Sunday, July 19, 2015

Moving To a New Blog

After a look ahead and major soul searching, I am shutting down The Cottage Bookseller and my quiet little book selling business.  I would rather be at my leisure and read the books I have collected over the years.  I am embarking on a new reading project and would love it if you would join me here:

My Reading Road Map

Thank you to everyone who visited here.  I apologize for the sporadic posts over the years.  You know how life can get in the way of best laid plans!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

In the Mail

Look what came in today's mail!  I am in the middle of an "all things M.F.K. Fisher" phase and just wanted to give you all a peek of my latest acquisition.  This is for my personal library and is a first edition, first printing.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

In 1977 I Bought a 3,000 Volume Library

I have always been a reader.  My mother used to tell people I was reading the encyclopedia when I was three years old.  I do not remember this, but I do remember always having something to read very close at hand.  My real life with books began when I read an ad in the Barstow, California Desert Dispatch classifieds, "3,000 vol. library, mostly history, biography, some fiction, $1,000", and it was like I woke up, became REALLY awake. There was no question in my mind.  I had to have those books.  How to find the money, where to put them, none of that mattered.  I was completely obsessed and so, of course, answered the ad.

The books belonged to our local city librarian, a very nice man.  He was getting married, to a librarian, and between them they had way too many books.  The books he was selling were on metal bookshelves and filled up an entire room in his apartment.  If I wanted them, I had to take them all.

Over the years he had put together a decent collection of history, biography, travel memoirs, and old journals of explorers and soldiers. There were map books, old travel guides, a lot of military history, and very little fiction.  The fiction was mostly old first editions, none in fine condition.  Many of the books were ex-library  with "Withdrawn" stamped inside the cover.  It was really too much to take in at first.  I did not know very much about anything I saw, but I still HAD TO HAVE the books.

My husband did not object.  He went to the bank with me to apply for a loan.  The loan officer was our friend and she knew how much I loved to read.  Together my husband and I cleared out one of our bedrooms to make space for the books.

When I paid the gentle man who was parting with his books, I asked him how he could sell them.  He said he did not want to, they were like his children, but he had no choice.  Over the years I have come to understand what he meant by "like his children". I have grown to love some of them also.

There are many tales in our family about the moving of the books.  After a few years we packed them up (I am guessing at least 80 to 100 boxes full) and moved them to Oregon in the middle of winter in a converted school bus.  They were moved four or five times after that before I started selling some of them to dealers.  It was when my husband's work took us BACK to California that I called Powell's Books in Portland.  Knowing what I know now, I would have done a better job of selecting the books I had on offer. Powell's bought several hundred books and paid me a fair sum.  But, I have always regretted "the ones that got away".  Like these:

And, many biographies and natural history books I would love to have back.

In California, I sold more books from the original library.  When we made our last move, BACK to Oregon, maybe one third of the original library remained.  I have always acquired more books, a few at a time, since buying the library.  English Literature, literary fiction in several genres, mystery books, and travel and food writing have filled in the gaps.

Now to the purpose of this blog - - I have not read many, many, many of the books I now own and I am determined to do so.  My "To Be Read" (TBR) stack is huge.  I have my own version of "Book A.D.D."  and need a way to focus my reading.

I hope you will join me on a journey through the stacks.  It will be a winding road, full of detours, and backtracking, but there will be so many wonderful things to see.  I promise!

I love comments, and would like to know what is in your TBR stack.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Long Time No See

Hello again.  I was surprised to see this blog still exists.  There was a plan, long ago, to move it to another blogging platform.  Life intervened and the blog went dormant.  Since my last post I have retired and am busy planning the next chapter for The Cottage Bookseller.

Stay tuned.