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Archive for March, 2011

March 31st, 2011 • Posted in Nigel Beale Bookstore Photos

Used Bookstore Photo of the Week

Mostly Books, Philadelphia

Mostly Books, (doesn’t look like it), Philadelphia

March 31st, 2011 • Posted in Authors and Books, CITIES, Ottawa, ON

Ottawa Used Book Sales: Monster Week Coming Up

Glebe garage sale

Wednesday April 6th (5:00 to 8:00 PM) and Thursday April 7th (3:30 to 8:00 PM) Agincourt Road Public School (1250 Agincourt Road -off Maitland Avenue), Annual Bargain Book Blowout. Information

Thursday, April 7, 4 pm – 9 pm Friday, April 8, 10 am – 9 pm Saturday, April 9, 10 am – 5 pm, Sunday, April 10, 10 am – 3 pm First Avenue Public School Annual Book Sale 73 First Avenue at O’Connor Street

Saturday April 9th from 10.00 AM– 6.00 P M  and Sunday April 10 from noon to 5.00 PMUsed Book Sale of the Rockcliffe Park Public Library. Located at 380 Springfield Rd.

Saturday, April 9th, 2011, 9 am to 2 pm, paperbacks 50 cents/hardcovers $1.00, Hawthorne United Church, 2244 Russell Road

and if that isn’t enough: the following week:

 Friday, April 15, 4:30 p.m. 8:00 p.m. Saturday, April 16, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m (Senior Hour Friday, April 15, 3:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m.) Kars Public School 6th Annual Used Book Bake, 6680 Dorack Drive, Kars

March 31st, 2011 • Posted in On Book Collecting

Learn about Rare Books all summer long…


…at the Rare Book School:

6-10 June 2011 in Charlottesville, VA

·         B-90    Publishers’ Bookbindings, 1830-1910       Sue Allen

·         I-20     Book Illustration Processes to 1900          Terry Belanger

·         H-10   History of the Book, 200-2000  John Buchtel & Mark Dimunation

·         L-30    Rare Book Cataloging     Deborah J. Leslie

·         G-45      Analytical Bibliography  Stephen Tabor

·         13-17 June 2011 in Charlottesville, VA

·         I-10        Intro to the History of Illustration    Erin C. Blake

·         T-50       Type, Lettering & Calligraphy, 1450-1830   James Mosley

·         C-90       Provenance: Tracing Owners & Collections   David Pearson

·         H-90       Teaching the History of the Book Michael F. Suarez, S.J.

·         C-85       Law Books: History & Connoisseurship   Mike Widener

·         4-8 July 2011 in Charlottesville, VA

·         G-30  Printed Books since 1800:

      D       Description & Analysis Tom Congalton & Katherine Reagan

·         L-60   Intro to Archives for Special Collections Librarians

                  Jackie Dooley & Bill Landis

·         L-10     Special Collections Librarianship Alice Schreyer

·         L-70  XML in Action: Creating Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Texts

                      David Seaman

·         G-20  Printed Books to 1800: Description & Analysis  David Whitesell

·         18-22 July 2011 in Charlottesville, VA

·         H-30       The Printed Book in the West to 1800     Martin Antonetti

·         M-20     Introduction to Western Codicology        Albert Derolez

·         H-40       The Printed Book in the West Since 1800   Eric Holzenberg

·         L-65        Digitizing the Historical Record  

                      Bethany Nowviskie & Andrew Stauffer

·         H-50  American Book in the Industrial Era, 1820-1940 Michael Winship

·         25-29 July 2011 in Charlottesville, VA

·         H-70  History of the Book in America, c. 1700-1830 James N. Green

·         L-95     Born Digital Materials: Theory & Practice

                   M Kirschenbaum & Naomi Nelson

·         G-10    Intro to the Principles of Bibliographical Description

                 Richard Noble & David Whitesell

·         B-10       Intro to the History of Bookbinding Jan Storm van Leeuwen

·         M-70     English Paleography, 1500-1750 Heather Wolfe

·         3-7 October 2011 in Washington, DC

·         I-90  Art of the Book in Edo and Meiji Japan, 1615-1912  Ellis Tinios

Apply here.



March 30th, 2011 • Posted in Authors and Books

Audio Interview with Rare Book School Director Michael Suarez: On the importance of Open Shop Antiquarian bookstores

Michael Suarez is Director of Rare Book School, Professor of English, University Professor, and Honorary Curator of Special Collections at the University of Virginia. A Jesuit priest, he holds four masters degrees (two each in English and theology) and a D.Phil. in English from Oxford.

I caught up with him in Boston recently at the ABAA Antiquarian Bookfair. Our ad hoc conversation took place in an echoey alcove, so, please forgive the dreadful audio. The content, what Michael has to say, is well worth the ear strain you may experience. Please listen here:

March 28th, 2011 • Posted in Authors and Books, CITIES, Ottawa, ON

Impressive line-up on tap for Spring 2011 Ottawa Writers Festival April 28-May 3


From the press release:


ELIZABETH HAY, CHRIS HEDGES, PARAG KHANNA, LORNA CROZIER, JOHANNA SKIBSRUD, BERNARD SCHLINK, JARON LANIER,  MADELEINE THIEN, and SYLVIA TYSON headline the Spring Edition of the Ottawa International Writers Festival which runs from April 28 to May 3, at the Mayfair Theatre, Southminster United Church, the Manx Pub, The NAC and Collected Works Bookstore.

Poetry is front and center with a House of Anansi Poetry Bash at Collected Works and a Poetry Cabaret with Gillian Sze, Pearl Pirie, and Lorna Crozier. The cherry on the poetry sundae is a master class with Robert Pinsky, who served an unprecedented three times as Poet Laureate of the United States.

Other highlights include John Gray (who Will Self calls "The most important living philosopher"),  the father of Virtual Reality, Jaron Lanier, and religious scholar Tom Harpur. As always, there’s far too much to cram into a single press release so for more on the Festival’s Spring Edition, please visit us online at

For more information on the Writers Festival please contact Sean Wilson, Artistic Director, at 613 299-3665 or
March 27th, 2011 • Posted in On Politics

Election Question: Who’s Invested in War?

"When a country decides to invest in arms, rather than in education, housing, the environment, and health services for its people, it is depriving a whole generation of its right to prosperity and happiness. We have produced one firearm for every ten inhabitants of this planet, and yet we have not bothered to end hunger when such a feat is well within our reach. Our international regulations allow almost three-quarters of all global arms sales to pour into the developing world with no binding international guidelines whatsoever. Our regulations do not hold countries accountable for what is done with the weapons they sell, even when the probable use of such weapons is obvious."

Oscar Arias Sanchez President of Costa Rica awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for his efforts to end civil wars across Central America in an intervew with the Harvard International Review, 2008


                    2000↓    2001↓    2002↓      2003↓     2004↓     2005↓   2006↓    2007↓       2008↓     2009

US              7220       5694       5091       5596       6750       6600     7394       7658       6090       6795

 Russia        3985       6011       5773       5202       6260        5321      6156      5243       6026      4469

Germany    1603       821         892         1697       1067       1875      2510       3002       2499       2473

France        1055       1270       1308       1288       2194       1633      1577       2342       1831      1851

UK              1484       1257         915         617        1180        915         808         987         1027    1024

Spain          46             7          120         156         56           108         757         565         603         925

China          272         496         515         632         282         306         599         412         544        870

Israel          354         360         414         358         612         315         282         379         271        760

Netherlands   280         203         243         342         208         583       1221      1322          554       608

Italy             189         217         400         312         214         743         525         706         424        588

Sweden        46        830         185         515         305         537         417          367          457       353

Switzerland  176         193         157         174         250         267         306         324          467         270

Ukraine      288          661         244         430         202         281         557         799         269         214

Canada      110         129         170         255         268         235         231       343         236          177

South Korea 8           165         N/A        104         29           48           94       228            80          163

This from wikipedia: The unit in this table are so-called trend indicator values expressed in millions of US dollars at 1990s prices. These values do not represent real financial flows but are a crude instrument to estimate volumes of arms transfers, regardless of the contracted prices, which can be as low as zero in the case of military aid. Ordered by descending 2000-2009 values. The information is from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

March 24th, 2011 • Posted in Nigel Beale Bookstore Photos

Bookstore Photo of the Week


Books do Furnish a Room, Durham, NC

Show me a bookstore, and I’ll tell you the book I bought from it. In this case, a history of Webster’s Dictionaries.

March 24th, 2011 • Posted in Authors and Books

Julian Assange on Safe Havens, WikiLeaks, the U.S., and India Cables

Part 2

Part 3

Secrecy and who’s to say when its use is, or isn’t, legitimate.

March 24th, 2011 • Posted in Authors and Books

Elizabeth Taylor R.I.P.

Liz Taylor

March 23rd, 2011 • Posted in Authors and Books

Treasures found in Publishers’ Histories

One of the great pleasures of reading publishers’ biographies, memoirs and histories is found in the collecting intelligence they yield.

For instance, I’ve just finished The Fortunes of Mitchell Kennerley by Matthew J. Bruccoli (you can get copy from Oak Knoll for $5.00). In it we learn that Kennerley Old Style type was designed by Frederic Goudy in 1911 in response to dissatisfaction with the ‘openness’ of  Caslon type used on sample pages printed for the limited edition of H.G. Well’s The Door in the Wall and Other Stories.

As Kennerley put it " He wanted an appearance in the whole page of more solidity and compactness, but he wanted to secure it without putting any more color in the individual letters than was already in the Caslon shown in the specimens…Mr. Goudy knew of no type that seemed to possess exactly this character – those available were either too formal or refined or too free and undignified for use in a book of this sort."

Kennerley Old Style type was soon acclaimed as one of the great original faces produced in America. As B.H Newdigate put it in 1915: "" Since the first Caslon began casting type about the year 1724, no such excellent type has been put within the reach of English printers."

Bruccoli continues: "As with many of the events in Kennerley’s career, it is impossible to be dogmatic about when Kennerely Old Style was actually first used in a book. The Door in the Wall is usually credited with this distiniction, but it seems clear that Kennerley type was used to print 1911 books that appeared before the Wells volume. Kennerley stated that the first use of the type was in the four page prospectus printed for The Door in the Wall."

But then, in a footnote: "There is a strong probability that Heinrich Heine was in fact the first book published by Mitchell Kennerley from Kennerley Old Style and Forum types…The Monahan volume was copyrighted on 3 November 1911; the Wells on 11 December 1911.

No one knows or cares much about the Heine book, hence, you can pick it up for under $50.

Similarly, William Watson’s Lachrymae Musarum (London: Macmillan, 1892) can be had for nothing, despite Kennerley regarding it "as one of the most perfect pieces of bookmaking of the 19th Century", one upon which he modeled perhaps his most famous book, Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Renascence.

This – knowledge of undervalued treasures – is why I love collecting and reading publishers’ histories, and why I have decided to conduct a series of Biblio File Interviews with experts in the field.