Today, as I sometimes do, I’ll write about the process of being a rare book dealer, or at the least some of the processes I go through, finding,buying and eventually (and hopefully) selling early books. I l think that the personal transactional bond, that of participating in commerce with others is an overlooked (or least under discussed) part of Culture, in our current time. And to a pretty obvious extent it is a diminishing aspect social contact. I have always thought of Antiquarian Bookselling as a form of creating intellectual and person relationships with like-minded, but usually very different people from myself. For the twenty years I had an open shop in Harvard square, I met and developed strong personal relationships with many extraordinary people. But eventually it became obvious that the ‘walk in’ trade could in no way support the ever-increasing value of real estate (I don’t exactly know why, since people don’t stroll from book store to the next one anymore, at least in Harvard square as they are mostly all gone) So over the past ten years all of our buying practices and habits have changed and I have has to respond. This has taken the physical form of abandoning the Physical store front and retreating into the rural splendor of my new office.
Above is the old sign from Arrow street. Now there is no sign and if you Google my business you will get an image like this …
Which is more or less what it will look like an about two or three months. Selling books from a bush is much different from a heavily trafficked retail/student area, or it should be, but in fact while in “The Shop” it was becoming ever increasingly necessary to find alternate ways of contacting potential Book lovers , clients, librarians and scholars. Naturally I have.
Exhibiting at Antiquarian Book Shows and conferences;
This is for me a bit of a learning process, and as we learn we often feel awkward and uncomfortable, this is true for me in this process. at one time the catalogues i made were ‘set-ups’ by cut and paste with blue pencil..But creating a web Store front on Abebooks.com had been pretty painless thanks to Udo Goellmann at Abe.
I’ve (or rater Udo), has listed a few books for me, and I am generally pleased. I hope that after I blog about a book, you can just follow a link and by only a little typing purchase the book from my days Blog!
Here are some of the books on ABE now :
Andres Alciati (1492 – 1550)
V.C. Emblemata (Viri Clarissimi) Emblemata. Cum Claudij Minois ad eadam Commentariis & Notis Posterioribus. Quibus Emblematum omnium aperta origine, mens auctoris explicatur, & obscura omnia dubiáque illustrantur
Published by Lugduni (Lyon), Hæred. Gvlielmi Rovilii, (1600)
Anon (but probably L’Estrange, Roger. 1616-1704)
A compendious history of the most remarkable passages of the last fourteen years: with an account of the plot, as it was carried on both before and after the fire of London, to this present time
Published by London: printed by A. Godbid, and J. Playford, and are sold by S. Neale, at the Three Pigeons in Bedford-Street over against the New-Exchange (1680)
Grosse, Henning. (1553-1621)
Magica De Spectris Et Apparitionibus Spiritum, De Vaticiniis, Divinationibus, &c
Please Take a look at my books on ABE! I will also soon post an update of the books both on Abe and on exhibition at The ABAA new York Antiquarian Book Show!