Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Andre Norton -- masquerading as Andrew North

 Andrew North was an early pseudonym of Andre Norton's --partly because she wrote too quickly and partly because women were NOT SF authors in the 1960's.

Norton isn't the only woman to have to hide behind a pseudonym (and in fact, Andre Norton is one as well-- Norton's real name is Mary Alice Norton).
Some other day, I'll get to some of those women authors...remind me.

A cool book with a cool scifi cover.

Norton's eighth published book. Her first was in the 1940's but most of the books readers know and love are from the 1950's and 1960's.

Another cool dust jacket cover too.

All three of these books are currently available on my website.


More photos... one disaster, the other not too shabby!

this is the not too shabby -
I thought I'd put it first because it makes me feel better that way.

Remember a month ago when I despaired of ever having all the boxes out of the front room?
Well -- Christmas time (and a tree supposed to go where the table is standing) makes for the impetus to CLEAN UP.

Note - there are the tall bookcases behind... and in front are portable cases filled with the overflow.
Problem is... I still have TONS more books to go on the shelves.
I'm running out of space to put the portables and still be able to move!

This room is in an L shape - there's more room off to the right. With bookcases as well.
And a small upright piano.

Notice though -- NO BOXES!
(I cheated and moved one box of books that still needs to be put away).

Now, on to the disaster...

My work room. Notice the very well posed cat. She posed for free.

On the way to my desk.  I have two stacks of boxes by the door to the room, making it harder to get into.

This is NOT getting better as the year goes on.

I'm really trying to get through these boxes to free up space.

I LIKE space.

I like CLEAN.

I'd like to be cloned into 12 other mini me's so I can get some things done.

Tomorrow -- pictures of the SHOWER disater.

And after that (hopefully) pictures of Christmas foods... yum.
I've got the stollen  dough in the fridge for tonight or tomorrow,
if I can swing it, I'm going to make a Buche de Noel
starting either today or tomorrow (it usually takes me two days to do it right)
After that, it's some cookies, etc. to give to friends...

We'll see -- great idea and all that...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I've got some pictures from the Pasadena fair -- the lighting in the booth is quite bright, so getting good shots wasn't easy. I also had a somewhat weird set-up.

Here's a view from what should be the front.

Behind the glass case (as for the glass case, I wanted to take pictures, but the lighting off the glass and chrome was a nightmare)

another case

My Janet Evanovich signed First Editions - found a week before the fair.

I wish I could show you the flaps on this -- it's a moveable piece of art with all sorts of medical terminology, and parts flip up to show different systems.

The sublime and the ridiculous -- A Tolkien Bestiary topped with a children's book from Harlin Quist company.

Some close up shots -- I took more, but it seems overkill to include them today. I might need to make this a two part blog.

Most of the items shown are - unfortunately - still available...

While the show went generally well, the number of books that I brought back were very close to the number I took with me. 

And as for buying, I bought about 15 books at a local bookstore. Nothing from the fair itself.

 For a closer look at any of these -- just click on the picture.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Break's over... back to work

So I THOUGHT I'd be able to do it all -- you know, get ready for the fair, attend the fair, post on the website every day, keep updating my database and online listings... get all the Christmas shopping, baking, housecleaning, etc. done -- all at the same time.

Guess what?

I couldn't.

Which is why I haven't posted since the 4th of December.

I've got pictures to add to the site -- from my book fair booth, from my almost clean living room, from the shower / linoleum disaster that is my upstairs bathroom, even from the box filled cave that is my work room, but not today.

As with all of last week, today is another catch-up day.

I do need to blog about the fair at some point -- but I need to clear my head first. And I need to get some urgently done things DONE first.

In the mean time, I'm posting pictures of some of the books that went down to Pasadena with me (and unfortunately, came right back up again) which have now been ENTERED into my database.

Today it's War Fiction / Vietnam Fiction:

Made into a FUNNY, poignant Movie

A Classic

 Vietnam Fiction at its best

Signed by the author

 More War Fiction... this time World War II

Friday, December 4, 2009

Pasadena - Day 1: Set-Up

I was hoping to continue my string of posting nearly every day,  but holidays (and book fairs) do tend to mess things up.

Last week, it was travel and family time. Not really good time to sit and blog.

 Yesterday, it was traveling again.

Today should be a bit less hectic-- all I HAVE to do is set up for the book fair.

It SHOULD only take a few hours....


We'll see.

In the mean  time, I need to get my rear up this morning after a decent motel sleep and get myself ready for food and heavy lifting.

I'll try and have pictures later.

Wish me luck!

(PS: When I get back home I'll show you the pictures of  the bathroom floor that's been pulled up, the dishwasher that's NOT working, the Shower that has to be repaired ME... and the hole in the downstairs ceiling that will have to be patched.... all of which happened between Monday last and now....sigh)

Monday, November 30, 2009

One for the Money...

One for the Money is the first book in the Stephanie Plum series of mysteries by Janet Evanovich. The series is a humorous one (as in, NOT all dark and violent like, say... Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer or Dashiell Hammet's Sam Spade .... mind you, Nick and Nora Charles were much more refined, but neither are they like Stephanie Plum).

So Stephanie is from New Jersey. She's a bounty hunter (working for a bail bondsman), a profession she picked up after her other profession as a lingerie buyer went defunct. Not your usual private investigator type. She's tough, but feminine, she's funny and yet serious, she pals around with men who can be a bit unsavory. She also manages to get stuck in the middle of a bucket-load full murders.

There are, so far, 15 books in the series.

This particular book, and the next three in the series, are books I picked up while I was traveling during our Thanksgiving vacation.

The nice thing is that all four of the books I found are First Editions.


three of the four are signed.


All four are going down to Pasadena with me this week, along with a few other things I found in my wandering.  Hopefully I'll be able to mention at least one more this week.

Now I've got to go and haul seats out of the van to make room for boxes.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving ....

Right at the moment, I'm thankful for Thanksgiving, for friends and family and for being safe at home after a wonderful visit.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll have pictures for you -- not of the family, unfortunately (forgot to take pictures while we were there WITH people) but I do have some wonderful stormy cloud pictures from our return trip.

The Tehachapis (one of the mountain passes from the west side of the sierra's to the east just south east of Bakersfield) got their first dusting of snow (nope, we weren't able to get out and throw snowballs at each other -- not because we didn't want to, but because the snow was WAY up and not anywhere near where we were... and with the six hour trip, we didn't really fancy adding another half an hour or more wending our way through back roads for an up-close glimpse of snow.)

We will get up close and personal with Snow sometime soon.  We Promise.

In the meantime, we spent time with my husband's family, got to take a couple of days off from the world and get away.

(BUT - not without book hunting.... and I FOUND stuff too! That's for another post).

Now it's clean up after visiting, throw the last few boxes of books into the newly cleaned van (it WILL be clean by Thursday.... It WILL!) and get ready for another four-day wonder trip.

Hopefully the trip over the Grapevine (the mountain pass that divides Southern California from Northern California) will be as hassle free as this trip over the Tehachapis. I did see some snow on the mountain tops there as we traveled, but in a week's time, who knows what will happen. No matter what, I'm on my way.

AND -- I finally feel like I have GOOD STUFF to take along.

I'll mention a few of the fun things I just found (or traded), etc. this week before I go (hopefully).

By the way -- did I mention that I actually WON a computer?

It's a fun little (and I do mean LITTLE) Dell Mini (approximately 10" across and about 3 pounds in weight).  Back in September, I saw a flyer for a contest at the grocery store -- at the time, I was grumbling because we needed at least one more computer in the house (and three would be REALLY nice) so I thought, sure, what the heck, I'll enter....

I did enter.

Then completely forgot about it.

In October I got a letter from SaveMart Corp and Kelloggs that I MIGHT be a winner.... fill out this.... notarize that.... blah, blah, blah.

So I did.

Then waited. And waited. And waited.

Until I figured that I wasn't the winner.

Then, this last Tuesday, just before we were supposed to leave for our Thanksgiving weekend, a big box that needed a signature arrived.

And it was the computer!


I'll have to take a picture of it too.

So now I can't say I've haven't ever won anything. Because I have.

And I'm Thankful for it too.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Puttin' on the Ritz...just like Gary Cooper...

The Virginian by Owen Wister
in a Photoplay edition featuring Gary Cooper in the lead role.

This book was turned into movies at least four times (possibly five). It's just one of THOSE books -- but the photoplay edition of the book (while not as pricey as the first edition) has a great deal of charm all its own.
There are two different photoplay editions. The first was done in 1923 (by the way, I found out today that Photoplay was actually the term used before we decided to use MOVIES for what we see at the Theatre).
SO - the 1923 photoplay edition had still photographs included from the silent movie. There was a second version done (with no photoplay book to go along) that was also a silent film. Then, in 1929, Gary Cooper and Walter Huston starred in an ALL-TALKING version of the film... for which  a Photoplay book was issued (probably as a great advertising addition ... nowadays they call it marketing).

This book is just not easy to find, especially with the dust jacket.

And the dust jacket on this copy is quite nice. Not fine, mind you, but quite nice.

I'm having a wonderful time staring at it.

Mostly, I should be continuing to add more to the DONE pile, but on a day like today (and it's been A DAY), just staring at Gary Cooper in his cowboy hat is fine with me.

Monday, November 23, 2009

New Stock .... is this a good thing, or bad?

So this weekend, instead of polishing up the stock I HAD (which was already priced, in the computer, etc.) and ready to go to the book fair (which is coming up NEXT WEEK), I got a call from another book dealer who is having to move house.

First off, I've DONE the moving thing.  It's not pretty no matter which way you slice it. They have the luxury of getting movers to at least schlep the boxes from place to place, but the organization involved in taking out 10,000 or so books..... oh, my head....

As I say, I've done it myself and try not to think about having to do it again.

But, back to where I come in.  There was an offer made for a lot (as in a group of books) that weren't exactly the dealer's cup of tea but were perfectly fine books.

Yup. I know about this too.

I have BOXES (about 15 or so) of books that I picked up because they were good stuff -- interesting stuff -- at a good price  BUT they were not interesting enough to actually make it into the online listings yet.

Of course, some of that has to do with the time factor.

Another part of it, is, unfortunately, interest.

It takes a certain amount of -- hey, I like this book, I'll research it and list it; or: hey, I KNOW someone's looking for this, it will be an easy item to sell; or: I've had this book in stock before, it will take mere SECONDS to list again....
for me to want to put time into getting the book from the box to the shelf (with the database addition sandwiched in between there).

So If I have a stack of boxes of books that just don't really interest me enough to deal with them, then surely others do too.

Which is where the transfer of boxes of new books, and money came in.

The bad part is --- well, money.

Having enough to cover said purchase with enough to spare for on the table... and to pay for those new shoes that son number one REALLY needs.


I am happy with the books though.  Now I've got two days (approximately) to cover them with new protectors, do basic research, and have them shiny, bright and ready to go for the Pasadena Book Fair.

Ah, the life of a book dealer.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Blustery Fall Days

This morning it started out cold, but right now, it's blustery, blowing wind and overcast looking to rain, making it one of those days where sitting in front of a warm fire, with cocoa in one hand and a good book in the other sound mighty appealing.

Of course there's no fire in the fire place (yet -- I really do need to get the fireplace swept out), no cocoa and my book to read will just have to wait for another day. Too much needs to get done before I can sit. However, I'm thinking about making some bread this afternoon  -- 'cause warm bread with loads of butter (and possibly honey, but the butter is king) works almost as well as a fire.

I've started my scheme to just list authors and titles on some of the pile of books to go to the book fair. Some I'm finishing completely so they'll go on line (gotta keep feeding the beast to continue to get orders, ya know), then I put a little mark by the price so when I get back I know what's been finished and what's not (supposedly).

The nice thing is that we got the bags all delivered yesterday (second day of walking) for the Scouting For Food Project.  That means we won't be walking in the blustery mess this afternoon. However, possibility of rain AND wind tomorrow when we go to pick up the bags (hopefully) of food donated.   Good thing we've got fresh doughnuts planned too.



now for some pictures of books just entered today:

Classic Wonderful

Modern Hilarious

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Batter Up!!!!

Today I was cataloguing baseball books. It just happened that they were on the pile in a lump, which is the way things happen sometimes (and sometimes, I pile them in the boxes in little lumps of certain subjects, so that I CAN work on a group of things at a time ... then I forget that I put them in that way....).

So the majority of today's uploaded books are books on baseball. Or more correctly, Baseball Biographies.

A couple of the books feature Boston Red Sox players -- which is a good thing, as we're a (mostly) Boston Red Sox family. My husband is the rabid one though.  During playoffs it's better NOT to talk to him unless the Sox are winning.

This one is signed.

I also just picked up (and listed today) a copy of Dave Dravecky's COMEBACK which is also signed, but I haven't got a picture for it yet.

 Tomorrow I don't know what the pile will bring, but whatever it is, I'm looking forward to it.

NOW -- on to other matters.

I went through on Tuesday and riffled through my boxes of unprocessed stock to see what stuff called to me to take to the book fair. I found THREE boxes full of new stuff.  The problem is, I CAN'T process and add them to my database fast enough (especially with a shortened week next week -- four days away from the main computer makes data entry really not possible, and another shortened week the week after -- when I drive myself down to Pasadena on Thursday).  SO the plan is to just get the author's and titles in the computer with an ID number and just either hand write or sticky note the price for the fair (and put dust jackets on, of course).  We'll see how fast I can do that, or IF I can do that.  In the mean time, I keep finding MORE stuff I want to add to the pile of boxes:

Baseball books (since I have some fun ones now)
Christmas books (duh)
pretty books (which always need to be faced out -- thus taking up MORE SPACE -- even though I want to bring more boxes ... this paradox is never ending)
Mystery books (I'm finding more of these again & they sometimes sell)

What I WISH I had to take to the fair:

A Copy of Stranger in a Strange Land (Robert Heinlein) -- 1st edition with a dust jacket in FINE condition (not Ex library)

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep / or the variant title which I don't remember now (Philip K. Dick) (1st edition, etc. of course)

DUNE (Frank Herbert) (same thing - 1st with dust jacket Fine /Fine.)

Early Georgette Heyer hardbacks with dust jackets

a Modern First title to knock the socks (sox) off people (and which I would find for ten bucks in a thrift store so I make a ton of money ...which I could REALLY use right now).

and as the cherry on top, a few early Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzan books (1sts with dust jackets, etc.)

Ah.... the dream lives on....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

LOOOOONG weekend...

Son number one
(he's starting to look BIG!)

son number two
( in Greek God Pose - note the tie to his shorts hanging down, as usual)

The Silver Bullets. Final tournament rank - 5th place

The Vipers- final tournament rank - 4th place

This weekend was the end of the recreational soccer season (well, sort of - but more on that later). For the Under 10 boys and above, the season ends with a tournament.  Three games mandatory plus, if you do well in the standings, you get to go on to determine 1st through 4th place.

Which, when translated into English means that we had no LESS than six games this weekend, with a possible eight in the offing. Son number one's team ended up placing (his team actually missed going to the 1'st vs 2nd's battle by 1 point). For a team that started off rather soft, they ramped it up by the end of the season.  The final game they played turned out to be against the season's top champions (there was a fluke kick in one of the three games in the tournament and the season champs DIDN'T end up in the 1st / 2nd game.... which is how weird tournament play can be). Son number one's team played one of the best games I've ever seen them play and held the other team to ONE point for the entire game.  The one point was again, a fluke kick that bounced back after our goalie thought he had it.

Son number two's team wasn't quite as lucky.  They missed the consolation game (that's for 3rd & 4th place) by ONE POINT.  For this team that was amazing. They managed to make fifth place in the tournament by kicking ONE GOAL in the three games leading up to the finals -- my husband said : only in soccer can you make one goal, win one game, tie one game and lose one game and still end up in 5th place.  Strange things do happen.

In the end, we participated in seven games over two days time (and unlucky us, we got TWO games that started at 8:00AM -- nippy, frozen ground that turned wet as soon as people started running ). 

So -- end of season. Time to rest right?


Both sons tried out for the next season of play -- around here called mini season -- where you do some traveling. NOT the big league traveling, but as far away as an hour and half (ish).  Two games per Saturday per boy.  I don't quite know how they'll get from place to place.... my husband is going to be a Soccer Dad whether he wants to or not... but we'll do it.  We're just hoping for a mild winter. (No indoor soccer here -- it's outdoors the whole winter long, rain, sun, wind, fog...)

And now it's on to Scouting for Food this week with both sons.  Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, walking, walking, walking.  It's a good service project to do and we don't mind the walking (hey, they RUN most of the time anyway).  (for those not in the know - Scouting for Food is where Scouts go out, put empty grocery bags on doors in an area, then come back & pick up any donations of food items for the Salvation Army).

And don't forget- Next week is Thanksgiving.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Working down the lists

So with the book fair (in Pasadena -- on the 5th & 6th of December - did I mention this already?) coming up in just over three weeks, there are a host of things I have to do to be ready.

Starting with sending out fliers to people who live in Southern California.  This needs to be done at least two weeks ahead of time to give potential fair-goers the chance to add it to their calendars.

I FINALLY got the fliers made yesterday. Today I got the address labels made and put on. This afternoon I'll stick on the stamps and be DONE with step one.

Also, today is finally the day I'm sending out my monthly newsletter.  The newsletter goes to people who have bought books from me in the past. I KNOW how people feel about spam. I DO not want to be a spammer.
However, in order to help keep me in business, it's a necessary evil.  I only send the newsletter out once a month (many other businesses send things weekly, or in the case of Lands End, nearly daily, lately -- now I don't mind reminders from businesses more than once a month -- but I don't want to be pushy and in people's faces all the time either, so I keep it to once a month. I might change that from time to time, but for me, once a month is good.

Now I can mark this DONE on my list as well.

After that, it's starting to box up books to take to the fair, doing more data entry and doing more TAXES...

but then, two of the three things on this list should be daily endeavors and not worth mentioning.

Of course, that being said, I've only done data entry one day this week and taxes.... well, part of May is finally finished (not completely mind you) and that's it.

There's time tomorrow right?

And only three weeks to go.

Mittens by Clare Turlay Newberry

I learned something today (again -- this is why I LOVE what I do).

I had thought that Clare Turlay Newberry was the illustrator for which the Newbery Award was named --


It turns out that the award was named after John Newbery (note the different spellings of the name) a book seller from the eighteenth century. Here's a link for your edification: Newbery Awards.

Even if it's not the same, I love the illustrations in the book shown above. The illustrator did the illustrations in watercolor (using red black and white only) which was transferred to the pages of the book by the photogravure process.
 The drawings have the LOOK of fuzzy kitten fur and of course, she made her kitten (named Mittens) as cute as could be.

Even though this is an early reprint edition, it's in wonderful condition with a nice dust jacket.

It's just a wonderful children's picture book.


I learned something about the book, and the Newbery Awards in the process.

Veteran's Day

I missed being able to put something up yesterday so I'm doing it today.

THANK YOU to all the veterans for all that you have done for our country through years.

My son reminded me yesterday morning that this day was NOT a remembrance for men who have DIED (that's Memorial Day, Mom...) but for those who survived the horrors of war and came back to us --wounded, or not, PTSD or not, The current war or those past. Personally, I want to thank ALL of the men and women who serve our country, in whatever form they do so.

To them I say:  THANK YOU.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Getting Ready for a book fair?

Our Friends from Frolix 8 by Philip K. Dick - 1st Hardcover Edition

So far, I've got ONE new book (that's interesting -- at least to me) for the book fair ....

which is closing in on me in four weeks time.

(huff, huff, hyperventilating here..)


As far as my list of things to do from yesterday ... I got the ink for the flyers today. Yippee!

I also finally got a new wrist rest that I've needed for about oh, eight months now. The previous wrist rest was torn apart by son number two who, when using my computer, can't seem to keep his hands on the keyboard, but has to TOUCH things -- my wrist rest, my stapler (found it without any staples about four times before I yelled), my tape dispenser, my pens, my sticky notes (expensive toys!).

Sharing my desk with my children is a real motherly sacrifice (and I'm trying to find ways around it -- they HAVE their own laptop to use, but for some reason, my machine seems to be necessary as well) and I don't do that sort of sacrifice well. Day long soccer jaunts in wind, rain and 50 degree weather - sure, no problem.  But mess with my desk.....


Besides, right now, my desk looks like a case of who did it and ran (who ever thought up these colloquialisms any way?).  Papers everywhere, piles of files, books higgledy-piggledy, envelopes, fliers to  be addressed and mailed, sticky notes (some of which make sense, some of which don't). books that need REFERENCES to find out which edition / state / etc. they are.  And don't forget the BOXES behind my desk.

Tonight, I also spent time googling for scouting information -- Webelos is great fun, but there's real WORK involved as the boys get older and move towards Boy Scouts and more self-sufficiency. Which, in turn, means more work for the den leader.  Luckily, I found some really nice worksheets that I can use to supplement my meetings.

Tomorrow is Veteran's Day. A day of rest and remembrance for the men and women who went to war for our freedoms. And it means another day off school...

Four more weeks.
Four more weeks.
Four more weeks....


Monday, November 9, 2009

333: A bibliography of the Science-Fantasy Novel

In my spare time today I picked up a new catalogue of books that had come in (you know, other dealers send catalogues of their books, hoping to sell them while I read them, trying to memorize the authors and titles in case I stumble across them in my book hunting)  and always learning something new in the process.

Today's catalogue is an unassuming thing -- gray paper, with no color photos in a stapled at the corner type of container.

BUT, the books ....

this dealer specializes (or at least this catalogue has a small collection) in early Science Fiction / Fantasy / dark fiction / utopian fiction. Stuff from the late 1890's to the 1930's -- when most other SF material was being published in Pulps since no one wanted to pay for them -- but these are mostly hardbacks and by both well-known and virtually unknown authors (at least in today's SF world). 
Known authors include: Algernon Blackwood, Marjorie Bowen, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert W. Chambers, Ed Emishwiller.

Unknown (today) authors include: Dryasdust (pseudonym of M. Y. Halidon), J. Meade Falkner, Edgar Jepson, and Owen Rutter.

The thing is -- not only was I very interested to look through the catalogue and find stuff that was new to me, this dealer is of the old school where not only do you get a description of the book, but a reason for it being there (and for the astonishing price put on a strange, unknown, book).

Which brings me to the 333 - a Bibliography of the Science-Fantasy Novel at the opening...

many of the books listed have been included in a small paperback reference published in 1953 called 333...

Three-Hundred-Thirty-Three books of note in the field of Science Fantasy (with explanations).

I don't have a copy of this reference, but I want one.
I want it NOW.
Then I can read through it, bit by bit and learn and carefully memorize all the details held therein.

Hopefully this week I'll be able to order one. I've found prices and copies available.

That's one of the wonders of catalogues.  There's a whole host of things you either didn't know which you can now research, or, there's things you did know about (as is the case with this reference) and can start to relearn.

Love to read them catalogues.

It's a good thing Monday comes only once a week....

So this weekend, instead of being a relaxing weekend of fun and frolic (though I honestly don't know many people who FROLIC on their weekends... most of us just do extra housework and repair work on their respective homes.) I spent Saturday at Scout functions -- up at the crack of dawn to drive to Stockton for a training... only to fly back to Modesto to attend an Eagle Court of Honor ceremony with son number one.  Sunday, I SHOULD have been cleaning, but spent the day either lying on the sofa, trying to stay awake and not cough, or reading on the sofa, trying to stay awake, and not cough.

The virus HASN'T gone away.... at least, portions of it.  My head is somewhat better, but my cough is still here (and it's tiring to cough all the time), and my energy level has dropped to zero -- which means that the big pile of leaves out front (and at the back of the house as well, I suppose) haven't been raked, the gutters are full and no one has climbed up the ladder with necessary gear to do anything about them (seeing as I am the only gutter un-clogger available....)

AND -- I was three hundred pages shy of finishing the book I needed to read for review which was due TODAY.  Three hundred pages, you scoff. That can be knocked off in an hour.


Well, not this book. I was finding myself reading 15 pages and falling asleep. Not that the book was boring -- in fact, it was the opposite. But the number of characters to keep track of, the plots sliding in and out of play, the fact that this is book NINE of a ten volume set and the author keeps pulling in characters and plots from ALL eight of the previous books.... which I haven't memorized....made for slogging. And with a head that didn't want to cooperate either.

I got it done today, but that's basically all I did.  I finished the last 50 pages this morning then sat and stared at the computer for over an hour to come up with the words I needed.  It's darn near put me under and that's the ONLY THING I'VE DONE!!!  (well, not exactly true, checked bank balance, paid bills, did my invoices and packed books, and finished the emails that have been waiting since Friday...)

Tomorrow, I get back to a more normal work day.

Tomorrow I have a newsletter (email version) to put out.
I have a newsletter - print version - to fix up for the December Book fair (and it needs to go out NOW in order to get to people in time).
I've got to update the website.
I've got to finish unpacking and reviewing the three boxes of books from the LAST book fair.
I've got to start packing for the next book fair.

Oh, don't forget, I have to ENTER NEW BOOKS into the database for the book fair too.


NOW, in fact.

so tonight, what am I doing?

Running a Webelos meeting.
Wondering what to do for dinner.
Figuring out how to get one child to Webelos while the other goes to soccer practice (at the same time, of course, since they changed the soccer practice time to match the season).
Wishing I could sleep.
wondering how much sugar it's going to take to keep me going today.


And did I mention that the book fair is only FOUR weeks away now?


Tomorrow I'll have some pictures of books for you to ogle.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hallowe'en revisited

Mostly, it's revisited because (if you read my previous post) I finally got the pictures that I took on  Hallowe'en into my computer, so I can POST them.

Son number one did not deign to come with us to visit Aunt J, Uncle M, Ruby and Nikki.  He decided to stay home and go play game cube with a friend instead.

So it was just me and son number two.  We didn't dress up.  We just wandered down the road to San Jose to visit and schmooze and also attend the neighborhood yearly party around the block from where my sister lives.

It was fun. 

It was kitch-y.

It was silly.

And there was FOOD!

Little Nikki (who is a premie) isn't so little anymore.

Ruby taking her turn at the Pinata.  She really looks like my sister.

Son number two decimating the pinata.  His second turn up, he couldn't wait for the candy ANY longer. A gentle hint to strike at the neck did wonders.  And boy does he have a MEAN swing.

They finally sat down.

The thing about pictures of THREE young people -- you never get ALL of them paying attention.

raquel of the ranch country is finally on line, and other details of normal life

I finally got some pictures taken today.  A STACK (well, actually, THREE precariously piled stacks ringing my desk --woe to anyone who sits down and puts his elbows out the tiniest bit ) of pictures taken today.

I moved boxes.

I re-piled boxes and reduced my solid WALL of boxes behind my desk by TWO!!!!

I'm feeling enough better to start to worry about what's coming up in the next few weeks -- which means that my nerves start to go, even though my body is just beginning to feel normal.  Darn.

However, feeling a little better means I can start to DO things again.

Like clean.  When I don't feel well, I don't get the cleaning done ... and when you have colds / viruses, etc. you need to CLEAN the house well so that you don't just keep re-infecting everyone, right?  But when you're feeling bad, you don't have the energy or brain power to clean.

So.  Doorknobs have been bleached.  Keyboards ditto. etc. etc. etc. around the house to get all the places where germs lurk and laugh.

I pulled another box off the pile in the front room to re-do after the Sacramento Fair.  Now I'm down to THREE boxes left.

Then I signed up for Pasadena today AND booked my hotel room, so no going back now.

(Now I get to quietly freak that I don't have enough  GOOD STOCK....wahhhh.....)

I have books to mail out (which is always a good thing).

Now I get to plow through some data entry, and some taxes.

Getting back to Raquel of the Ranch Country (see the book picture at the top there, right?)

I picked this book up one day (reasons are many and too long-winded to mention, but I felt that HUM I sometimes get. I don't question it. I just pay my money and THEN figure out why).

This book is the first book by Alida Sims Malkus.  She wrote a number of books for young people (especially women) during her writing career, most of the historical in one form or another. This book, however, is a loosely based autobiography. (She must have started with that old saw -- write what you know....).  One of her later books -- The Dark Star of Itza -- became a Newbery Honor book.   From what I can piece together of her life, she sounds like a fascinating woman.  If I ever get time, I'll try and read this book, just to see what her life must have been like.

Now that I've got my picture for it, the book is FINALLY going up on my website. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Playing Hookey...

Yup.  Still not feeling that great (the temp is much better, but the COUGH.... man, sometimes Asthma is a real pain...)

So today, since I've been cooped up at home for one reason or another for nearly a week, I played hookey and went book hunting.

I am SUPPOSED to be quietly, consistently doing data entry and winnowing down this block of boxes behind my desk, getting ready for another book fair (I'm 99% certain I'm going to go to Pasadena), and getting my tax info finished for the year, but....

I was itching to get out, and I KNEW there was something for me... some books that had MY name on them. So I went.

So there.

(Being an adult sometimes is weird. You have to account to YOURSELF instead of your parents .... and sometimes it's hard to do.)

No pictures of books today, as I was gone and didn't take the stack of pictures I meant to take.

However, I did find three nice books, plus some other fun regular stock to add to my toppling piles.

Tomorrow, I guess I'll buckle down and work.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cough, Cough....

Yesterday's blog post was put off due to a case of coughing, a 102 temperature and me not really caring about anything but wishing I could just SIT and stare at a wall.

Not possible of course.  Yesterday was the Webelos regular den meeting (and since I'm the leader, I get to BE there.)

I too dragged myself off to the doctor -- making this the FOURTH visit in two weeks. But lo and behold, I just have a virus (so she says...personally, the gook coming with the cough makes ME think otherwise, but I'm not a doctor).  She even checked me for Swine Flu, but as I told her, I know the difference between flu and something other.   If I really did have the flu, I'd be laying on the sofa, staring at the wall, not dressed and sitting in the doctor's office waiting patiently.

 The temperature's mostly gone today, which is nice. The cough is still here (asthma has kicked in to replace the temp -- just because ) and my head is still apparently attached to my body.

I actually got a bit of work done today too.

Tomorrow, I need to take a bunch of pictures so I can keep winnowing down the boxes of books from September.

I'm down to FOUR boxes still stuck like a small pillar in the front room. After those boxes get re-pictured, all in the database (or checked to see if their updated in the database), then I'll actually feel like I've made some progress in getting things done.  Of course, the twenty boxes still sitting behind me in my work room have to be taken care of too, but that's asking a bit too much right at the moment.

And of course, since the four boxes left from the last book fair might get taken care of, I have ANOTHER book fair I want to do.

Which means, that in about a week, I should start piling NEW boxes of books in the front room to take to this fair. AND, the book cases I just finished putting back up and filling with books, will all have to be taken down and the books parked somewhere if not going with me). I have to decide by Friday if I'm going to take the plunge and go.  The fair is in Pasadena. Pasadena is a nice place in December -- it's warmer than Northern California.  It is a tad more expensive, but I'm finding good rates for hotels right now, so that's  a plus.  I worry that I don't have enough GOOD stock (my constant thought anyway) to take -- or more correctly, enough good stock that is DIFFERENT from the stock I took before, and the stock I took to Santa Monica, so that there's not too much cross-over (wouldn't want the customers to think I can't GET new stuff....)

BUT -- we'll be at my mother-in-law's house for Thanksgiving for four days about a week prior to this book fair.  That means two sets of long drives in a short span of time, nearly a week where I'll be gone and not able to add to my database right before the fair.  So, as you can tell, I'm still dithering.

I'll make up my mind by Friday.  (Yes, I will....maybe....please?)

Since I don't have much to SAY about the books I put in my database today, at least I can show a few pictures.

This is an early Little Golden Book WITH the dust jacket.
(the dust jacketed copies of Little Golden books are getting harder and harder to find)
And it happens to be another ABC book (see the post about abecedarians)

Paddington Bear.  What more can you say?
I LOVE Paddington.

This book is illustrated by Maud  and Miska Petersham. The illustrations are delicately done, but very colorful and they go along with the nursery rhymes beautifully.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Hallowe'en!

Small post today, being it's Hallowe'en...

Two soccer games this morning -- BOTH at 8:00 AM (which means we have to BE there by at least 7:30AM)



Getting people out of bed at 6:30 this morning was not easy.

BUT,  on the good side, both games were wins for our teams. YEAH!

Then it was off to San Jose to spend time with Aunt J, Ruby and Nikki.

Pictures of the fun will be posted later.  I'm tired, we have to hand out candy and yes, you guessed it,

I   now have the creepy crud that has gone through the house.

So sometime next week, I'll get to visit the doctor, making it FOUR visits in two weeks.


Unlike Aunt J, we bought the sugared stuff to hand out (and keep the rest for ourselves).  Soon, the pitter patter of little scary monsters and pretty princesses will be coming our way.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Open wide and say Ahhhhh....

No work done today due to the third doctor visit in a week (yes, let me think about that.... last Friday, this Wednesday....and today. )yup, three in one week's time.

First, son number two came down with a sinus infection. Nothing new around this house (and surprisingly, the first of this new school year -- usually he gets one the first month of school).  Then son number one caught it and added on bronchitis.  Again, nothing new -- we have allergies and asthma. We get stuff. We deal with it.

BUT ...

Wednesday was the last day of meds for son number two and he was feverish, tired, cranky and not exactly a picture of wellness.

So, after waiting a day just to be sure .... he woke up this morning with a HUGE (according to him) headache, the coughing was non-stop and he was still tired.  So, doing the good mom thing, I took him in.

This time it's a virus.

On top of the bacterial infection of last week.

Nothing we can do but let it take its course.

So instead of working (in truth, I WAS working, as I did some reading for review while plunked in the waiting room of the doctor's office... and when I got back from the rounds of driving thither and yon, I did start MAY'S  taxes... which is GOOD)  I carted son number two around to doctor, pharmacy, here, there and everywhere.

In other news, I'm trying to decide if I want to attend / exhibit at the Pasadena Book Fair.  I've done it the last three years & it's been decent -- but -- the schedule changed this year from June to December.

There's booths available.  Hotel prices are better than expected (really!)  and I have a MONTH to get my mind around the idea (and pack, etc).

Anyone have an opinion?

I'm going to decide by the end of next week if I will or not.  Right now, I'm leaning towards going.

let me know what you think.


keep your fingers crossed that I don't get the gunk running around the house.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fishing... with friendly DAWG....

Since we weren't able to make it to the Boy Scout camp out last weekend (due to illnesses which have persisted, unfortunately), son number two INSISTED on going fishing at our favorite spot.

We drive out into the foothills around Sonora (well, actually  before you get to Sonora) at a place called Knight's Ferry. The oldest covered bridge on the west coast still sits there (repaired and replaced several times after flooding,  but still old), the Stanislaus River runs under the bridge, and there are walking trails and spots to do fun things like swim and FISH!

We headed out as usual, fishing pole, tackle box, food and sundries in hand to the easy fishing spot.  We had been there about ten minutes when a lady and her dog, Zoe, wandered up. The lady was looking for a spot to do a bit of gold panning (as I saw another person carrying gold panning gear as well -- it's the lure of $1500.00 an ounce for gold right now) so we shared a quiet, warm spot.

Son number two tired of fishing early on in exchange for helping with the gold panning. (She was a very nice lady who had grand children, so knew just how to deal with a curious helper).  The best part though, was her dog. Zoe, the dog, decided that watching out for son number two was her job, which meant following son number two around, sitting on his lap (they're about the same size, really) and playing in the bushes.  As we have no dogs, it was lots of fun.

The thing is, fishing is a WET business (if you're son number two) and by the time I finished getting the fishing pole untangled for the third time, his shirt was soaked, so I gave him my extra to wear. (Yes, he does have shorts on underneath).

By the end of the day, we had learned lots about gold panning we hadn't known (and that son number two wants to get a gold pan of his own to try out -- either that or a metal detector), got to play with a cool dog, and had a great afternoon.

Remember that Find I mentioned a couple of weeks ago?

Do you?

I know, remembering things you read on blogs is probably not up at the top of your list of things to do, so I'll give you a quick reminder.

About three weeks ago, I decided to go out book hunting. I kept thinking I was going in the wrong direction and then WHAM, found a GOOD book. Remember now?

At the time, I didn't want to mention the book until I had done a bit more research.


I finally got the book listed in my database with detailed information.

The book is

Compiled by the Missionaries of the Society of Jesus Part II: English- Kalispel
Giorda, Rev. J.  (also Joseph Bandini, Gregory Mengarini, Joseph Guidi and Leopold Van Gorp)

this is what it looks like:

and here's my LONG description:

 Giorda, Rev. J.  (also Joseph Bandini, Gregory Mengarini, Joseph Guidi and Leopold Van Gorp): A DICTIONARY OF THE KALISPEL OR FLAT-HEAD INDIAN LANGUAGE : Compiled by the Missionaries of the Society of Jesus Part II: English- Kalispel. 1879 (1877-1879). St. Ignatius Print. Montana. Hardcover. 1st Edition/ Later state wrappers. VG+ / NONE. Volume II only: the Kalispel - English portion of the dictionary.  Originally published in wrappers (paper covers) this copy has been case bound by a previous owner at some later date. The case binding is a plain light brown buckram cloth binding with gilt lettering and rules to the spine of the book. The binding has some very light rubbing and edge wear. 456 numbered pages plus added endpapers, a blank sheet behind front and rear endpapers, later state plain wrappers (in this particular case, mottled grayish paper with writing to the recto (partial advertising for another book printed by this publisher in 1886) - this page has a large chip missing from the bottom edge starting at the bottom corner and working it's way inward along the bottom edge. Next is another blank, this time heavily toned, followed by a title page and a preface, a key to pronunciation and a key to both parts of the dictionary. The  original rear wrapper verso includes an advertisement for May Blossoms from the Rocky Mountains in Honor of the Blessed Mother of God by a Father of the Society of Jesus, dated 1886.  Apparently, this copy was not bound until 1886, though the contents itself is from the original printing.   From Analysis of A Dictionary of the Kalispel or Flat-head Indian Language (Giorda, S.J.: St. Ignatius Print, 1877-9) by Steven M. Egesdal, Ph.D comes this fascinating overview of the work:   "Giorda first came to the St. Ignatius mission in Montana in 1867. He was a polyglot apparently gifted with special linguistic ability. 5 The Jesuit Oregon Province Archives contains a manuscript ascribed to him dated 1871. That manuscript has two parts, one Indian-English and the other English-Indian.6 The Indian-English part is about 230 pages, written on both sides. The page size is about 7½ inches by 12 inches, with about 30 entries per page. That equals about 13,800 entries. The English-Indian part is 72 pages, with about 30 entries per page conservatively, which equals about 4,320 entries. Comparing Mengarini’s 1868 Indian-English manuscript to Giorda’s 1871 Indian-English manuscript indicates that Giorda’s manuscript (i)incorporated most if not all of the material of Mengarini’s 1868 manuscript, and (ii) reorganizedand revised the material from Mengarini’s 1868 manuscript and expanded it greatly. In terms of rough, raw numbers, the overall entries in Giorda’s 1871 manuscript more than doubled. In turn,the published Dictionary further expanded and reorganized Giorda’s 1871 manuscript significantly."   And later in the paper, regarding the printing itself: "Printing of the Dictionary required three years to complete, on a hand-operated press in “The Shops”at St. Ignatius Mission. Jesuit Father Alexander Diomedi had directed its purchase and transport from St. Louis in 1875, ordered its specialized type and trained Indian boys as his typesetters. Work on the Dictionary began immediately after the press’ first product, Narratives from the Holy Scripture, a 154-page book written in Kalispel. At least 66 imprints can be attributed to the St. Ignatius Press, of which the Dictionary is easily the most significant. Because of its cost so far from supply sources, paper was usually inferior in grade, and often scraps of all kinds were used as end sheets and covers. Over time the need for printed materials in Kalispel declined, so the press was relocated to Spokane in 1899 to serve the growing needs of Gonzaga College. It was unceremoniously replaced and scrapped in 1908."  DESCRIPTION: The spine ends and corners of the book cover have a bit of  very light bumping and rubbing.  The text pages are clean and generally bright, though some pages have light toning, especially towards the edges of the pages. The quality of the print varies (from heavier to lighter ink) depending on the page.  The bottom edge and foredges of the text block are untrimmed and the text itself is uncut (unopened) at the top edge (for the most part).  Page 53 does have two longish tears starting at the top edge of the page which have been taped with clear tape by a former owner (and another smaller tear starting at the spine joint which has NOT been taped.  Several pages at the end pf the text have wrinkles to the center of the pages which appears to have happened during production or some time soon after. Overall, a generally very nice copy of a scarce title.

Now, this isn't the LONGEST description I've written, not by a long shot, but it's more description, background info and looking up on something than I've done in a while (mostly because I don't FIND such fun things to research often -- I WISH I did).

One of the questions I had about this book when I was researching it (well, for pricing, more correctly) was because this copy has been bound (the original format was paper wrappers which are still intact in this bound copy), would that make a huge difference on the price.

My answer, after deliberation was -- not really.

First of all, there are VERY few copies of this book available, no matter what the binding.

Second, the binding (though rather plain and dull, but not ugly) is actually keeping the contents of the book in better condition than if it were NOT bound.

Third, this book is collectable and useful because of its CONTENT, not it's binding.  As the book is non-fiction and very (VERY) specific, the content is more important than the fact that it was rebound.

So, the upshot of those questions was that I didn't feel that the fact that the book had been protectively bound was a detriment to the price of the item. 

Mostly, I'm just fascinated with the background, history and all the little details that I learned about the book (and the Kalispel Indians at the same time).

This is the sort of find that makes me LOVE my job.

Of course, I wish I found stuff like this every day (and wish I SOLD stuff like this regularly too  :)  ) but that's not the way this job works.

Most days, I slog along listing regular books for regular folk (which isn't a put-down by any means, these are all good books in their own way) or doing my taxes, or just moving boxes around.

Today, I get to do a bit of all of the above.  And I still enjoy it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Are you an Abecedarian?

 From Word of the Day /



1.One who is learning the alphabet; hence, a beginner.

2.One engaged in teaching the alphabet.

1.Pertaining to the letters of the alphabet.

2.Arranged alphabetically.

3.Rudimentary; elementary.

By the way, if you're fascinated by words, you can get the word of the day sent to your email address -- and learn a new word each day (well, lots of them I already knew, but, it's always nice to have a refresher).

In the case of book selling, Abecedarian generally has come to mean someone who collects books about the alphabet -- especially children's picture books with alphabets in them.

I have been trying to find more alphabet books lately for a customer who collects them -- and in the process of noticing more Alphabet books, I find that I really like them.

I have a few recent additions to my stock of Alphabet books

illustrated by Alan James Robinson, this book is filled with pictures of all sorts of wonderful birds, with little quips or interesting facts about them (in alphabetical order, of course)

this one lists all sorts of gardener's stuff including greenhouse, Japanese garden, and xeriscape)

this one takes the alphabet and turns it into a word game featuring outlandish alliterations.

And this one takes some of Norman Rockwell's best loved illustrations and turns them into an ABC book -- with the help of author George Mendoza -- in honor of the Bicentennial of the United States.

I have more alphabet books in stock, but this group came in about the same time this week and I liked them enough to show them off.