Category Archives: Book collecting

On the Delights of Obsession

One thing most booksellers learn early on is that specificity sells. It may not sell quickly, but when you have something that’s so detailed and esoteric that ninety-nine percent of the population couldn’t care less, that remaining one percent will … Continue reading

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On guessing the value of books

Nothing warms a bookseller’s heart more than picking a book out of the “maybe” pile thinking it is only worth a few dollars and then finding that it’s actually worth ten times as much. I find that this happens to … Continue reading

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On ruining a perfectly good book

Bad things happen to good books. See my post on Spine perished – a summer project, for example. Granted, “spine perished” is an extreme case. More commonly, a book will get dropped, or get wet, or the jacket will be torn … Continue reading

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Spine perished, a summer project

One of the most popular pages on my website is the one that describes remainder marks, although almost all the pages in my Illustrated Collecting Terms section get a lot of hits. Book buyers do care. They understand, at least after their first … Continue reading

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Old barns and old books

When I was five years old, my family lived in a small town in Wisconsin. It was the kind of place where everybody knew each other, and kids could roam from dawn to dusk in the summertime without fear of … Continue reading

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Christmas tales

If you have a blog about books, and if it’s the yuletide season, you’re pretty much obligated to write at least one post about a Christmas-related book. There have been some dandies. The Night Before Christmas, first published in 1823 … Continue reading

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Trust but verify: or, bibliographies are your friends, up to a point

The package in question contained a three volume set of Howard Louis Conard’s *History of Milwaukee County from its earliest settlement to the year 1895.* Continue reading

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Milwaukee history – a brief and somewhat disorganized bibliography

Milwaukee history books published in the first century of the city’s existence, with links to on-line download versions where available. Continue reading

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Milwaukee history – the first book

The Chronicles of Milwaukee, 1861. The first history devoted exclusively to the city of Milwaukee. Continue reading

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The books under the bed

These were books bought before I got snobbish about owning hard covers, let alone first editions. Continue reading

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