Monday, June 30, 2008

Need a book rebound?

I had a nice old copy of Klondike that was falling apart, so I sent it to another bookdealer who had advertised that he repaired and restored old books. The book was worth nothing to me in the condition as it was.

I mailed it to HGBooks, POB 345, Craley, PA 17312. Hollis told me he could repair it for $25 (there are various prices depending on the amount of work needed).

It arrived here today all spiffed up! I can't explain how much better it looks. You'd have to see it to believe it. It was broken out the case. He replaced endpapers, put in new headbands, repaired the damaged plate, tightened up the text block, and put it back in the case.

This old fossil for 1897 now has some life left in it. I'm very impressed by his work and his prices are very reasonable.

If you need a book repaired, I'd enthusiastically recommend HGBooks - they do great work.

And, if you're wondering, this is unsolicited testimonial. I just got so excited by how much better the book looked I HAD to tell you!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Book Review: The White Mary by Kira Salak

Marika is a journalist who immigrated to the states from Czechoslovakia, and has become very famous for visiting war zones fearlessly and writing about her experiences. Her father is dead, her mother is mentally ill, and she doesn't do well in relationships, but her work keeps her complete.

She admires Robert Lewis, another war correspondent and is disappointed to hear that he has committed suicide. In tribute to him, she decides to write his biography. It's not easy, because he was also a self-contained person and there isn't much information available. His son is dead, his sister doesn't want to talk to her. But when she visits and tells her why she wants to write about him and how much she admired him, the sister does allow her access to some letters. In the pile, she finds a letter from a missionary who says he say Robert Lewis in the remote jungle of Papua New Guinea. Unfortunately, the missionary is now deceased. The sister doesn't believe the letter.

Then her relationship with her boyfriend falls apart and she decides to go Papua New Guinea and search for Robert Lewis.

The story of her travel and the conditions there illuminate the qualities and dangers of the jungle. She's either going to find Robert Lewis or die, and she really doesn't care much which it is.

But this journey isn't just for Robert Lewis. As time goes on, she travels with a medicine man, who tries to teach some facts about what life means.

She doesn't listen well, but, before the end of her journey, she learns that she needs to love herself first before she can love someone else. And that while she may not believe in God, you have to accept the things that happen and move on.

Her war experiences and jungle scenes are harrowing. She's the type of character it's hard to feel sorry for due to her attitude and actions, but when she gets on the right track, there's hope for her future.

This isn't a book you'll read lightly. And you may have to read it more than once to get all the nuances and really understand the overall concept. But you'll most likely never forget it...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Gun Report magazines...

Guns have never been my thing (I own a .22 Browning rifle and do know how to shoot) but when you do Western History, you get to deal with books (and magazines) about guns, like it or not.

I have been listing The Gun Report magazines for the last week. Man, are they boring! Just listing the articles and authors again and again turns into a pain. I probably have another week's worth of them to list.

I can tell you that C. Meade Patterson contributed to almost every issue with some major article - many of them in parts.

They talk about Mexican guns, European guns, Civil War guns, even Revolutionary War guns, the Gatling Gun - you name it, they probably have an article on it. And since this subject doesn't fascinate me (OK, I did read about McKinley's assassination and some on the Gatling Gun), it's just not as much fun. I don't imagine most men want to list Harlequin romance books either. Of course, I'm not fond of listing those either, LOL!

There's a lot of good analysis in the articles, this information could be useful to a writer who wanted know more about the weapons used. Or, if you're a gun collector, this should be right up your alley.

So I'm suffering here, but I'm listing them for you!

Here's a sample for you:

The Gun Report Volume V No 6 November 1959 Title: The Gun Report Volume V No 6 November 1959

Publisher: Aledo IL World-Wide Gun Report 1959

Seller ID: 018052

Softcover. In very good condition, light cover wear and soiling. Battle of the Titans by Dr. Gerald Atlas, Inscriptions on Guns by H J Kauffman, Captain Hall, Inventor (Second of Two Parts) by Charlotte Judd Fairbairn & C Meade Patterson, Redskin Napoleons by Carl W Breihan, Another Approach to Specialization by Capt R C Williamson, and more.

Guns Firearms Pistols Rifles

Price = 25.00 USD

Hope someone will be interested in these, they do have a lot of historical references in them.

Jo Ann Hakola, The Book Faerie,

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Mostly Listing Western History

I have lots of odds and ends of western history that purchased from another dealer. As I walk through it, I learn things about the west, cowboys, outlaws, lawmen, vigilantes, soiled doves, madams and more! Some of the smallest soft covers are worth much more than the regular books. Some are quite rare, some are so common I don't bother listing them.

But as I touch each one, they touch me.

I think a bookseller learns from the books they sell, whether they happened to be a type they liked or have read before. Part of it is osmosis, part of it what we read while we're analyzing the book and how to list it, part of it is our inquisitive minds.

Some books don't make it all the way to the shelves for selling. Some end up living here in my personal library. But most of those are not the collectible books - Western history is not my field, and while I now know better what to pick up when shopping and what might sell, it's not something that I will be acquiring for personal use. That doesn't mean some don't make me keep them anyway...

Are all booksellers like this? Or is it only my nature?

Here is a treasure I found in the batch I'm working on now:

Powder River Invasion War on the Rustlers in 1892 Author Name: A S Mercer, John Mercer Boots

Title: Powder River Invasion War on the Rustlers in 1892

Edition: First Edition
Publisher: Self Published 1923

Seller ID: 017933

Small hardcover, no DJ. In good condition, moderate bumping to spine ends and corners, minor cover staining, front hinge is beginning to separate, pages are toning, text is clear and clean. This is a 1923 printing of the extremely rare 1894 book written by Asa Shinn Mercer. Even this 1923 edition is scarce. This is the story of the Johnson County, Wyoming, war pitting the settlers (rustlers) against the cattle barons of the day. A S Mercer was not originally on the side of the settlers, but he felt compelled to write the story (Banditti of the Plains, sub-titled The Crowning Infamy of the Ages) to tell of the tactics used by the cattle barons. Most of the original edition was destroyed under mysterious circumstances.

Western History Wyoming Johnson County War Cattle Ranching Rustlers Barons

Price = 500.00 USD

I also have some less expensive books that are still very much fun to read such as:

Road Agents and Train Robbers: Half a Century of Western Banditry Author Name: Drago, Harry Sinclair

Title: Road Agents and Train Robbers: Half a Century of Western Banditry

Edition: First Edition
Publisher: Dodd, Mead 1973
ISBN Number: 0396067859 / 9780396067856

Seller ID: 017972

Hardcover, ex-library. In very good condition, minimal library markings. Includes several black and white photos. The rowdy mining camps, the vast untouched wilderness, the highroads and trails that were safe neither for travelers nor gold shipments - and the men who made them unsafe, like Tom Bell, Rattlesnake Dick and gentlemanly Black Bart, amongst others.

Old West Western History Outlaws

Price = 15.00 USD

And this is just a sampling of my stock. I have much more to list, but it's certainly been interesting and entertaining along the way!

Jo Ann Hakola, The Book Faerie,

Eeny Up Above! Jane Yolen, Kathryn Brown (Illustrated by)

Eeny is a mole.  Her sisters are very happy in their home but Eeny is more adventuress.  She goes up and samples all of the seasons of the y...