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Monday, December 28, 2009

Auction Alert-Dr. Seuss

The January 7th auction at PBA Auctions in San Francisco is going to include 85 lots of Dr. Seuss material; books, original sketches and ephemera with many of the items signed.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


I love it when in snows in New York, (especially New York City) it seems that I always get a jump in online orders when the weather gets bad there.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Auction Price Realized- Darwin On the Origin of Species


First Edition of Charles Darwin's 'On the Origin of Species' Sells for $170,569

The book was recently rediscovered sitting on a bookcase in the guest bathroom of the vendor’s house. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd. 2009.

LONDON.- A rediscovered first edition of Charles Darwin’s (1809-1882) 'On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection' sold today at Christie’s in London for £103,250 / $170,569 / €114,298 (estimate: £40,000 to £60,000). Recently rediscovered sitting on a bookcase in the guest bathroom of the vendor’s house, it had been bought for only a few shillings over 50 years ago. The book was sold 150 years to the day after this seminal work of scientific literature was first published (November 24, 1859). It was bought by an anonymous client bidding by telephone.

Margaret Ford, Director and Head of Books and Manuscripts, Christie’s London: “It is a very fitting occasion to have sold this rediscovered copy of Darwin’s 'Origin of Species' 150 years to the day after it was first published. One of the most important and influential scientific books ever written, the copy sold today was an unusual rediscovery having been found in the guest bathroom of the vendor’s house. We are thrilled to have seen so much interest for the book leading up to the auction where clients competed in the room and by telephone, with an anonymous telephone bidder winning the battle and acquiring it for £103,250.”

The vendor’s son-in-law was recently visiting an exhibition on Darwin when he noticed a first edition of the book on display. Seeing the distinctive green spine, he recognized it as a book on a bookcase in the guest bathroom of his father-in-law; he found there a fresh copy of a rare first edition of the book. It was this copy that sold today at Christie’s for £103,250 / $170,569 / €114,298.

Charles Darwin (1809-1882) is most recognized for his theory of evolution, which states that all species of life have evolved over time from common ancestors. His most notable publication was 'On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection' which was first published on November 24, 1859, and which became one of the most influential scientific books ever written. He was buried in Westminster Cathedral alongside Sir Isaac Newton, and is one of only 5 non-Royal Brits to be honored by a State Funeral, the others being Lord Nelson, The Duke of Wellington and two former Prime Ministers; Lord Palmerston and the Rt. Hon. William Gladstone.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Book Scouting

On the subject of non traditional book scouting locations....

Rare Charles Darwin book found on toilet bookshelf

LONDON – An auction house says it is selling a rare first edition of Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" found in a family's guest lavatory in southern England.

Christie's auction house said Sunday the book — one of around 1,250 copies first printed in 1859 — had been on a toilet bookshelf at a family's home in Oxford.

The book will be auctioned on Tuesday, the 150th anniversary of the publication of the famous work. Christie's said the book is likely to sell for 60,000 pounds ($99,000).

Darwin's "The Origin of Species" outlined his theory of natural selection, the foundation for the modern understanding of evolution.

Celebrations around the world this year have marked the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth.

I also check out the books used for displays in furniture stores and restaurants, have not found anything exciting yet but I can dream...

bibliofanatic part II

Keeping a calendar of favorite authors publishing dates-fan

Downloading the ebook version at midnight on date of publication and then still buying the hard copy--fanatic

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


The most straight forward definition of a bibliophile is "a lover of books" and as a life long fan of books, both the reading and collecting thereof I think it would be fun to discuss the signs and symptoms of when a fan becomes a fanatic.

Buying every book written by an author as soon as it hits the stores-fan

Haunting the bookshops to see if anyone accidentally shelved a new title prior to the book's release date--fanatic

Discussing an author or specific book with friends-fan

Trying to talk about same book or author with strangers on the street--fanatic

Joining book groups to discuss books and learn about new titles or authors-fan

Trying to peek at the title of a book that the stranger on the bus (or gym, or doctor's office...) is reading--fanatic

Watching your favorite decorating show and trying to read the titles of the books on the shelves-fan

Refusing to ever watch said decorating show again when the decorator stacks books to hold up vases or removes dust jackets from books because "the books look neater"--fanatic

I'll post more examples of these as I do them, uhmm I mean as I think of them.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Gotta Love Grandfathers

I've sold children's books since the early 1990's, first by catalog sales and since 1996 via the internet. From my earliest days in business one of my favorite type of customer to talk to has been Grandfathers. In print or out of print they want to provide there grandkids with the best of the best. Whether it is my Armenian American grandfather who wants books that reflect that culture, the grandfather who wanted to replace the books he read to his daughter, for her to read to her own daughter, or the call I got recently from a soon to be granddad who wants to surround his new family member with the best of children's literature. They are dedicated buyers and repeat customers.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Wizard of Oz Waddle Book-Auction Price Realized

PBA auction house in San Francisco auctioned this great copy of Baum's The Wizard of Oz Waddle Book complete with slotties for a most impressive $21,600.

[8], 211 pp. Illustrated with 8 color plates by W.W. Denslow with text on the versos; black & white illustrations in the text and some full page; how-to assemble directions for all 6 waddle toy die-cuts illustrated on the last 3 pages, perforated stubs present between pages 46/47, 94/95, 143/144 (Waddle sheets detached). 9x7, olive-green cloth, color pictorial cover label. First Edition, First State.
Includes the rare 6 die-cut "waddle toys," while the sheets containing the Waddles are detached from the binding the Waddles themselves are still in their flat cardboard panel state, never removed or assembled. Also with the folding yellow brick road, likewise unassembled and never used. The waddle toys are printed in colors on a thin stock cardboard and intended to be assembled with metal hip connectors, 10 of which are present in a small envelope as issued. Also included are the original instructional envelope which holds the die-cut parts for the ramp and a wrap-around band which proclaims: "Under this band in the large envelope, you will find an ingenious runway. It can be set up by any child and will form a perfect base on which to set the Waddle Characters. Just place them on this runway, tap them gently to side and off they will go, walking all by themselves, without the aid of any mechanical power...". Very rare to find a copy with all six of the Waddles present, exceedingly so to find them in the original unused state. This is the first state, with publisher's imprint at foot of spine. Hanff & Greene I, pp. 35-36, Plate 7.Condition: Wrap-around band clipped open at one end and with some chipping to fold at other end; envelope chipped at edges and with a large chip on rear (blank) side, several tears at edges of printed side; sheets holding Dorothy Waddle and Scarecrow Waddle each with a separation where the corner of the die-cuts come very close to the edge of the sheet, one tab on ramp bumped; light wear to volume edges, some faint soiling on rear cover, hinges cracked with mulling exposed, previous owner's name on front pastedown endpaper and 1937 gift inscription on verso of dedication leaf; volume about very good; Waddles near fine though Waddle sheets detached from binding.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

2009 Edgar Award-Juvenile and Young Adult

The 2009 Edgar Allan Poe Award for the best juvenile went to THE POSTCARD by Tony Abbott published by Little, Brown.

In the young adult category the award went to PAPER TOWNS by John Green, published by Dutton.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Rest in peace my son

Sometimes there are no words....

Saturday, February 21, 2009


590 items and way to long in compilation, the catalog goes to the printer on MONDAY!

Friday, February 13, 2009

2009 Catalog Update

Well I'm getting a bit closer to being done; it looks like the catalog will have 595 items, and consist of Award Winners, (Newbury, Caldecott, etc), signed books, and books I just think are too cool for words. I'm hoping to have it finished and sent in the next 10 days, but then I thought it would be publishing before the end of January!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bookstore Reviews

This review of Borderland Books, a Science Fiction/Fantasy Bookstore in San Francisco is from a new blog site called "No Bookstore Left Behind"


Surprising it took me two and a half years to find a bookstore completely devoted to Science Fiction and Fantasy. Borderlands is located in the sunny mission smack dab in the middle of half a dozen other bookstores (more Mission bookstore reviews to come) and many dozen cafes, coffee shops and restaurants. An entire bookstore devoted to sci-fi…sounds like Eden, right? Except Eden is inhabited by two freaky cats. This aren’t normal cats (assuming they are indeed cats), they’re the hairless, “Sphinx” cats and they are as ugly as sin. Their faces are all shrunk up and wrinkly, their tails are exactly like rat tails. The first time I went in the store they both kept staring at me. The second time one of the cats followed me around meowing (apparently the other was at home, or out haunting the dreams of young children, and she was lonely). When I sat down with some of Ray Bradbury’s short stories, she climbed into my lab and clamored to be petted. Petting a hairless cat is a lot like stroking a bat. But she seemed to like it, she purred loudly for a while before setting in. Several people came by and did the “aaawwwwww….whatta cute kitty” routine. I refrained from asking them what they were smoking but it must have been strong.

Anyway, aside from the disconcerting cats, Borderlands is a great store. There is about a 60-40 distribution of new books to used, plus a smattering of rare editions. There is also plenty of space to sit and read, including a comfy couch.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

quote for the day

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~Anna Quindlen, "Enough Bookshelves," New York Times, 7 August 1991

I've got a 50% success rate on this....

Sunday, January 25, 2009

catalog update

Jeez, it's been such a long time since I've compiled a hard copy catalog that I've seriously underestimated the time it takes. It doesn't help that I've got a new (COLOR!) printer/copier that I'm learning to use so it's going to be an illustrated catalog.

So, the January 2009 catalog is currently over 500 items and is going to cover award winners, (Newbury, Caldecott, King, Edgar etc) and whatever other book that I think is cool. Hopefully it will be completed by mid February at the latest.

Compiling is the easy part, it's the editing that's going to take the time.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Mini rant

I was in the local Borders bookstore this weekend looking at the new childrens picture books, just generally checking out what's new and what looks interesting, and I was struck again by the degradation in the childrens picture book section. This has been going on for a few years now but it has been especially bad over the last year, the picture book section has been shrunk by more than half it's original size and even more disappointing, a wall that at one time was dedicated to books is now "activity sets" and toys.

It's bad enough that I don't have an independent bookstore to shop at, but when the "big box" stores don't stock a decent collection it just flat ticks me off.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Award Announcement

The 2009 award announcement for the Newbery and Caledecott medals will be on January 26th this year. The announcements will be webcast at 7:45am from Denver during the ALA mid-winter meeting.

A whole slew of other literary awards for childrens and young adult books will also be announced. I also follow the Printz award for young adult and the Coretta Scott King for African American titles.