Friday, August 22, 2014

Books for the Bookseller

These just arrived: shiny new reference books!

A good antiquarian bookseller has to have a good reference library. Two things I've been wanting to learn are the identification of leather bindings and the identification of illustrations (copperplate? woodblock? photogravure?).

How to Identify Prints, by Bamber Gascoigne, explains all about images, including magnified examples and a handy checklist.

And John Carter's ABC for Book Collectors is a classic reference of book terms.

Now, if I could just order a little time to read them...

Friday, August 15, 2014

Booksellers in Denver

The morning after the Rocky Mountain Book and Paper Fair, Denver booksellers open their shops for brunch.

I started on the 200 block of Broadway, at the Broadway Book Mall (pictured at left) and Farenheit Books.

Broadway Book Mall and Printed Page Bookshop are co-ops — groups of booksellers that sell their books in one shop. I love the idea of combining resources and not being physically tied to the counter every day.

Printed Page was down on the 1400 block.

I really enjoyed their neighbor, Gallagher Books — what a beautiful shop. Best of all, I got to meet Sue Gallagher and her husband Don. I'd "talked" to Sue via e-mail, and she made me feel right at home.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Rocky Mountain Book and Paper Fair

The Rocky Mountain Book & Paper Fair wrapped up last weekend in Denver, Colorado. I made a side trip on my way to Colorado Springs because I've never been to an antiquarian book fair, and there aren't any in North Carolina or my neighboring states. 

A press

It was fun. It was overwhelming. 

I browsed through every booth, but only a few drew me in to look at particular books. Trying to remember lessons about not buying a book that won't turn a profit, I didn't buy any. I was tempted, though, by a quite reasonable set of signed Tony Hillermans. I looked in awe at signed firsts and their amazing prices. 
Type and images to go in the press

I looked through one seller's collection of cruise ship ephemera with a particular customer in mind, but he didn't have the particular ship. 

Sally Burdon gave an interesting talk about bookselling from an Australian perspective. As a second-generation bookseller, she has seen many changes in her shop and the business. 

After getting up at 3 am Eastern time for my flight, I was exhausted before the fair closed. But I made it all the way around the room and enjoyed looking. 

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Colorado bound!

(I wanted to post this Saturday, Aug. 2, but wi-fi access has been a challenge)

I've had plenty of things to blog about this year, but no time to write. Blessed with extra hours at my archives job from January to June, I'm just now getting back to bookselling. I had already decided to go to CABS — the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar — knowing I might have to dig into savings. With over three years in bookselling and the transition from an open shop to an online business, the timing seemed perfect.

Other people thought the timing perfect, too — I won the IOBA scholarship!

Here I am on my way to Colorado.

I'm heading out a day early to attend my first antiquarian book fair, the Rocky Mountain Book and Paper Fair in Denver.

I hope to write more, but it might have to wait 'til I get back home with reliable internet. My head will be so full of books! What I can't put into words, I'll try to capture in pictures.

Friday, June 27, 2014

History Geekery — Camden Archeaology

For several months, now, I've been working on a book about the Quakers in colonial Camden, S.C. I've found a wealth of primary sources, especially from traveling Quaker ministers who mentioned their visits to Camden in their "journals," that is, published religious memoirs.

An intriguing title came up in an online search. I took a risk and ordered the book. This just arrived in the mail: Camden: Historical Archaeology in the South Carolina Backcountry by Kenneth Lewis.

I wasn't disappointed.

Although not exactly a primary source, the text contains details about colonial Camden: street layout; actual house (and jail and brewery) foundations; typical homes; and dishes and other items found in the ground.

There are even sketches of what the town may have looked like just before and during the American Revolution.

Too bad Joseph Kershaw wasn't a Quaker. I'm about to learn a whole lot about his house!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Saturday, April 05, 2014

The Battle of Guilford Courthouse

The American and British armies clashed at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse on March 15, 1781. The 233rd anniversary fell on a Saturday this year, allowing reenactors to "fight" on the actual day. 

Pulling artillery back to the Second Line
Shooting started that long-ago morning in New Garden, a Quaker village that is part of modern-day Greensboro. Many history books call it a skirmish. Algie Newlin makes the case for a separate battle in his book, The Battle of New Garden.

A surprise bayonet attack against musket fire
I finally made it this year. The Battleground park is huge. The announcer told the spectators that we were postitioned on the actual hill where the Americans had claimed the high ground in this hilly, wooded area; however, the actual armies were much bigger and the different groups were out of sight of each other.

The calvary attacks!
General Nathanael Greene had organized his army into three main lines. As General Charles Cornwallis' troops advanced, the Americans fought, then moved back to the next line.

An orderly retreat

They finally retreated to Virginia, but after giving the British heavy losses.

Greene lost the battle, but won the campaign, leaving most of his men alive to fight another day.