While perusing the New York Antiquarian Book Show, I came across a seller, Yesterday’s Gallery & Babylon Revisited, whose inventory almost exclusively deals in the period between the wars. The dust jackets of that span reflected the artistic craze now known as Art Deco. I’ve collected many books with the Deco motif, and would have grabbed one book they had in particular, had it not been a little out of my reach. ABE, as usual, highlighted this specific section of antiquarian books, showing off what they considered to be great examples of Art Deco jackets. I think they did a decent job of finding some gems–especially since a few of them I own. It’s hard to explain what my criteria for ‘Deco’ consists of. I know it
Finding desirous books can be quite serendipitous. For example, last Saturday at a very large book and ephemera show in Allentown PA, I found three titles I never dreamed of locating within a reasonable budget, and certainly not in person. Maybe through bookfinder’s ABE., or Biblio, but on a table or shelf right in front of my face? Unlikely. Yet that is just what occurred. Myself, my husband, and my friend took the jaunt to the Pennsy town, not expecting much, or less for that matter. We’d all just been to the NY Antiquarian Book Show and were a little shellshocked at the prices. I’ve been to paper ephemera shows many times, and there is no way to gauge what will be selling within. Tons
At the annual New York Antiquarian Book Show, even the paper within a bookseller’s catalog, has a refined air. A fragrance if you will, of expensively printed sheets of paper, beautifully bound with my favorite illustration from In Powder and Crinoline by Kay Nielsen’s hand.Within its pages are detailed descriptions of tomes I’ve never heard of from so many years ago, it’s fascinating any exist. Blackwell’s Rare Books, Antiquarian and Modern, lists book prices in pounds, something that always throws me when calculating if I can afford a title. My initial reaction is, oh, that’s not so terribly high, then reality sets in and I double the price seen, and find not only can I not afford it, I can’t think of anyone who could.
When did the powers that be decide that trade paperbacks were the right way to go? I understand why authors would welcome this format–I would gather that the more expensive the work, the more royalties paid. Mass market paperbacks give little return for the author. And maybe, maybe the print is larger, although, I’ve not seen much difference. Trade paperbacks, as I remember them from my ancient days of book-selling, were reserved for weighty novels, or works of nonfiction or biographies, and classics. Now, any romance, or teen vampire title is produced in this format. Begging the question why? Except, it’s a no brainer why. More money in the publishers’ coffers. The sum of money demanded for a mass market paperback is steep, but the
I didn’t join Goodreads. Mostly because until recently I didn’t know what it was or what I would want to join for. Many authors and friends had suggested via facebook I should join, and that only made me less likely to do so, because I assumed it was another facebook game or oddity. When I finally realized it consisted of normal people, well, as normal as any one who would join something called Goodreads–meaning lovers of the written word–are, the grassroots group sold out to the man, as the kids in my youth would say. They sold their original nice friendly swapping of what members enjoyed and didn’t like to the Robber Baron devil of Amazon. On the Goodreads home page, the list owners describe