Saturday, October 23, 2010

Etude Geographique by Stoddard King

Found this awesome old piece in an old copy of Stoddard King's book What The Queen Said & Further Facetious Fragments. Someone tucked a newspaper clipping inside the book from the Spokesman Review, dated Sunday, January 3, 1965. The article features the author, and reproduces the full text of the poem:


Out West, they say, a man's a man; the legend still persists

That he is handy with a gun and careless with his fists.

The fact is, though, you may no hear a stronger word than "Gosh!"

From Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to Walla Walla, Wash.

In western towns 'tis many years since it was the last rage

For men to earn their daily bread by hoding up a stage,

Yet story writers sti ascribe such wild and woolly bosh

To Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to Walla Walla, Wash.

The gents who roam the West today are manicured and meek,

They shave their features, daily and they bathe three times a week.

They tote the tame umbrella and they wear the mild galosh.

From Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to Walla Walla, Wash.

But though the West has frowned upon its old nefarious games,

It sti embellishes the map with sweet, melodious names,

Which grow is lush profusion like the apple and the squash

From Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to Walla Walla, Wash.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Out of Print Clothing

A bit spendy, but they're awfully cute...

Saturday, July 31, 2010

NPR, Bloomberg or Fox?

Not that I think too highly of NPR's bland news coverage these days, but they're a hell of a lot better than Fox. C'mon folks, send in those petitions.


As early as Sunday, the White House Correspondents' Association will decide which news organization will be awarded Helen Thomas' former front-row center seat in the White House briefing room.

The contenders? National Public Radio, Bloomberg News - and Fox.

Yes, Fox, which we all know is actually a tool in the right-wing propaganda machine, not a legitimate news organization. They simply don't deserve the best seat in the White House briefing room.

So I just signed a petition urging the White House Correspondents' Association to award the seat to a real, public news organization: NPR. Can you join me at the link below?


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Distraught Gulf Shrimper Arrested for Pouring Oil on Herself in Senate Energy Hearing

This lady is an author published by Chelsea Green, one of our favorite sustainable publishers.
and here's the Common Dream's Article as well.
Diane Wilson, a fourth generation shrimper from the Gulf, poured oil on herself at today’s Senate Energy Committee hearing to protest Senator Lisa Murkowski's refusal to make BP pay for the disaster that has been devastating Wilson's shrimping community. Republican Lisa Murkowski, ranking member of the Senate Energy Committee, blocked the bill that would have lifted the oil companies' liability cap (the Big Oil Bailout Prevention Act). Wilson was removed from the hearing and arrested.

Wilson traveled from Texas, where her livelihood and those of her fellow shrimpers has been ruined. She had this to say, “My name is Diane Wilson. I am a fourth generation shrimper from the Gulf. With this BP disaster, I am seeing the destruction of my community and I am outraged. I am also seeing elected representatives like Senator Lisa Murkowski blocking BP from being legally responsible to pay for this catastrophe. She stopped the Big Oil Bailout Prevention Act and wants to keep the liability cap at a pitiful $75 million. This is outrageous. How dare she side with big oil over the American people who have been so devastated by this manmade disaster.”

“We want people to call Senator Murkowski’s office and tell her to stop supporting big oil and support a healthy environment and American livelihoods instead," said CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin, who was with Wilson at the hearing. "Our members from across the country have sent Murkowski thousands of emails already. We also want the Senator to call for Diane Wilson to be exonerated. BP CEO Tony Hayward should be in jail, not a distraught shrimper!”

Wilson has been working for decades fighting the polluting of the Gulf. She wrote the book An Unreasonable Woman: A True Story of Shrimpers, Politicos, Polluters, and the Fight for Seadrift, Texas detailing her years long fight against oil and chemical companies in her community. She went on to say, “I have seen the oil and chemical companies destroying our air, water, our wildlife--and the government going along with it. Politicians like Murkowski take campaign money from big oil and then get in bed with the same oil and chemical corporations. This must stop. Enough is enough.” The full text of Diane's statement is here

Wilson is also a co-founder of the organization CODEPINK Women for Peace. She was in front of BP HQ in Houston, Texas two weeks ago to protest the oilspill and draw attention to BP’s legacy of negligence. Read her most recent article, “The BP oil gusher is just the latest in a long line of assaults on the Gulf of Mexico” published on

Praise for An Unreasonable Woman: A True Story of Shrimpers, Politicos, Polluters, and the Fight for Seadrift, Texas

“A stunning achievement.”
Molly Ivins

“...An Unreasonable Woman will stand as one of this nation's greatest works of nonfiction. I have never read a book quite like this one, and worry already that I might not yet again. This is one of the most powerful works of nonfiction I can remember reading in many years. In a cynical age, amidst such rampant loss and destruction, it's easy to regard Diane Wilson's book as simply a masterpiece, and to let it go at that. But we owe it more. This book inspires in us the courage to believe—to remember—we can still change the world.”
Rick Bass

Thursday, June 3, 2010

AE Book News for June

2723 Pacific Avenue, San Francisco California 94115
Tel: (415) 823-6678,

June 1, 2010

Dear AE Monthly Reader,

Good taste but bad timing. We asked a disappointed seller, the largest buyer, and neutral observers to rate the success of a major auction conducted under trying circumstances.

A Los Angeles collector goes to court - and wins - his battle not to have to obtain a dealer's permit.

We visit an outpost of civilization, the shop of the legendary but unwell bookseller Peter Howard.

We attended the Gold Rush book fair and found things are looking up.

A manuscript and book auction coming up in July is estimated to take in $20-$30 million.

The digital age is coming to the rare book rooms, but this does not mean they aren't still buying print almost as much as ever.

One of the larger budgets for historic material today belongs to the Cherokee Nation.

A new collector tries sniping at eBay.

Borders offers a new electronic reader, but Microsoft cancels its proposed entry.

Google enters the electronic book market, with Google Editions to be offered for sale within the next few weeks.

As Google challenges Amazon and others with Google Editions, its new operating system for mobile devices takes on Apple.

Recent audits show newspaper circulation continues to tumble in freefall. How much longer can the printed word survive?

Is Sotheby's the most valuable company in the world? For a few moments, it seemed so.

Here is your link to all of these articles: AE Monthly.

This month we review 12 new bookseller catalogues.

Children's books are always the feature at Aleph-Bet.
Both modern and antiquarian French books are found at L'Ancre Aldine.
The Arader Galleries offer great maps and books.
Printing history and bibliography are the focus of Michael Thompson.
Peter Harrington offers a collection of important books.
Brian Cassidy presents a miscellany of the unexpected.
The book as art is the focus of the Kelmscott Bookshop.
Joe Rubinfine presents 18th and 19th century American documents.
Clark Rare Books takes a look at America and particularly the West.
Literature, film and mystery are always in style at James Pepper Rare Books.
Sotheran's orders up a spring miscellany.
Libreria de Antano features the Jesuits in America.

Here is your link to all of these reviews: AE REVIEWS..

Monday, May 31, 2010

Collectible Vintage Posters from ABE Books

A little known secret about AbeBooks is that thousands of collectable vintage posters can be found for sale on the website. Posters offer amazing insights into popular culture, the history of art, politics (including all the fascinating aspects of propaganda), war and commerce, but they rarely survive the passage of time.

The very act of displaying a poster can signal its end when it is removed or replaced. Posters from decades past that escape undamaged are treasured. Browse our amazing selection of posters – experience Jimi Hendrix, go on the campaign trail with Winnie and Dwight, learn about the differences between German and British airships, map out Middle Earth, hop into Scorsese’s taxi, and buy war bonds with Dr Seuss. And if these vintage posters from bygone eras are out of your price range, don’t despair – we are also showcasing 20 very affordable books dedicated to some of the most memorable posters ever printed.

Step back and enjoy one of the most powerful communication mediums of the past 200 years.

Eat More Corn, Oats and Rye... WWI Poster
Eat More Corn, Oats and Rye... WWI Poster

Dr. Seuss War bonds poster
Dr. Seuss War bonds poster

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bookshelves of the Rich & Famous

The Hobbit by JRR TolkienIf you were wealthy and famous, what would your library look like? There would probably be similar books to the ones you already own except they would be worth more. Never mind that old paperback of The Hobbit, you would have the true first edition signed by John Ronald Reuel himself.

Dare to dream as we showcase some of the rare (and very expensive) treasures available on AbeBooks.

An 18th Century Library of Books Recommended by Jefferson for an  American Gentleman, as described in a letter to Robert SkipwithAn 18th Century Library of Books Recommended by Jefferson for an American Gentleman, as described in a letter to Robert Skipwith

Robert Skipwith

This magnificent collection was assembled according to Thomas Jefferson's recommendations in his famous letter to his future brother-in-law Skipwith. It comprises more than 90% of that list, virtually all in period bindings and significant editions published in or before 1771, the year of the letter. There's Don Quixote, Paradise Lost, Canterbury Tales, Tristram Shandy, Pope's translation of Homer, Dryden's translation of Virgil and the works of Shakespeare, Swift, Voltaire, Moliere and more.

Collection of Little Red BooksCollection of Little Red Books


The most heavily printed (6.5 billion copies) title of the 20th century, the Little Red Book (real title Quotations from Chairman Mao) was required reading in China. This is an unrivalled collection of 497 vintage Little Red Books produced for various military and civil positions during the lifetime of Mao Tse-Tung, including translations into 40 languages. Ideal for a successful capitalist obsessed with communism.

From the South Carolina Secession Convention Floor, the Original  Call For a Southern ConfederacyFrom the South Carolina Secession Convention Floor, the Original Call For a Southern Confederacy


After Abraham Lincoln's 1860 presidential win, the South Carolina General Assembly called for a 'Convention of the People of South Carolina' to draw up an Ordinance of Secession, and from this secession vote a further call to 'To the People of the Slaveholding States of the United States.'

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix PotterThe Tale of Peter Rabbit

Beatrix Potter

One of the most famous children’s stories ever written, this is a first edition privately printed by the author in 1901. Only 250 copies were issued so this one of the rarest children’s books ever printed. A book that would not be handed over to a child.

Of Dramatic Poesie: An Essay by John Dryden Of Dramatic Poesie: An Essay

John Dryden

This copy of Dryden’s most important work is unique because it was inscribed to Virginia Woolf by T.S. Eliot on the front free endpaper, "For Virginia Woolf from T. S. Eliot,” the book also contains Eliot’s own Dialogue on Poetic Drama making this one of the most amazing association copies.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. SalingerThe Catcher in the Rye

J.D. Salinger

Published in 1951 but still a staple in high school English curriculums, The Catcher in the Rye became such a success that it drove Salinger to become a recluse. Signed copies of this landmark novel are very, very, very rare and very, very, very expensive.

The Ultimate James JoyceThe Ultimate James Joyce Collection

James Joyce

One of the most important authors in modern literature, this Joyce collection includes first edition copies of Dubliners (1914), A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), Ulysses (1922 and a signed limited edition of 1936) and limited edition, signed Finnegans Wake (1939) and others.

Frankenstein by Mary ShelleyFrankenstein

Mary Shelley

The teenage Shelley helped create the horror genre with this novel. A first edition in three volumes.

Birds of America by John James AudubonBirds of America

John James Audubon

Audubon’s Birds of America is the bible for birders. This octavo edition contains 500 hand-colored lithographic plates. The original publication has been thought to have cost more than £100,000 to publish in the 1800s, so a copy for £175,000 is an absolute bargain.

Murphy by Samuel Beckett Murphy

Samuel Beckett

Beckett's first novel is recognized as one of the great comic novels but only 1,500 copies printed and 800 of them were remaindered as a cut-price edition in a coarse cloth binding. This edition was one of the few to posses the smooth green cloth binding with gilt titles.

Moonchild by Aleister CrowleyMoonchild

Aleister Crowley

A 1929 first edition, first printing of Crowley’s fictional novel in which many of his acquaintances appear as thinly disguised characters. This copy features notes by Crowley relating to real life events that inspired parts of the story. One of only 2,500 copies.

An American Dictionary of the English Language by Noah Webster An American Dictionary of the English Language

Noah Webster

Every house needs a dictionary but now you can have the first American dictionary. Published in 1828, this is the first edition featuring 70,000 words and was limited to 2,500 copies. This dictionary was Webster's first attempt to separate American and British English and put correct spelling at the fingertips of ordinary Americans.

Relativity: The Special and The General Theory by Albert EinsteinRelativity: The Special and The General Theory

Albert Einstein

The most famous scientific equation of the 20th century was defined in this work, the first American edition, published in 1920 including Einstein’s signature in full; housed in a cloth slipcase with the historical E=mc2 equation embossed in relief on the side. If you’re looking to be a little more frugal, a signed second edition can be bought for just £38,500

According to the Rolling Stones by the Rolling Stones According the the Rolling Stones

Rolling Stones

This first edition of the 2003 biography is signed by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, and Charlie Watts. A magical piece of pop culture.

Dracula by Bram StokerDracula

Bram Stoker

A first edition from 1897, this copy is not only in beautiful condition but inscribed "To F. Vincent from Bram Stoker 11.10.97." Too expensive for most Twilight fans.

Count Zero by William Gibson Count Zero

William Gibson

The original typesetting document with holograph ink corrections and instructions for the first edition of the author's second book, the middle volume of the Sprawl trilogy preceded by Neuromancer and followed by Mona Lisa Overdrive.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hold BP Accountable for Environmental Degradation!

We have to do something to hold BP accountable for what's turning into the worst oil spill of all time! This is just a first step--and it's not like there's a good oil company--but I just signed a pledge to boycott BP for three months. You can join the boycott at and make at least a dent in the profits of at least one negligent corporation.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tri-Cities Librarian Fired

Is this the future of news? Everything in bite-size bits digestible by Twitter-pated caffeine junkies with ten second attention spans? I'll bet if we fired all the cops and hired fifty librarians per town crime would drop substantially.

KENNEWICK, Wash. The executive director of the library system in the Tri-Cities has been fired.

The Tri-City Herald reports the Mid-Columbia Libraries board voted Monday to dismiss Danielle Krol immediately. Chairwoman Gloria Garcia said Krol was dismissed without cause, as allowed by her contract, as the best thing for the library district.

Krol had six months remaining on her contract that pays her $110,000 a year. She's eligible for a six-month severance package of salary and benefits.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Scholarship Contest for Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar

Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar LogoAre you thinking of becoming a rare bookseller? Or have you just started to sell collectible books? The Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar is an invaluable week-long educational event in August for booksellers, librarians and collectors, and is staging a contest where we’ll pay the tuition fee for one lucky person.

The seminar tuition fee is $1,095 (USD) but we will also throw in three free months of subscription fees for listing on AbeBooks.

The Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar ( is one of the highlights on the rare book calendar. Attendees learn about buying and selling books on the Internet, the auction market for antiquarian books, care and preservation of antiquarian books, pricing and appraisals, and compiling catalogues and online descriptions – and these are just a few of the topics covered during the week.

Last year’s contest winner was Boe Rushing from Florida, a lawyer with a passion for rare books.

Entering is easy – simply write a short essay about the book or books that inspired you to become a bookseller or collector. The person who best explains their inspiration and passion will win. We are looking for originality and dedication to books. will publish the top essays.

If you have this book, please also email us an image or images to and put ‘Colorado Scholarship’ in the subject line. This contest is open to anyone who has an AbeBooks’ bookseller or buyer account.

The contest closes on June 8, 2010, and is open to residents of Canada and the United States – good luck!

Contest Rules and Regulations

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Gerald Matthew Museum of Un-Natural History

If you haven't checked out Matthew's Surrealist Dada Museum on Main Street in Walla Walla, you're missing out on an amazing feature of the town! Get down there and check it out. Details and more from his website...

I once lived next to the American Museum of Natural History in Manhatten in an apartment made for big parties. One rowdy night we all invaded the grounds of the museum and drunkenly agreed there was a need for a museum of un-natural history to present a less factual point of view. In fact, perhaps, a provocative, even offensive, point of view for the rare discerning few.

The moment arrived in the summer of 2001 after my first gallery show in Walla Walla, Washington left me with too many cumbersome constructions to take home, and I realized an ambition to curate a museum of my own works. A loft space became available over Tallman’s Drugs on Main Street in downtown Walla Walla for a price I could manage. I gutted the room, painted it and moved in on September 10, 2001.

Since then, I’ve been open every Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm. There is no charge, and I can be persuaded to open at any reasonable hour for those who are willing to use the telephone or internet and promise to say something interesting in my guest book.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Bookshop Cats

We’ve known for years that many used bookshops have cats, such as Elvira from Other Worlds Bookstore on Rhode Island. We would like to stage an unofficial Bookshop Cat Beauty Pageant and create an online gallery featuring the most interesting cats from your bookshops.

One cat will be selected as the top overall bookshop cat, based on the strength of a submitted image and a 300-word essay about your cat. But this is not a contest; we simply hope the gallery will be a bit of fun and also help generate publicity for AbeBooks and the used bookshop business. We will populate the gallery with links to your storefronts and details about the location of your bookshop, as well as to the essay itself. We will also create a gallery for other bookshop animals, such as dogs, birds or other creatures.

To participate, you must have a bookshop that is open to the public and your cat (or other animal) must spend the working day at the bookshop. We will only feature animals belonging to AbeBooks sellers and we hope to include animals from as many countries as possible, to illustrate the global nature of this business. The essay should provide interesting information about the animal’s role in your bookshop and mentioning specific books would be a bonus, since we could then link through to those listings. YouTube footage of your cat is also welcome.

Send a photo of your cat (or other shop animal) and a 300-word essay to:

Please include:
• Your name
• Your bookshop’s name
• The name of the cat (or other animal)
• 300 words about the cat (or other animal)

Featured Cat - Baz, or Basil, from Last Word Books in Olympia, Washington

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Strategic Bookselling with David Gregor

This past weekend we were proud to sponsor one of our favorite sellers, David Gregor of Gregor Books, who conducted a day-long workshop on Strategic Bookselling.

What’s “Strategic Bookselling,” you ask? To truly get an answer to this, you need to take David’s workshop – but in a nutshell, it’s learning how to sell books – professionally, strategically and successfully.

Strategic Bookselling by Dave Gregor

Seats were limited for this popular workshop to sell books strategically - as a business.

David started with a proclamation that I thought rang particularly true:

  • If you are selling books as a hobbyist, then your focus is all about YOU.
  • If you are selling books as a business person, then your focus has to be all about THE CUSTOMER.

There’s room in the market for both, of course – Alibris has many sellers who are just clearing out some extra books from their closet, or selling back some textbooks after the school year is over. We are happy to have them, and they serve a valuable role in the marketplace.

But strategic bookselling is critical for those who make this their business... Read More...

The Wisdom of Mark Twain

Mark Twain died 100 years ago this week. The famous old wordsmith would be thrilled to see this books remain front and center in libraries, schools and bookshops around the world. He would probably smile at hearing he is still one of the most quotable authors to ever put pen to paper. There have been few better observers of people and their ways than Samuel Langhorne Clemens. Dip into Twain's writing and soak up his wit and wisdom on travel, childhood, poverty and wealth, and many other subjects.

"When I am king, they shall not have bread and shelter only, but also teachings out of books, for a full belly is little worth where the mind is starved." - The Prince and the Pauper

The world lost Mark Twain, real name Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910), one hundred years ago but his words, wit and wisdom live on. Can there be anyone who loves literature who has not read one of his books? His impact on the literary world is still felt and his humor is as sharp as ever. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and Huckleberry Finn (1884), The Prince and the Pauper (1881) and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889), and his travel books remain must-reads but his bibliography is extensive and always worth investigation.

The Autobiography of Mark Twain by Mark Twain

The Autobiography of Mark Twain

”There are people who strictly deprive themselves of each and every eatable, drinkable and smokable which has in any way acquired a shady reputation. They pay this price for health. And health is all they get for it. How strange it is. It is like paying out your whole fortune for a cow that has gone dry.”

The Innocents Abroad or The New Pilgrims' Progress by Mark Twain

The Innocents Abroad or The New Pilgrims' Progress

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.”

Roughing It by Mark Twain

Roughing It

“A crowded police docket is the surest of all signs that trade is brisk and money plenty”

The Gilded Age by Mark Twain

The Gilded Age

“No country can be well governed unless its citizens as a body keep religiously before their minds that they are the guardians of the law, and that the law officers are only the machinery for its execution, nothing more.”

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

“He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it — namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to obtain”

A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain

A Tramp Abroad

“After a few months’ acquaintance with European ‘coffee,’ one’s mind weakens, and his faith with it, and he begins to wonder if the rich beverage of home, with its clotted layer of yellow cream on top of it, is not a mere dream after all, and a thing which never existed.”

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

The Prince and the Pauper

“When I am king, they shall not have bread and shelter only, but also teachings out of books, for a full belly is little worth where the mind is starved.”

Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain

Life on the Mississippi

“Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.”

Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Huckleberry Finn

“The pitifulest thing out is a mob; that’s what an army is - a mob; they don't fight with courage that's born in them, but with courage that's borrowed from their mass, and from their officers. But a mob without any MAN at the head of it is BENEATH pitifulness”

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

“Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.”

Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain

Pudd'nhead Wilson

“Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.”

Tom Sawyer Abroad by Mark Twain

Tom Sawyer Abroad

“A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.”

Following the Equator by Mark Twain

Following the Equator

“When in doubt tell the truth. It will confound your enemies and astound your friends.”

Is Shakespeare Dead? by Mark Twain

Is Shakespeare Dead?

“The thug is aware that loudness convinces 60 persons where reasoning convinces but one.”

Books About Mark Twain

Collectible Treasures from Mark Twain