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.


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.


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.


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.


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



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.


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.


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.



Tony Vozzo – Poet, Playwright and Producer

Tony Vozzo

After picking up an old copy of his poetry (Never Take Me Down, Benitas Press, NY), we’ve had some nice phone conversations with Tony Vozzo.  You might have read some of his poetry, seen him on a favorite TV show (NYPD Blue, The Guiding Light, One Life To Live, Pinero, Joey, (a doo-wop film). He has been featured in HBO’s OZ, ABC’s Third Watch, The Sopranos.  Plays that he has written, directed and produced include: Walls of the Ghetto, Between Two Worlds, Psych, and more,being active at a writing workshops at Columbia University under John O’Killins, The Public Theater with Ed Bullins and The Frank Silvera’s Writer’s Workshop in New York City under the direction of Garland Lee Thompson.

The Revolving Door

Tony is still going strong  and still living in Brooklyn, New York. The writer, actor, director, producer, and vocalist is now producing a new play called The Revolving Door.   The play is a drama with poetic and musical overtones and deals with the interpersonal relationships between the staff and residents in an institution for mental retardation and developmental disabilities.

The Revolving Door will house a small number of available seats and is scheduled to open on 03/23/10 runs till 03/28/10 — tickets can be purchase for a discounted price on-line.

Here is “Think It Over” from page one of his poetry book, Never Take Me Down:


If you’re in school, you better stay there, because when you drop out you’re going to find yourself on the street corner, looking for your life, but you won’t find it there, or anything worthwhile.  When you become a corner stander and don’t know which corner to stand on, then you’re in for a tough time.  You’ll be looking for something to do, and you won’t know what.  You’ll feel the whole world’s gone bad and start taking your problems out on your friends and parents.

Don’t blame the world for your mistake; if you make that big mistake, then you’re to blame, and you’re going to learn the hard way.

Never Take Me Down

Is that the way you want to learn?  They say you can learn by your mistake, but there’s an easier way to learn.  Don’t give mistakes any help.  It’s your life, Baby, so make it worthwhile.  Let the people know that you have something to contribute.  Try not to learn the foolish way.  Don’t let the color of your skin stop you. And don’t let the fools fool you.

We wish Tony great success with his play!

Published in: on 03/10/2010 at 11:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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