More from the Great Book Town of Ann Arbor

The fourth bookstore we visited on July 12, 2016 in Ann Arbor.  Here I am in front of Motte & Bailey Booksellers in Ann Arbor, Michigan…

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Motte & Bailey offers over 10,000 volumes of used and rare books in a spacious and well-organized store located at 212 N. Fourth Avenue.

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“Motte & Bailey” is a type of medieval Norman castle, a wooden palisade rising on a mound of earth, found in many places in England, Wales, and Scotland…this name was chosen to reflect the specialty of the store’s inventory, books concerning all the various aspects of history.  But there are books from nearly all genres here, and all in lovely condition.   We found Gene Alloway manning the desk at the front of the book store; he has been active in the business since 1996.

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With Gene Alloway, Proprietor of Motte & Bailey Booksellers, Ann Arbor, Michigan

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Here is an example of a title we purchased at Motte & Bailey:

Two volume set of "Ramona" in a decorated binding (Little Brown, 1900) SOLD

Two volume set of “Ramona” in a decorated binding (Little Brown, 1900) SOLD

I highly recommend a visit to this bookstore if you are in Ann Arbor — it was one of my favorites there.

The fifth book shop we visited in Ann Arbor was charming beyond belief.  I felt as if I had stumbled into a time machine and stepped into a bookshop on some old London street.

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A wiry, spry man with pale gray hair and glasses greeted us as we came into the shop, in his crisp white shirt and a neatly tailored charcoal gray vest.  This turned out to be Richard Leahy, who takes charge of the night shift at the store.  You must envision him from my description, because he does not like his picture taken.   A shame, because he added so much to our visit at this store…but I guess you will just have to go there yourself (in the evening) if you want to experience the pleasure of meeting him.

By now it was about 6:00pm, and we were starving.  We were assured that the store would be open until 8:00pm, and asked Richard for advice on where to eat dinner nearby.  He directed us to an Italian restaurant just a few blocks away.  It was a delightful place called Gratzi.

Grazi Restaurant, 326 S. Main St., Ann Arbor, MI

Gratzi Restaurant, 326 S. Main St., Ann Arbor, MI

Gratzi had an excellent wine list and their food was fabulous.  You know how we usually take photos of what we are served in restaurants?  Especially when it is beautifully presented??  Well, we were so hungry we didn’t even pause for those photos this time!  Take it from me, the food and wine was top notch.

With full tummies, we walked back to West Side Book Shop, where Richard was waiting to assist us as we combed through their beautiful inventory.

Inside West Side Book shop, 113 West Liberty, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Inside West Side Book shop, 113 West Liberty, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Here are a few of the items we spirited away from this book shop:

The Small Yacht by Edwin A. Boardman (Little Brown, 1923)

The Small Yacht by Edwin A. Boardman (Little Brown, 1923)

 

Star-Dust by Fannie Hurst (A. L. Burt, 1921)

Star-Dust by Fannie Hurst (A. L. Burt, 1921)

Star-Dust by Fannie Hurst (A. L. Burt, 1921)

 

The Spirit of the North (Cupples & Leon, 1935) - inscribed by author LeRoy W. Snell

The Spirit of the North (Cupples & Leon, 1935) – inscribed by author LeRoy W. Snell

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Join us in the next post, we will be leaving Ann Arbor (sob!) and driving to East Lansing, Michigan.

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Awesome Antiquarian Books – Minneapolis

This may well be our favorite Twin Cities book shop, which we visited for the first time during our recent Minnesota trip!

James & Mary Laurie, Booksellers - 250 3rd Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN

James & Mary Laurie, Booksellers – 250 3rd Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN

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We spent an entirely wonderful day here!

20150630_122601_resizedTheir hours are 11-6 Monday through Saturday and by appointment.  Free parking available in a small lot on one side of the store (limited number of spaces), but also a big parking ramp nearby.

We found a nice space in the lot at opening time, around 11am.

With an inventory of over 120,000 books, our day was well occupied!

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Here’s me, wondering where to start…

This beautiful and large street-level shop also houses more than 30,000 classical and jazz vinyl records, and a gallery of old prints and maps.

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To say we were excited about the book selection here is an understatement, especially since there were many nice examples of our favorite specialty, decorated American trade bindings.  But of course there were thousands of interesting books in all genres, and they were in beautiful condition.  The shop is well organized and easy to browse, with pleasant surprises at every turn.

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Here are just a few samples of some of the beautiful decorated bindings we found here:

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James & Mary Laurie Booksellers was founded in 1969 (they were located for twenty years on the Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis before moving to this location).   We did not have the pleasure of meeting Mary, but Jim is a super guy, and was wonderful to us during our visit.

Here I am with Jim Laurie

Here I am with Jim Laurie.  He’s a tall one!

After hours of perusing and purchasing books, we broke away for a little pick-me-up at Dunn Brothers Coffee, just around the corner.

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Great smile, great coffee!

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When we returned to the book shop, we were invited to descend to their warehouse area, where many more books are stored.  Come on along!

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Here were many more thousands of books, stacked to the ceiling.  Good thing we had that coffee!!

20150630_145244_resizedWe found several wonderful books down here as well, and added them to our purchases.

Can’t say enough good things about this book store — make sure you pay them a visit if you are ever in Minneapolis!

In the evening, we met my sister Karen and her husband Gene in Spring Park for a sunset cruise on her daughter and son-in-law’s boat.

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The weather was perfect for a quiet evening on Lake Minnetonka

20150630_192026_resizedPerfect ending of another Minnesota-beautiful day.

 

 

 

Books in the ‘Burgh

If you ever get to Pittsburgh (a beautiful city, by the way), you won’t want to miss a visit to Caliban Book Shop.  This was our last book stop on our way home from our 2015 southern states book scouting trip, and it was a good one!

Caliban Book Shop, 410 S. Craig St., Pittsburgh, PA

Caliban Book Shop, 410 S. Craig St., Pittsburgh, PA

Caliban Book Shop was founded in 1991 and is co-owned by John Schulman and Emily Hetzel.  John has been a full-time dealer in used and rare books since 1987.

John Schulman at Caliban Book Shop, Pittsburgh, PA

John Schulman at Caliban Book Shop, Pittsburgh, PA

Located in the lovely Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, it is a brief stroll from the Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Natural History Museum, Phipps Conservatory, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Pittsburgh.

Just a stone's throw from the Carnegie Museum of Art...

Just a stone’s throw from the Carnegie Museum of Art…

Lots of readers here. No wonder they have so many great books!

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The large open shop is neatly organized and fun to explore.  It contains some 40,000 titles covering just about every subject (they also have a nearby warehouse of close to 150,000 books).  Specialties include local history, fine arts, poetry, philosophy, Americana, literature, fine printings, and leather-bound books.

We purchased some lovely decorated American trade bindings…

The Great Salt Lake Trail, by Colonel Henry Inman and Colonel William F. Cody (NY: MacMillan, 1898)   SOLD

The Great Salt Lake Trail, by Colonel Henry Inman and Colonel William F. Cody (NY: MacMillan, 1898) SOLD

Rip Van Winkle, by Washington Irving (G. P. Putnam, 1899)   SOLD

Rip Van Winkle, by Washington Irving (G. P. Putnam, 1899) SOLD

(signed Margaret Armstrong binding)

(signed Margaret Armstrong binding)

Jack and Jill, by Louisa M. Alcott (Boston: Little Brown, 1920)  Signed binding - AS - Amy Sacker)

Jack and Jill, by Louisa M. Alcott (Boston: Little Brown, 1920) Signed binding – AS – Amy Sacker)

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with original dust jacket

with original dust jacket

They also had a nice selection of vintage mysteries and true crime, some in their original dust jackets. Here’s a sample…

The Murdered and the Missing- Authentic Case Histories from the Files of the Missing Persons Bureau.  By Armstrong Livingston and Captain John G. Stein (NY: Stephen-Paul Publishers, 1947. First Edition in dust jacket.  SOLD

The Murdered and the Missing- Authentic Case Histories from the Files of the Missing Persons Bureau. By Armstrong Livingston and Captain John G. Stein (NY: Stephen-Paul Publishers, 1947.) First Edition in dust jacket.   SOLD

The book was nicely inscribed by author John G. Stein

The book was nicely inscribed by author John G. Stein

They had many lovely old vintage novels in excellent condition…

Her Father's Daughter, by Gene Stratton Porter (Grosset & Dunlap EdItion, 1921)

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It is a classic antiquarian book store in which you can spend hours browsing and making delightful discoveries.  There aren’t many book stores left anymore like this one…it is a gem.

After completing our book purchases, we crossed the street to have lunch at the Union Grill (thanks for the recommendation, John!)

The Union Grill, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Union Grill, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

20150502_140649_resizedThis place has marvelous food, fun atmosphere indoors, plus a small outdoor dining area where you can eat and people-watch.

Best fish sandwich to be found!

Best fish sandwich to be found anywhere!

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Excellent Rueben sandwich

And of course, our favorite…AWESOME Bloody Marys…

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The Ghostbusters were lurking in the area, and I had to have my picture taken with them!

Ghostbusters!

The trip was a great success.  We are back home now, cataloging and selling books, rearranging the bookcases.  We safely traveled over 4,000 miles, and returned home with a quantity and quality of books for our inventory here at Old Scrolls Book Shop that made each mile worthwhile.  As always, we enjoyed meeting or re-connecting with our fellow antiquarian booksellers across the eastern and southern United States.

Soon we’ll be making a trip to the upper Midwest.   Stay tuned for our next book scouting adventure!

Minsky’s Magnificent Catalog

20140814_193724_resizedWhat could be more awe-inspiring to a lover of fine bindings than a magnificently produced book filled with eye-popping images and meticulous descriptions of beautiful books from America’s past? 

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Yesterday we received our long-anticipated signed limited edition of American Trade Bindings with Native American Themes 1875-1933.  Richard Minsky has done it again, turning out another gorgeous catalog of American Trade Bindings.  All imaging, page design and binding artfully done by his skillful hands and his great eye for detail.

Every nuance about this book is beautiful, from the nubby texture of the green cloth on the dust jacket…

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to the beveled edge around the design insert on the red cloth cover

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and the beautiful gilt page edges…

20140814_195802_resizedThe images leap from the page with a three-dimensional quality.

20140814_194511_resized  Descriptions of the bindings include intricate details, explaining how certain effects were achieved by the artists.   Fascinating histories of the book artists lend importance to each example of their work, especially as some of these artists were Native Americans.

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All of the books featured in this catalog were collected by Richard Minsky for his Native American Theme Exhibition held earlier this year at his gallery near Hudson, NY, and the end result is this beautiful production which has been years in the making.  You may remember that I did a blog on this Exhibition back in early April of this year.

Richard Minsky is a scholar of book binding, a book artist and founder of the Center for Book Arts in New York City.  He is also a warm, generous and witty man who is passionate about beautiful books and his work.  To learn more about Minsky, his book art, and his magnificent catalogs on decorated American trade bindings, click here.

We were most astounded and honored to be mentioned in his preface… 

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and continue to be grateful that he has brought so much attention to the beautiful bindings of an American publishing era that should never be forgotten. 

This catalog, along with his others, will remain treasured through the ages.

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If you are interested in decorated American trade bindings being offered for sale here at Old Scrolls Book Shop, click HERE.

Richard Minsky’s Native American Theme Exhibition

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On Saturday, March 29, 2014 we were back on the road again, this time to attend Richard Minsky’s latest exhibition, Trade Bindings with Native American Themes 1875-1933.   The exhibition was held at his home and gallery in Hudson, New York, and coincides with the upcoming publication of his latest exquisite catalog of this book collection.

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20140329_155751_resized_2There is much to grab your attention upon entering, even before you get to the book gallery.

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In the book gallery at Richard Minsky's.  The woman in the center of the pic facing camera (blue jacket) is Janet Steins of Tozzer library of anthropology at Harvard.

In the book gallery at Richard Minsky’s. Facing us in the center of photo, woman in blue jacket at end of glass case is Janet Steins of the Tozzer Library of Anthropology at Harvard.

This was the first “subject” theme exhibition in Minsky’s series covering the Golden Age of publisher’s bindings.  It features beautiful decorative and pictorial cover designs incorporating Native American themes which were created by artists such as Margaret Armstrong, Frank Hazenplug, Rome K. Richardson, George W. Hood, The Decorative Designers, and many others.

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"The Indian Book" The design of Richard's latest catalog is based on this book's cover

“The Indians’ Book”
The design of Richard Minsky’s latest catalog is based on this book’s cover. Original was an unsigned cover design, likely by Angel de Cora ((Hinook Mahiwi Kilinaka, Winnebago) Harper and Brothers, 1907

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Richard Minsky, his lovely and talented life partner Barbara, and my husband Ron sharing a laugh

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Richard’s exhibitions are well attended by a wide range of delightful and interesting book people, including rare book librarians from large universities, authors, book collectors, friends and bibliophiles…and a select few rare book dealers who he purchases his stock from!!

Richard Minsky (left); Rebecca Rego Barry and husband Jeff (center), and me

Richard Minsky (left); Rebecca Rego Barry, Editor of Fine Books Magazine and husband Brett (center)… and me

Ina Saltz, art director, designer, author,  and Professor of Art at The City College of New York

Ina Saltz, art director, designer, author, and Professor of Art at The City College of New York

There are so many fascinating conversations going on, you have to keep moving to take it all in…

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Richard and Barbara are excellent hosts, and they make sure a good time is had by all…

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Richard talking with Joan K. Davidson (wearing red), President of Furthermore grants in publishing and former Chairman of the NY State Council on the Arts.

Here is part of the workshop in the gallery where Richard does his fine book binding…

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Can’t wait to have our copy of the catalog in our hands!  For information on obtaining your own personal copy of Richard Minsky’s  Trade Bindings with Native American Themes 1875-1933 click HERE.  

 

 

 

Holiday Gift Ideas for Book Lovers

Here are some great gift ideas for the book lover in your life that can provide joy all year long.

For the past few years, my dear friend Laurel has given me The Reading Woman calendar for Christmas, published by Pomegranate Communications, Inc., a publishing house located in Northern California.

Image from 2012 Pomegranate calendar "The Reading Woman"

Image from 2012 Pomegranate calendar “The Reading Woman”

It’s a gift I cherish every day of the year.  I love its beautifully reproduced paintings and quotes about the pleasures of reading.  The image above is of a painting by Sir Samuel Henry William Llewellyn (English, 1858-1941) titled Girl with Pigtails (n.d.)

And here is a quote from the calendar:

“To read a writer is for me not merely to get an idea of what he says, but to go off with him and travel in his company.” – Andre’ Gide

Another favorite image from my 2012 calendar:

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Sogni (Dreams), 1896. Vittorio Matteo Corcos (Italian, 1859-1933)

The Pomegranate website also carries “Reading Woman” engagement calendars, note cards, post cards, address books and more.

For the book collecting Man or Woman, you couldn’t do better than this gorgeous desk diary with text and images by Richard Minsky.

2013 Desk Diary, The Golden Age of American Book Design (text and images by Richard Minsky)

2013 Desk Diary, The Golden Age of American Book Design (text and images by Richard Minsky)

The 2013 Desk Diary, titled The Golden Age of American Book Design, has dozens of colorful, beautifully reproduced classic decorated book covers (in full color) with descriptions by Minsky.

2013 Desk Diary - The Golden Age of American Book Design

2013 Desk Diary – The Golden Age of American Book Design

A page from "The Golden Age of American Book Design" desk diary

A page from “The Golden Age of American Book Design” desk diary

Any collector or admirer of decorated American trade bindings would love this gift, and it is reasonably priced! It also contains full color world maps and a literary quiz.  The desk diary is available in boxed hardcover and leather softcover editions, and both are beautiful.

Softcover leather edition of the 2013 Desk Diary

Softcover leather edition of the 2013 Desk Diary

 

Both editions are available through Barnes & Noble .

If you want the real thing to go along with the calendar — that is, a collectible book from that  “Golden Age of American Book Design,” browse our selection of decorated American trade bindings HERE at Old Scrolls Book Shop.

Happy Holiday shopping!

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