink from this CABS fountain!

T.S.K. (The Shadow Knows): There in spirit. With the proper afternoon light, can be seen pantomiming Oscar Wilde’s “Work is the curse of the drinking class.”

Episode V:  Dealing with Institutions

How does your cash flow look this month?     How about this year?

If your sales are approaching a commensurate nosedive mirroring the general malaise of the world economy, why not try something different – like selling to the great institutions, libraries and museums of the world?

Institutions will have a presence at CABS 2012, and the faculty can help you understand how to approach their venerated acquisitions departments, how to research institutional collections prior to contacting with quotes and also how mutual benefits can be extracted not only from your acquired knowledge, but their budget requirements as well.

Some of the topics covered are:

-Including libraries as part of a sales strategy

-Annual budgets

-Organization of acquisitions departments

-25 Institutions with large budgets

-Local libraries and historical societies

-Creating bibliographic lists

-Meeting with librarians

Besides all that – what bookseller doesn’t want to know what the Library of Congress is looking to buy this year?

For more information, visit the website of the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar