I was adding a book to my pile of ’get rid ofs’ when I glanced at its name. Strange People by Frank Edwards. I realized right then I couldn’t give away anything with that alluring of title. Even if I’d read it. So, I put it aside. Which means it went into a heap or pile or bottomless pit of ’stuff’ teetering by the door to my quote unquote, workroom. This mass of mess accumulates from any thing and everything out of place or cluttering up the downstairs whether it belongs to me or not. It collapses from time to time and various things come to light I thought lost, thrown away, or have no memory of existing. One day recently, the book tumbled out.
old books Archive
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
One of the publishers from crime fiction’s past, was a little name that tried to become a bigger power among heavy hitters. Not necessarily known for their quality, they did try hard. They signed up some known authors whose contracts perhaps expired with other publishers, and some names never heard of before or since. Collectors drool over finding a nice Phoenix in near fine jacket. And not because the jacket art was all that compelling either. ABE has a little group of them for our perusal. I think the reason these are sought after is their relative scarcity in jacket. For years, a well known writer, Bill Pronzini, another author on my Best 100, has collected them, striving for better and better copies. One of my
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.