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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Buying books in January


G.F. Warfield, a Hartford, Connecticut bookseller, issued the little sales booklet above in January 1923. After several full-page ads for various books, there is a message to January book buyers:
January--a time when winds blow and snows come deep, when open fires feel cozy and an easy chair spells comfort. A "stay-at-home" month, when, with a good book as companion, one travels the fireside reading route without stirring from the home circle. 
Are you one of the lucky ones who has discovered its charms? If not, take a tip from your trusted friend, the bookseller, and engage passage at once on a literary cruise that takes you the land of books. There are varied routes and a choice as to tickets, but all lead to a winter of real content and enjoyment.

G.F. Warfield was in business between 1910 and 1929, but his tenure with the bookstore was only one of many booksellers who preceded and followed him. About two years ago, writing about Witkower's in Hartford, I uncovered the succession of booksellers and their various names at this establishment, which began in 1835 and ended in 1993. Among the many patrons through the doors, Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain were known to have shopped there.

Some of the books one could purchased for that "literary cruise along the fireside reading route" were depicted in the following pages:









The forecast in Austin, Texas this coming weekend does not call for snow, so readers and collectors should have no problem getting to the 2012 Austin Book, Paper & Photo Show, sponsored by the Texas Booksellers Association and Heritage Auctions. Whether you get your books from your local bookseller, a book fair, or the Internet, enjoy your January reading!



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