Book Scouting – North of the Border

 

We love Canada!  Twice over the past six months (in October and again in January) Ron and I headed up to the Niagara-on-the-Lake Region and further north into Hamilton and Toronto in search of used book inventory.

Our first destination was Niagara-on-the-Lake, a beautiful old town situated in the heart of wine country on the Niagara escarpment, on the shore of Lake Ontario where the Niagara River meets the Lake.

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This area is famous for its elegant wineries, its theater (the Shaw Festival in particular), and its breathtaking year-round beauty.

With its cozy, walkable downtown, lovely old hotels, pubs, inns and storefronts,  horses & carriages lined up in front of the elegant Prince of Wales Hotel…you will swear you are in an old English village.

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This is where we stayed, at Riverbend Inn & Winery, just outside the village on the Niagara Parkway.

 

 

One of the highlights of our October 2016 trip was attending the book sale at Trinity College, about an hour north of Niagara-on-the-Lake in Toronto.  It was our first time at this annual event.  It was held upstairs in Seeley Hall at 6 Hoskin Avenue.

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This is one of the better college or university book sales we have attended, and is the largest of its kind in Toronto.  There were thousands of books on hand, organized into categories, with a separate rare and collectible room.

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The building is a lovely old thing done in Jacobethan style. We found parking across the street.

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The staff was knowledgeable and courteous — it was a pleasure to buy books here!

A few examples of the books we purchased at Trinity College:

Below: A Son of Austerity, by George Knight.  Published by McLeod & Allen, n.d.   Illustrated by Harrison Fisher.

BelowThe Mammoth Book of Thrillers, Ghosts and Mysteries (Parrish, J. M. and John R. Crossland, Editors) Odhams Press Ltd., London, 1936.  SOLD

BelowFolk-Songs and Other Songs for Children, Jane Byrd Radcliffe-Whitehead, Editor.  Oliver Ditson Company, Boston, 1903.  Decorated American trade binding – cover design by F. G. Hale (Frank Gardner Hale 1876-1945).

BelowOn the Road to Bagdad, by Lieutenant Colonel Brereton (Blackie, London, circa 1920)

Below:   Record of Canadian Shipping –  A List of Square-Rigged Vessels, Mainly 500 Tons and Over, Built in the Eastern Provinces of British North America from the Year 1786 to 1920.  Frederick William Wallace.  Toronto: Musson Book Company, 1929.   First Edition, SIGNED and Limited, this being no. 402 of 1,000 copies.  Illustrated with photographs, paintings and drawings.

 

Meanwhile, back in Niagara-on-the-Lake, there was a nice little book signing going on at the local book store…Old Niagara Bookshop, located at 223 Regent Street.  They are purveyors of books both old and new!

Here we are with author Terry Belleville, and a copy of his book, Matters of Kindness – A collection of short stories, anecdotes and memories.

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Thanks, Terry, for signing my book.

Later we paid a visit to Konzelmann Winery…one of the many beautiful wineries in the area that are making really excellent table wines, as well as the “ice wines” for which this region is famous.

A short drive away is the town of St. Catharines, Ontario, where we found a couple of interesting used & rare book stores.  The first one we visited was “The Write Bookshop” at 285 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines.

 

And here is one of the interesting books we found there…

BelowThe South African War, by Captain A. T. Mahan.  Peter Fenelon Collier & Son, NY, 1900.  Decorated American trade binding – cover designed by George Wharton Edwards (so stated on copyright page).  Eighteen full page illustrations in color; 34 full page black and white illustrations.

The second book store we visited was Hannelore Headley Old & Fine Books, at 71 Queen Street.  It looks small and humble on the outside, but geeze(!), they had some nice books.

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Here is an example:

BelowThe Skyline Trail, by Mary Carolyn Davies.  Indianapolis: Bobbs Merrill, 1924.  Oregon Edition, Limited to one thousand copies, signed and numbered, of which this is number 770 (with author’s signature).  Decorated American trade binding – cream cloth boards with blue, black, cream and lavender mountain and wagon train scene on cover. SOLD

Below:  The Ship that Died of Shame & Other Stories, by Nicholas Monsarrat.  London: Cassell, 1959.  Stated First Edition in clean unclipped original dust jacket.

 

We had no trouble bringing a box of assorted wines and several boxes of books back across the border.  The trip was so enjoyable and successful that we went back in January of this year, and had another wonderful experience – which I’ll catch you up on in the next post.

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Our Trip to the F.O.L. Sale – Gainesville, Florida

Friends of the Library Sales are not for the faint of heart!

Any bookseller will tell you…Friends of the Library Sales are not for the faint of heart!

Our next book scouting journey was to the Friends of the Library Sale in Gainesville, FL benefiting the Alachua County Library District and several literacy programs.  This is a biennial sale held at the Bookhouse at 430 N. Main Street in Gainesville, and boasts over500,000 books, records, games, CDs, DVDs, audio, video, paintings, posters, prints, puzzles and magazines.  We attended the Spring Sale (April 25-29, 2015) – their next sale will be Fall 2015 – October 24 – 28.

We drove from Port Charlotte to Dade City the night before the sale to be within an hour’s drive of Gainesville.  We wanted to get an early morning start for the event.  That evening, in Dade City we found a delightful restaurant called Kafe Kokopelli.

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Kafe Kokopelli – Dade City, Florida

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Ron at the entrance of Kafe Kokopelli

Ron at the entrance of Kafe Kokopelli

Housed in a 100 year old building originally designed for Model T sales by the Ford Motor Company, this place was loaded with charm.

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The atmosphere was enchanting,  everywhere you looked!

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We met some fun people here and had a lovely dinner!

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Would loved to have lingered into the night, but we had to get up early in the morning to make the drive from Dade City to Gainesville (where the sale started at 9am and we were in line by 8am).

Sunrise in Florida on our way to the Gainesville Book Sale

Line at the F.O.L. Book Sale in Gainesville

Long line at the F.O.L. Book Sale in Gainesville

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Wall-to-wall book buyers

Wall-to-wall book buyers

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This sale has a decent and large “collectible” quality book section in one corner of the building, with books individually priced.  VERY crowded, however, and one must be nimble and quick to get a look at the better books.

Here are a few of the books we found at the Gainesville sale:

 

Shakespeare and Company, by Sylvia Beach (Harcourt Brace, 1959, first edition)

Shakespeare and Company, by Sylvia Beach (Harcourt Brace, 1959, first edition)

 

Mrs. Bridge, by Evan S. Connell Jr. (Viking Press, 1959, 1st Printing)

Mrs. Bridge, by Evan S. Connell Jr. (Viking Press, 1959, 1st Printing)  SOLD

With the Night Mail, by Rudyard S. Kipling (Doubleday Page, 1909)

With the Night Mail, by Rudyard S. Kipling (Doubleday Page, 1909)023278_1

The Grandissimes, George W. Cable (Charles Scribner, 1899, First Illustrated Edition)

The Grandissimes, George W. Cable (Charles Scribner, 1899, First Illustrated Edition)023251_3

 

Quite Early One Morning, by Thomas Dylan (New Directions, 1954, 1st Edition)

Quite Early One Morning, by Thomas Dylan (New Directions, 1954, 1st Edition)

DUNE, by Frank Herbert (1st Putnam edition, 1984)

DUNE, by Frank Herbert (1st Putnam edition, 1984)DUNE, by Frank Herbert (1st Putnam edition, 1984)

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEXT UP:  Our visit to The Old Tampa Book Company in Tampa, Florida!

Cazenovia, NY Book Sale 2014

Last weekend Ron and I made our annual trek to the Cazenovia, New York Friends of the Library Book Sale.   We haven’t missed this sale in fourteen years.  It’s always a good sale, and usually blessed with beautiful clear weather — as it was on this Saturday morning (July 25, 2014).

Cazenovia, NY Public Library

Cazenovia, NY Public Library

Book buyers soon started lining up for the 9:00am opening of the sale, which is in three locations on the library grounds — in the barn, under the tent, and in the spacious basement community room.

Book buyers lining up at the Cazenovia, NY 2014 book sale

Book buyers lining up at the Cazenovia, NY 2014 book sale

I love their penguin, who unfailingly stands guard at the head of the line…

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They almost forgot to put his apron on him this year…but here he is, all decked out!

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This is  a pleasant book sale, because the books are spread out in three locations so there tends to be some breathing room.  Cazenovia is a gorgeous town, the books are fairly priced, and the library volunteers are always so friendly and welcoming.

Here are just a few of the books we found this year at the Cazenovia sale:

To Rule The Night, signed by author and astronaut James B. Irwin

To Rule The Night, signed by author and astronaut James B. Irwin

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The Mind of Leonardo da Vinci by Edward McCurdy (Dodd Mead, NY, 1928, 1st Edition)

The Mind of Leonardo da Vinci by Edward McCurdy (Dodd Mead, NY, 1928, 1st Edition)

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Scarce first edition of "The Fox and The Hound" - winner of the Dutton Animal Book Award, 1967

Scarce first edition of “The Fox and The Hound” – winner of the Dutton Animal Book Award, 1967

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Endpapers of "Man-Hunters of Scotland Yard"

Endpapers of “Man-Hunters of Scotland Yard”

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Association copy,  inscribed to Bahamas' first Prime Minister, Sir Roland Symonette and his two boys, with author-drawn arrow pointing to their frontispiece portrait next to inscription

Association copy, inscribed to Bahamas’ first Prime Minister, Sir Roland Symonette and his two boys, with author-drawn arrow pointing to their frontispiece portrait next to inscription

We inevitably follow this sale with lunch in the open air courtyard at the Lincklaen House, a lovely historic hotel and restaurant just across the street. They always serve fresh homemade popovers(!) with a tray of butter to smother them in, and offer a seafood bisque that is hard to beat.

Dining patio at the Lincklaen House, Cazenovia, NY

Outdoor dining at the Lincklaen House, Cazenovia, NY

Thanks to all the volunteers who manage to put on one of the most enjoyable book sales in New York State.  This was their 40th year – congrats!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn Book Scouting in Corning, New York

Early October is a beautiful time of year for a drive through the Southern Tier of New York State. The forested hills are splashed with vibrant autumn color, and the air is crisp and clear.  And so it was on Saturday morning, when we drove to Corning, New York.

 We never miss the Friends of the Southeast Steuben County Library Sale, which is held twice a year (April and October) at the East Corning Volunteer Fire Hall, just off I-86 between exits 47 and 48.  It is a friendly, well-organized sale, and usually offers some interesting material.  This year’s fall sale is offering about 30,000 items, and they always present a “Special Books” area that is worth a careful perusal.

 I didn’t take photos this time at the sale opening – we were running late and the sale was about to begin just as we parked our car!  But here are just a few of the books we purchased at the sale:

An assortment of decorated bindings from the Corning sale

An assortment of decorated bindings from the Corning sale

 They offered a large and interesting collection of material on Panama and the Panama Canal this time around in their Specials area; books on the hydrological and geographical studies which were done for the massive construction project, maps and diagrams, and a great variety of books on the huge and historic undertaking to connect two oceans.

 You can’t go to this sale without stopping in the charming city of Corning.  Besides the Corning Museum of Glass and the Rockwell Museum of Western Art, beautiful Market Street in the historic downtown offers great walking, dining and shopping.

Market Street, Corning, New York

Market Street, Corning, New York

Centerway Square, Corning, New York

Centerway Square, Corning, New York

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We were happy to see a new used & rare book store in town, Mecca Books at 65 E. Market Street.   It is always cause for celebration where antiquarian book stores are opening to replace the ones that are closing!

Owned by Steve Mecca, the store location was taken over from Mynotera Books (which still has an online auction site).  Steve offers an eclectic selection of vintage hardcover books, vinyl, comic books and other interesting ephemera, at reasonable prices. 

Mecca Books, 65 East Market St., Corning, NY

Mecca Books, 65 East Market St., Corning, NY

Steve Mecca, Proprietor of Mecca Books, Corning, NY

Steve Mecca, Proprietor of Mecca Books, Corning, NY

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The interior of the store is charming, and we were happy to find some nice decorated bindings and books with early beautiful dust jackets here.

Some nice early jackets!

Some nice early jackets!

A couple of decorated American trade bindings found at Mecca Books in Corning, NY

A couple of decorated American trade bindings found at Mecca Books in Corning, NY

 The day was perfect – sun-drenched and warm – for eating outdoors at the Market Street Brewing Co. and Restaurant…

Outdoor dining at Market Street Brewing Co. & Restaurant

Outdoor dining at Market Street Brewing Co. & Restaurant

We walked up and down the length of Market Street, shopping and window shopping. 

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Take a look at this gorgeous vintage baby carriage we spotted in the window of a shop that was closed…

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We stopped in Brown’s Cigar Store (Tobacconist since 1889) at 6 West Market Street, where we met owner Bejay Smith.

Bernard (Bejay) Smih, Proprietor of Brown's Cigar Store, Corning, NY

Bernard (Bejay) Smith, Proprietor of Brown’s Cigar Store, Corning, NY

Besides an impressive array of cigars and tobacco products, the store displays a century-long collection of tobacco memorabilia, original glass, oak and marble humidors and lovely antique display cases.

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There are also several antique shops on Market Street that are worth scouring for books and of course, antiques.

Autumn is a perfect time for book scouting in the Northeast… there are so many pretty and historic places to visit, and Corning, New York is one of the best.  

One Last Trip to Bookman’s Alley

That’s right, we did it again.  Took another whirlwind road trip back to Evanston, Illinois for one last visit to Bookman’s Alley before it closes its doors at summer’s end.

Ron at the alley opening which leads to "Bookman's Alley"

Ron at the alley opening which leads to “Bookman’s Alley”

And here’s what we brought home…

Book press #1

Book press #1

Book press #2

Book press #2

And of course, more books…

More books from Bookman's Alley

More books from Bookman’s Alley

We left our Stanley, NY location on Thursday (late afternoon) and stopped for the night and a few hours of sleep just west of Toledo, Ohio.  We awakened at 4:30am on Friday, jumped into our clothes and headed for the Chicago area.

 We arrived in Evanston on that sunny Friday morning, in time to book a hotel room right across from the library and around the block from Bookman’s Alley, then squeezed into the Evanston Public Library Early Bird F.O.L. sale opening at 9 a.m.  The sale was quite good, by the way, although it’s held in a small area which is very crowded.   Books are individually priced at this sale.

We packed away the books from the sale and arrived at Bookman’s Alley just at noon when the store opens.  This time they knew we were coming!  We found Proprietor Roger Carlson sitting at the helm of his wonderful book shop – right where we left him when we stopped in back in early June.

Roger Carlson, Bookman. (Bookman's Alley, Evanston, IL)

Roger Carlson, Bookman.
(Bookman’s Alley, Evanston, IL)

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Bookman’s Alley has been in this location for thirty years, and it will be missed.  It was a happening place all day long, with customers and friends popping in and out – and everyone lamenting the store’s impending closing, some bringing gifts or food or tokens of appreciation in to Roger, others coming for a last look and purchasing books.

A talented Chicago artist, John Michael Downs, brought in a portfolio of gorgeous watercolor paintings he did for Roger — scenes from the interior of the bookstore, and of Roger, that just blew us away.  He beautifully captured the essence of the place.

We spent the entire day in the shop, selecting more books, visiting with Roger, Greg and Dave, and various friends and customers who came into the store.  I was even working there for awhile – Roger sent customers off with me here and there in the shop to find what they were after, saying, “You know the store better than I do now!”  What fun.

We took some photos when it was quiet, near closing time.  The shelves are beginning to have large gaps.  A lot of the interesting decorative items have left the building, along with many books…

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 I’m going to miss this place.

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 We’re just so happy we had the opportunity to spend another day in this very special book store, and that we were able to purchase the book presses.  Ron has been in need of a book press for a long time for use in book repairs and construction of his beautiful clamshell cases.  Now we have two presses – and they will be ever-present reminders of a beloved antiquarian book shop…Roger Carlson’s Bookman’s Alley in Evanston, Illinois.

It’s a Wrap: Summary of our Midwest Book Scouting Adventure

I’m finally squeezing in some time for a summary of the trip for all who may be interested.  We’ve been back home from our Midwest book scouting adventure for just one week.

We have been doing our best to catch up with ourselves – and on gardening, housekeeping, unpacking, laundry, and friends.     Our book store cat, Osa, got really tired watching us unpack all the books…

Osa, one of our book shop cats

Osa, weary book shop cat squeezed between all our new books

 By the way, Osa is oh-so happy that we are home!

 The purpose of our book scouting trips is to find interesting, unusual, high-quality stock for our book store.  We always have our customers in mind while making purchases on these trips.  It is important to know your customer base.  Otherwise, one would lose confidence well before you’d spent your first $500.  For us, this meant we were seeking out vintage decorated bindings, scarcer Modern Library Editions in excellent condition, books with beautiful old dust jackets, important non-fiction works and author-signed literature.

 Here are photos of about 2/3 of our book booty taken while unpacking:

Some of the new inventory from our book scouting trip

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 Books are everywhere, but quality older books in excellent condition which are of interest to collectors have become quite hard to find.  We do purchase books locally, but the books offered up are often not what we are seeking.  So, we ferret them out wherever we can find them.

In the past, it was common practice for booksellers to travel countrywide, even worldwide, visiting others in the trade in search of books to suit their particular customers and specialization.  It has become less common.  Without exception, all the booksellers we met were happy to see someone “from the trade” coming in to purchase books.  All were hospitable and helpful, and surprised that booksellers were still making pilgrimages, doing it the “old school” way.

Our trip began on the evening of June 1, 2013 and ended on the evening of June 15.  There were ten days of full-blown all-day (and occasional evening) book scouting; we allowed ourselves five days of pure family time in Minnesota, although we hit the large “Book Em” sale in Bloomington while we were there, and one antique shop in Lyndale, MN.

 On this trip we logged approximately 2,800 miles from Stanley, NY west to Cleveland, Ohio; Chicago, Illinois; then north into the Door County peninsula of Wisconsin; then west across the center of Wisconsin to the western edge of  the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota area.  On our return trip we drove southeast through the Wisconsin Dells to Madison, Wisconsin and on to the Chicago area again, and headed a bit further south to Fort Wayne, Indiana, on up to Toledo, then Cleveland and back home to New York State.

We purchased approximately 300 high quality hand-picked and carefully selected books; mostly vintage first editions both fiction and non-fiction (non-fiction included travel, history, natural history, special interest); author-signed editions, decorated American trade bindings, and Modern Library Editions, plus a few important children’s books.  Now you know how picky we are in stocking our book store!  We looked at thousands of titles each day.

 We combed 16 used & rare book stores; two fund-raiser used book sales (Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and ‘Book ‘Em” sale in Bloomington, Minnesota) and at least 10 antique stores/malls.  Pretty crazy when you mix it in with all that driving!  No wonder we are dog-tired.

Book stops we made on our way West:

 Case Western Reserve University Book Sale, Cleveland, Ohio

Myopic Books, Chicago, IL

Untitled Used & Rare Books, Sturgeon Bay, WI

William Caxton, Ltd., Ellison Bay, WI

The Peninsula Bookman, Fish Creek, WI

Old Orchard Antique Mall, Egg Harbor, WI

Shenandoah Books, Appleton, WI

Blue Moon Books, Stevens Point, WI

Ottawa House Books, Eau Claire, WI

Antique Emporium, Eau Claire, WI

“Book ‘Em” Crime Prevention Association Book Sale, Richfield, MN

 Book stops we made on our return trip east:

 Antique Mall of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin Dells, WI

Tomah Antique Mall, Tomah, WI

Paul’s Books, Madison, WI

Browzer’s Books, Madison, WI

Avol’s Books, Madison, WI

Howard’s Books, Evanston, IL

Amaranth Books, Evanston, IL

Bookman’s Alley, Evanston, IL

Chicago Rare Book Center, Evanston, IL

Hyde Brothers Books, Fort Wayne, IN

Every Other Book, Fort Wayne, IN

Maumee Antique Mall, Maumee, OH

 There were additional antique malls/stores we popped into along the way to look at book booths (if there were any).  Antique malls can be a terrible waste of time when book hunting, but you can’t really exclude them; we did find some interesting and collectible quality books in the ones mentioned above.  There were many others I’m not detailing here that were either bookless or just a boneyard for ragged, tired, common books.

 Our top of the list favorite was Bookman’s Alley in Evanston, Illinois.  The city of Evanston, Illinois in general is a worthy book hunting destination, with at least four quality used & rare book stores.  You don’t find clusters of books shops like this in towns and cities much anymore.

 From Bookman’s Alley:

First Edition of "Sand" in original jacket, SIGNED by Will James.

First Edition of “Sand” in original jacket, SIGNED by Will James.

Will James' signature on front free endpaper of "Sand"

Will James’ signature on front free endpaper of “Sand”

And another from Bookman’s Alley:

A Mountain Woman, by Elia W. Peattie.  First Edition (Way & Williams, Chicago, 1896).  With signed poem by author enclosed.

A Mountain Woman, by Elia W. Peattie. First Edition (Way & Williams, Chicago, 1896). With signed poem by author enclosed.

Poem by Elia W. Peattie, inscribed and signed

Poem by Elia W. Peattie, inscribed and signed, was folded into the book

We also loved Browzer’s in Madison, Wisconsin.  This was our second visit to Browzer’s over the past several years, and we were not disappointed.

 One of our many interesting purchases from Browzer’s:

Leather-bound "Photographic Souvenir - Grand Encampment of Knights Templar 26th Triennial Conclave, Boston, 1895

Leather-bound “Photographic Souvenir – Grand Encampment of Knights Templar 26th Triennial Conclave, Boston, 1895

 It’s a large, heavy book, printed on high quality glossy paper with gilt edges.

Title page from the Knights Templar Photo Souvenir Book

Title page from the Knights Templar Photo Souvenir Book

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 Also, Blue Moon Books in Stevens Point, Wisconsin was a nice surprise – not huge, but it was crammed with vintage books, and we found a lot to like there.  I featured some of the fine books we found their in an earlier post on the trip.

 For those interested in scholarly titles or Americana, the trip to Door County, Wisconsin would be very worthwhile to visit both Untitled Books in Sturgeon Bay and Wm. Caxton in Ellison Bay.

 The Case Western Reserve University Book Sale was excellent; it had a higher quality of books than most library sales, and plenty of quality vintage selections.  Although we paid a $20 each entry fee to attend the early morning preview sale, it paid off for us.  There weren’t a great number of buyers at the preview, and we found a multitude of excellent books.

We spent nine nights in hotels, six nights with family or friends.  Our best chain hotel experience was with Carlson Company hotels (Radisson, Country Inn & Suites were the ones we stayed in from this hotel chain) for reasonable price with excellent cleanliness, quality and amenities.  But the best deal of all was at the independent Bridgeport Inn in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, where we had a full-fledged large apartment-worthy suite on the water for $99.  Most places we stayed were $100/night or less for two adults. Gas prices hovered at approx. $3.80/gallon in most states, with a high of $4.59/gallon in the Chicago area ( fill up before you get there!).

 Here are some additional photos of some of the books we acquired on the trip:

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First American Edition of “While England Slept” by Winston S. Churchill in original jacket. (ALREADY SOLD)

The Shepheard's Calender, by Edmund Spenser (NY: Harper & Brothers, 1898) Decorated binding and illustrations by Walter Crane.

The Shepheard’s Calender, by Edmund Spenser (NY: Harper & Brothers, 1898) Decorated binding and illustrations by Walter Crane.

Walter Crane's monogram, stamped on front and rear boards of "The Shepheard's Calender"

Walter Crane’s monogram, stamped on front and rear boards of “The Shepheard’s Calender”

A lovely example of a decorated binding done by the Decorative Designers (stamped with a double D)

A lovely example of a decorated binding done by the Decorative Designers (stamped with a double D)

A beautiful Margaret Armstrong binding in excellent condition

A beautiful Margaret Armstrong binding in excellent condition

Two Volumes (complete) of "Cape Cod" by Henry David Thoreau (Boston: 1899, Houghton Mifflin) with original slipcase.

Two Volumes (complete) of “Cape Cod” by Henry David Thoreau (Boston: 1899, Houghton Mifflin) with original slipcase.  Book decoration by Sarah Wyman Whitman.

Label on original cardboard case for "Cape Cod"

Label on original cardboard case for “Cape Cod”

Headlong Hall; Nightmare Abbey by T. Love Peacock (London: Macmillan, 1896)

Headlong Hall; Nightmare Abbey by T. Love Peacock (London: Macmillan, 1896)

So many fine examples, hard to choose!

Travel was pretty much trouble free, and we are grateful for that.  Although…Ron and I truly run on Dunkin’ Donuts, and we were running on empty much of the time.  Our favorite coffee is almost as hard to find as rare books, east of Ohio.   It’s the Double-D that keeps us going (Dunkin’ Donuts AND Decorative Designers!).  Hence, a few incidents of inside-out clothing and misdirection.  But we sausaged through!!  Met wonderful people, and had such fun relaying our adventures to you, our readers.

We are thrilled with the results of the trip.  Love the books we brought home, and have already sold some of them even though I have barely scratched the surface in beginning to sort and catalog them.

You can view or purchase books we gathered from this trip by going to our website at www.oldscrolls.com and scrolling down to “recent acquisitions” near the bottom of the page.  I will be adding more books daily (barring interruptions!) over the next several weeks.

The last word is from Osa, who says he doesn’t want to look at any more books!

Somebody stop them!  I'm trying to sleep here.

Somebody stop them! I’m trying to get some shut-eye here.

Book Scouter’s “Minnesota Breakfast”!

We aren’t in Minnesota yet, but close enough to get what my sister calls a “Minnesota Breakfast.”  Bloody Mary (with deviled eggs and bacon) and a beer chaser!  Great for getting rid of the book scouting road dust.   We just obtained this beauty at the Radisson Hotel in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin…

A Minnesota Breakfast

A Minnesota Breakfast

With eggs and bacon!

With eggs and bacon!

Day One:  We started out yesterday from Cleveland, Ohio.  It was our first overnight stop, where we attended the Case Western Reserve University Book Sale on Saturday morning…

Book Sale - Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

Book Sale – Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

Case Western Reserve University, inside Veale Center

Case Western Reserve University, inside Veale Center

It was $20.00 each for admission to the pre-sale, which was held from 10am to 12 noon.  After that, admission was free.  We went to the pre-sale.   We purchased about twenty-five books here.   It was a spacious book-buying venue, well-organized.  Almost over-organized, as you had to check out of each book category area as you left it to move on to another.

After the sale, we got back on the highway and headed West all the way to Chicago.

Heading into Chicago

Heading into Chicago

We try to visit different book stores each time we come to Chicago.  On our last Midwestern trip, we visited Powell’s and O’Gara and Wilson.  This time we were just passing through to reach some other stores in Wisconsin, but we did stop at Myopic Books  at 1564 N. Milwaukee Ave Chicago, IL.   The great thing about Myopic Books is that it’s open 7 days a week from 9am-11pm.   When you are traveling, timing is everything in trying to hit book stores during their open hours.  Many book shops close up by 4:30 or 5:00pm.  We arrived in Chicago around 5:30pm, so we still had plenty of time to explore this store.

Myopic Books - Chicago, IL

Myopic Books – Chicago, IL

Three floors of books, with an inventory of around 80,000 volumes.  Not really our kind of store, as the emphasis here is not on collectible books.  Those that fell into the collectible category were quite high priced for their condition, we thought.  “Sign, sign, everywhere a sign” applies here — NO DISCOUNTS, NO HAGGLING,  NO PICTURE TAKING, ETC. ETC.   Great selection of reading material in all genres, and the place seemed well frequented by young people, which is always good to see.

The location is in a hopping area with lots of young people, pubs, and small restaurants all the way up and down the street.   We went across the street to grab some dinner at a pub called “Pint” at 1547 North Milwaukee.  They had lots of books on their walls…and pretty good Shepherd’s Pie.

Ron at Pint Pub in Chicago

Ron at Pint Pub in Chicago

We drove on to Evanston, IL just north of Chicago where we hoped to stay overnight and explore some book shops in there the morning.   BUT, we experienced difficulty finding a room for the night due to graduations and weddings,  so we motored on north into Wisconsin, stopping at about 10:30 at a Raddison Hotel in Pleasant Prairie.  Big wedding party was going on at our arrival, but they had a nice room for us at a reasonable price.

Catch up with us soon —  we are  headed north toward Sturgeon Bay!

Women (and books) are Here to Stay

On Thursday, March 14 we attended the Rochester Public Library Book Sale in Rochester, NY.  Rochester is only about thirty miles from us, so we never miss this sale.    The sale is held in the Kate Gleason Auditorium of the Central Library, across the street from the beautiful Rundel Memorial Library Building.

The Book Sale is held in the Rochester Central Library Building

The Book Sale is held in the Rochester Central Library Building

across South Avenue from…

Rundel Memorial Library Building

Rundel Memorial Library Building

Sadly, budget cuts are taking their toll on libraries, and this lovely library is no exception.  Their hours have been cut back, so the Preview Sale began later this year, at 11:00 a.m., their new opening time.  Attendance at the Preview Sale seemed good — we could not find parking this year in the next-door Court Street garage and had to find a space in the South Avenue parking garage.

Prices are reasonable at this sale at $1.00 for hardcover books, cheaper for children’s books and paperbacks.  Proceeds from the sale benefit the Rochester Public Library.  The sale runs through Sunday, March 17 when books are down to $3.00 a bag from 1pm to 4pm.

After the sale, we always go to lunch at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que , 99 Court Street in Rochester (just steps away from the Library).

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Rochester, NY

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Rochester, NY

It’s a popular honky-tonk barbecue joint with great atmosphere and delicious down-home cooking, and a great location overlooking the mighty Genesee River.  We were lucky enough to get a booth with a view:

Genesee River as viewed from our booth at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

Genesee River as viewed from our booth at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

Now for my favorite book we picked up at this sale!  It is very appropriate to feature here right now, because March is Women’s History Month:

Women Are Here to Stay, by Agnes Rogers (NY: Harper & Brothers, 1949)

Women Are Here to Stay – The Durable Sex in in its Infinite Variety Through Half a Century of American Life, by Agnes Rogers (NY: Harper & Brothers, 1949)

This book is in its original dust jacket.  It is brimming with gorgeous images and interesting commentary about women from the Victorian to the Modern Age, picturing them in roles as farmers, photographers, adventurers, athletes, writers, striptease dancers, cab drivers, policewomen, housewives, pilots and more…a real cross-cultural view of American women through the decades.

Amelia Earhart standing on the wing of her plane

Amelia Earhart standing on the wing of her plane

A woman dancing with Arthur Murray, the man who built dance teaching into a huge business

A woman dancing with Arthur Murray (top), the man who built dance teaching into a huge business

A woman's dress featured in the April 15, 1926 issue of Vogue.

A woman’s dress featured in the April 15, 1926 issue of Vogue.

Eleanora Sears - famous athlete who was the archetype of the "outdoor girl".

Eleanora Sears – famous athlete who was the archetype of the “outdoor girl”

Air Stewardesses

Air Stewardesses

This book is a treat for the eyes, and a fun, educational trip through American culture and history.  It will be available at Old Scrolls Book Shop.

Book Scouting at the 2012 Cazenovia Public Library Book Sale

We crammed a lot of activity into last weekend, and a large part of it was book scouting.  Cazenovia, NY was our first stop for their annual library sale event.  Cazenovia is a beautiful village which sits at the foot of a lovely lake by the same name located just south of Syracuse, New York.  It is a college town – home to Cazenovia College, founded in 1824.  We love this book sale – it is well run, offers quality books at reasonable prices, and is held in such a pretty setting.

Cazenovia Public Library, Cazenovia, NY

Here I am with Mr. Penguin, head honcho at the sale. He was installed at the library some years ago for a special presentation on “The March of the Penguins.”  He was kidnapped once (or shall I say “birdnapped”) – but was eventually returned to the library.

The sale at Cazenovia is more pleasant than most book sales, as the books and buyers are distributed among several areas — the barn, where books are well organized on shelves; the tent, with many tables of newer book offerings; and the large basement of the library, with older books in all genres on tables and in boxes.  When the sale begins, people head off in three directions.

The Sale Tent at Cazenovia Friends of the Public Library Sale.

Inside the book barn just prior to the Cazenovia Library book sale.

Basement of the Cazenovia Library just prior to start of the book sale.

Here are a couple of the books we purchased in Cazenovia:

First Edition of Night Shift, by Stephen King (NY: Doubleday, 1978)

First American Edition of Peril at End House, by Agatha Christie (NY: Dodd, Mead, 1932)

If you missed the Friend’s of the Library’s annual book sale last weekend, you still have a chance to browse and buy in the barn select Saturdays in August. More details HERE.

We stayed at the Lincklaen House, located at 79 Albany Street (the main street in Cazenovia).  It’s an historic old Inn (est. 1835) which also has a bar, grill, restaurant and outdoor dining patio…and is conveniently located across the street from the library.

Thank you to the wonderful staff and volunteers at Cazenovia Public Library, who always do a superb job at organizing this sale.  They are always friendly, helpful, and welcoming.

From Cazenovia we drove to Albany, NY, about two hours further east.  In my next post, I’ll share with you the book shops we visited!

Book Scouting Under the Tents – Skaneateles and Clinton, NY

A few days ago we took a road trip to beautiful Skaneateles, NY to attend the Skaneateles Library Book Sale, held every summer under a tent on the library grounds.   The weather was hot and sunny (as it has been most of this season).

Skaneateles Library Book Sale 2012

Here is a scarce book we were lucky enough to find there; we had two Los Angeles buyers eager to obtain it within twenty-four hours of our return home.  Unfortunately we could only make one of them happy.

Picture People, by Olga Rosmanith (Garden City, NY: Doubleday Doran, 1934)

It is a first edition of a novel written by Olga Rosmanith in 1934 about an ambitious starlet’s rise and fall in the capricious swirl and glamour of Hollywood during its golden era.

Skaneateles is a lovely town situated at the top of Skaneateles Lake – one of the prettiest Finger Lakes just south of Syracuse, NY.  It is a bustling place in the summer, with a small public beach right in town, lots of interesting unique shops and places to dine.

Public lakeside park, Skaneateles, NY

We had dinner at the Sherwood Inn, always reliable for good food.  This year we spent the night at  Finger Lakes Lodging, which is under the umbrella of Mirbeau Inn & Spa, and located just across the highway from the main Inn.  Finger Lakes Lodging offers very reasonably priced rooms with an Adirondack flavor, right on the edge of town.

Finger Lakes Lodging – Skaneateles, NY

In the morning we took about an hour’s drive east to Clinton, New York, where the Kirkland Library was holding their annual book sale on the village green.  The “green” was rather brown this year, due to the drought we have been experiencing.

Kirkland Library Sale on the Village Green, Clinton, NY 2012

Here is a first edition of a book by James Thurber which we purchased at the Kirkland Library Sale:

The13 Clocks by James Thurber (NY: Simon & Schuster, 1950)

Written in 1950 and illustrated in color by Marc Simont, it is a cheery, philosophical book that is written in the style of a fairy tale.  It is fairly scarce in nice condition in the first state (illustrator’s name incorrectly spelled “Mark” on title page), and in a clean unclipped jacket.

Berry Hill Books in Deansboro, NY is only about five miles south of Clinton on Route 12B, so after scouring the sale and lunch at Alteri’s, we made our requisite stop there.  Berry Hill has thousands of vintage books in their multi-level barn.  Among our finds were a couple of novels in lovely old jackets.

The Street of Seven Stars, by Mary Roberts Rinehart and Venus In The East, by Wallace Irwin

We were home again by Friday evening, dragging garden hoses for the umpteenth time to water trees, lawn and flowers as we try to limp through this dry spell.

And this morning I awoke to the glorious sound of rain pattering against the window.  It became a good drenching downpour, and lasted for an hour or more, ceased for a little while, and now we have a nice steady rain again.  I can visualize rivulets of water trickling into the empty wells, and toward the thirsty roots of trees. Blessed rain!

We had delightful visitors from New York City in our book shop today – Nahum Waxman and his wife Maron, proprietors of Kitchen Arts & Letters, Inc., 1435 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY.  They were on a “bookman’s holiday” from their store which has been established for more than 25 years and specializes in books on the culinary arts and food writing.  Both of the Waxmans have a background in publishing.  It was fun to talk with them, as they seem to enjoy road trips to visit historical areas and book shops as much as we do!  We were delighted to learn they carry WPA guides with them on their trips, and use maps rather than GPS to find their way.

If you just want to get from point A to point B, GPS is great.  But if you are touring, and curious at all about the ground you are covering, GPS leaves you blind to the fun and  interesting places that might lay just off the beaten path.  A map gives you a better idea of the lay of the land, and the alternatives at your disposal for getting from A to B.  Maps help you visualize where you’ve been and how you arrived there.  The big picture, you know?  There were piles of old maps for sale at the Clinton Book Sale for a dollar a piece — with a sign suggesting they might be used as wrapping paper!  I hope some of them were purchased for framing.  We need to look at more maps.

Happy travels!

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