Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Some new additions... and did you know there's a Book Fair coming up?

First off, here are some new additions to the website.

Added today (which means I've been doing data entry again!)

You know - mice must be one of the basic tropes of Children's books.
It amazes me how many different mice books I've come across in the last few years.
Here's another - Sylvester The Mouse with the Musical Ear by Adelaide Holl (illustrations by N. M Bodecker)

In a completely different vein, this book - if you're not a mathematician,
looks like its written in a foreign language.  
This book deals with very early theories and practices of artificial intelligence and cybernetics.
Interesting (at least to me), the editor C. A. Muses is a doctor of Philosophy who has written works
that put a rather...esoteric slant on mathematics.
And last, but definitely not least...

The inestimable Alexander Botts - Salesman extraordinaire for the 
Earthworm Tractor Company.
If you've never read any of the short stories about Alexander Botts, you're definitely missing something.

And in other news...
The Sacramento Fall Antiquarian Book Fair is coming up September 18th at the Scottish Rite Temple in Sacramento (Duh..)

If you're interested in coming and would like a free pass, let me know.

And in that same vein...  the fair is three weeks away.... and of course, I'm NOT ready.

Time to start packing boxes and getting mentally prepared.  Yikes!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

And the weather report for today....

I try not to be one of THOSE kind of people who pepper every conversation with inanities such as throw-away comments about the weather (unless I really have nothing in common with the conversee) but I have to put in a little bit here about the recent weather wackies in our area.

As you probably know by now, I'm located in Central California, to be a bit more specific, in the Central Valley of California (which is actually quite a large swath of California, but that's neither here nor there).  The thing is, we are technically listed (Geologically speaking / Climate speaking ) as High Desert -- which usually means that the summer time weather is quite predictable .... as in, it's HOT and stays HOT from most of May through most of October.  Let me define hot a bit further - 95-115 degrees (F) is the general (I'm not going to get into the technical terminology of mean temp vs whatever else... I don't have the background in it or the inclination to look it up today)  -- but for the most part it's sunny, it's dry, there's generally very scant precipitation during this period and it's usually HOT.

Ok, so not every year is a record breaker for heat, which is ok by me.

But this year, our average temperature seems to have dropped by about 12-15 degrees. We had five days with temps over 100 (degrees) in May.  Since that time, we've had......none.  Oh, we've had some 95's and some 97's, but NO 100+ days.

Then, as if we were jerked back by the shirt collar and tossed into another direction, this week, we're supposed to have 105 to 106 degree days.... So Sunday was 90, Monday was SUPPOSED to be 99, today is SUPPOSED to be 106, tomorrow 100+ and then, jerk again, we're supposed to drop to 70 (as in topping out at 70 degrees) by the weekend.

That's just insane.

Besides, when the whole summer is 95-100+, it's generally easy to be accustomed to the high heat and easier for our bodies to adapt to the occasion jump up to 112 degrees.....

This year, there has been no steady temp and it's bounced around like a rubber ball, giving us NO chance to become acclimatized so this week is a killer (and, I suppose, we'll all have to watch carefully for the older people in the area and for those who don't have cooling of some sort) for our bodies. UP, DOWN, UP, DOWN....

Even our soccer coach who isn't phased by any weather (especially rain and sleet) has canceled practice today  - of course, he's added an extra hour onto Thursday's practice to make up for it (when it's supposed to be 80 degrees again).

Weird weather.

Since I"m off the topic of books, here are some of the pictures I've managed to nab in the last week or two.

First up, the rabbit that crossed my path at the middle school during back to school night.  
I wasn't paying much attention to where I was walking or what was there then I spotted this cutie out of the corner of my eye.

Then I wanted to know whether she / he was a local or just an opportunist...

Ok, so it's blurry -- the rabbit was hopping when I caught this, but there's a smallish hole
just at the corner of the building where the rabbit scurried.
Obviously, a native. 
The colony (I'm assuming there is more than one rabbit)
lives right underneath the classrooms. 
Talk about adapting to modern living!

And then there's the silly duo...

I don't know if it's apparent from this picture, but the two smiling dudes are

Son Number Two practices at a local city park  and some of the newer parks include 
"Water features" which are small areas where water can shoot up out of the ground-- this is 
the newest way for Californians to be somewhat cool (during NORMAL summers) and beat the heat 
since Swimming Pools are Politically Incorrect lately (and they cost MONEY which cities don't have)

At any rate, the two dudes above dared each other to run through.
You can see the results. One quick dash through turned into
a drenching.

Luckily, soccer gear is water proof.

And that's what it's like around here this week.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

And some more just in...

It finally looks (momentarily) that I'm actually getting some data entered and uploaded to my website.

This, of course, is a good thing.

So in honor of this good thing, here are a few more of the titles just listed:

First up is a  look at the Western Americana Illustrator and painter 
Charles M. Russell

In the 1940's all the GOOD Baseball players went to war -
but the major leagues still continued to play games... 
which meant that they were really reaching for decent players.
Anyone want a one-armed outfielder?
(And yes, as a matter of fact, I did look this one up -
there was a picture of him in the outfield, but how did he bat is the question....hmmmm)

Mitsumasa Anno is one nifty keen artist when it comes to children's books
AND to books without words. This is another wonderfully illustrated title by this very 
creative illustrator.

Nicola Bayley's artwork is very detailed, very lush and very exacting --
It's also really cool.  Here's her take on Mother Goose.

That's it for pictures for the day.  Now it's off to do some work for the scouts.  And after that, figure out dinner.... and then soccer practice.

At least today is easy. Tomorrow, I get to figure out how to be in three different, but equally important, places at the exact same time.
Anyone have a cloning machine?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

This just in...

And now, in honor of some NEW things that have come in and been processed (instead of looking backwards, let's look forward for a bit).

A few pictures of some recently added stock.  Just for the fun of it -and to whet your appetite

Here they are:

First American edition of this wonderful book.

 An Uncorrected Proof copy -

O.K., this item isn't NEW... I've had it for a few years, but It's one of the
books that I'm in the process of updating and adding new photos.
Signed, limited boxed edition. 

Who couldn't love Shrewbettina?

Another Harlin Quist title.  Found a small group of them this weekend.
Some new titles, some previously sold titles. 

Quite a varied bunch there aren't they?


The post below


The post below is what I currently have showing on my website's home page.  I put it up Friday-ish last week.  Partly I just wanted people to know that the stock was in the process of being "Refreshed" ... or in other words, I was drop-kicking the laggards to the curb.

I'm still in the process of weeding out the old stuff from the shelves -- and yes, at the rate I'm going, it's going to take at least a year.

I'm currently up to AN (as in Piers Anthony).  I've done four shelves so far. Four shelves out of ... let me get my calculator out.  30 (approximate) bookcases... each of them has six shelves (if I remember correctly, I'm not looking at one right at the moment and I'm too lazy to go downstairs and count) so, 30 x 6 = 180 shelves... each shelf holds between 25 to 35 books (depending on the thickness of the books, etc) so.... well, I know that it comes out to 8400 books that WERE on the shelves...still on the shelves until I chuck them.

I know I shouldn't be flip about these no-longer-wanted books.  They WILL find new homes. But in the meanwhile, as they sit on my shelves, taking space away from new stock, they have also come to represent other things:

1.) that I bought badly (which also means that I PAID for stuff that never sold...wahhhh)

2.) that the times have definitely changed since I listed these books (remember some of them have been on the shelves more than 15 years -- FIFTEEN YEARS!  15. 15!!!  FIFTEEN Flubbing years!)

3.) That my needs, and my customers needs have changed.

4.) That I really could use an assistant.... but paying one is out of the question at the moment as I'm mostly pretending to pay myself.

5.)That more books is not necessarily better.  At least for a one person operation, quantity does NOT equate with success. (For YEARS I've been using the 10,000 book quota as a guide to where I wanted to be. No more)

Overall, it's probably a good thing for me to do to "clean house" as it were.  It's hard to do though - both mentally and physically, but it needed to be done.  I hope that I can continue to plow through the task without getting sidetracked or discouraged, and that, in the end, it will be a good thing overall for my business.

I'd cross my fingers, but then I wouldn't be able to either lift the books, or do the data entry.

Wish me luck!

Back to school...

The kids are back to school this week, my routine is starting to become a bit more routine again and I've got a lot of work to do to cull through the stacks -- I finally decided to make some changes. Make some cuts and get rid of dead wood as it were.  I've chopped about 3000 books out of my stock ... all books that have sat on my shelves taking up valuable space for anywhere from five to fifteen years.


Except -- they aren't yet.  I cut the books out of my database with one quick snip, but....

the actual removal from the shelves job is going to take me a few weeks (more like months).  In the process, I'm updating photos of all the books that will stay with me, and adding new books at the same time.  It's a HUGE process to go through, and it's interesting to see what I've got on my shelf, how long it's been there and why it has or has not sold.

Hopefully, visitors to the website will find that it's not stale and old anymore either.

(well, at least somewhat less stale and old anymore).

Most of the books that have gone are the $5.00 paperback Children's picture books. Sorry to say, they were taking up space and just not being sold.  I know that it's getting harder to find older, interesting (or cherished) paperback books from the 1960's or so and many of them I will try to keep (generally if they have sold well in the past, I'm not going to shoot myself in the foot by not selling them now), but lots more will have to go.

I AM donating these picture books to a couple of nursery schools in the area so they will go to good homes.

In other news, there's one upcoming book fair in September.  It's the Sacramento Fall Antiquarian Book Fair - to be held on Saturday, September 18th, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  If you'd like free passes, let me know.

Hopefully the changes made to the website will be appreciated.  If you have questions or comments, feel free to let me know.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

And we're back..... in school that is

Today marks the day when my honored husband gets to greet his flock of wildly happy students (yeah, not...).  He's the last of the bunch to get back to school - Son Number Two went first last week, then Son Number One started SEVENTH GRADE this Monday and today, the high school where Honored Husband works was back in full swing.

That, of course, means that quiet has started to set in at Bookseller Central.  Sort of.

Am I getting a huge amount of work done because it's back to normal schedule?

Well.... possibly, but not yet.

And, it might not ever happen since I added on extra responsibility for Cub Scouts this year, and for Soccer, and the housework never does seem to go away, no matter how hard I close my eyes and wish for it. By the time I get done reading my email, answering stuff, adding bits to the new group on Facebook for our scout pack (which I set up and seem to be administering), emailing scouts and committee members, job hunting online in my spare time, etc., etc., etc., about two hours seem to have flown by.  I'm going to try very hard to cut this down by at least half, but you all know how that goes.

But I am getting book stuff done now, which is much better than most of July.  August, well, part of August was productive (so far), but not all. 

And that's the way it's going. 

As for the after school schedule.... yeah, no work done any night of the work week, and most likely none during the weekend either.

We have two scout meetings on Monday (cub, for which I'm den leader) and Boy (usually lasts 2 hours -- ending at 8:30 or 9:00 PM)

Tues - soccer
Wed - soccer
Thurs- soccer
Fri   - soccer
Saturdays - Soccer games starting in Sept.
Sunday... is NOT a day off.

And that's my week.

As for fun book stuff lately.

Well, there's this interesting bound group of newsletters I recently got in stock that I haven't been able to do much about yet -- it's from the late 1930's early 1940's and is from a Bird watching / ornithological group in West Virginia.  The entries are quite intriguing and I'd love to load this item to my website as soon as possible, but until I get a bit more research done, it sits on the edge of my desk, staring at me and calling out to me.

But I CAN show you another cool one that I recently listed on the website:

Not much to look at from here is is...

Here's the title for you:

And the title page, just in case you're interested.

But then it gets a bit more, shall we say...visual

Like this.

There are a series of engravings and seven either one or two page chromo-lithographs such as the one you see above.  Most of the lithos deal with sexually transmitted diseases (why the editors would pick color pictures of this instead of say... surgery of the brain and and nerves or surgical diseases or gun-shot wounds (all sections in the book) I just don't know.
However, the plates are really cool to look at in person (icky, but cool).

 Neat, no?