Showing posts from December, 2010

A new Web site for bookseller labels

Gabe Konrad, of Bay Leaf Books in Sand Lake, Michigan, has informed me of a new Web site he's launched devoted to bookseller labels. He writes, "I wanted a place where I could post interesting label news and keep a current list of links." Have a look at and see if you agree with me that he's off to a fine start. I'll certainly be checking in regularly to see what's new. He has some great examples and helpful information on this diminutive paper collectible. From time to time, I feature a few bookseller labels on this blog--those tiny, stamp-sized stickers that advertise a bookseller's business. You usually find them in older books affixed to a lower corner of either the front or rear endpaper. Some examples from my small collection are shown below. Here's a few other collections that I've referenced before, which you'll also find on Konrad's site: Seven Roads Gallery of Book Trade Labels and the massive collectio

Posts of Christmas Past

This blog has only been around a few years, so there's not many posts here related to Christmas. Below are three that seemed appropriate for past Christmases and for reposting today on Christmas Day. To all who follow, subscribe, or otherwise stumble across this blog and also celebrate Christmas... Merry Christmas! Christmas books from Amarillo, Texas The Christmas Cove Library Dutton's Books for Children: A Christmas handbill circa 1900

African bookseller on the Niger River

Here's an interesting picture of an African bookseller who is in danger of losing his business. The economy has nothing to do with it. Progress is about to do him in. The year is 1961 and the reverse side of this Associated Press wire photo (below) indicates that this bookseller keeps shop on a ferry that transports passengers across the Niger River (country not named). In the near future, within the next five years, a bridge will be built across the river in the location where this ferry boat runs. Modern times and technology, circa 1965, will eliminate the need for water transport of people. No ferry, no book shop for this enterprising young man. His books appear to be used and antiquarian in nature, with perhaps a few newer titles in the mix. The titles that are legible are in English (and the newer looking books). A dictionary, a book about manners, and one about the dangers of drinking and smoking. With the much older looking books on the table, the stock certainly appears ec

Haunted Holmes Book Company in Oakland

Does this look like a haunted building? The Holmes Book Company was located here at 274 Fourteenth Street in 1931 according to the postmark date on the postal cover below. And according to some, a ghost roamed the stacks mischievously throwing books and making some of the patrons feel uneasy. An article on haunted Oakland touches on this phenomenon. You can search the Internet, using the keywords Holmes Book Company ghost , and find the same or similar references to the spooky goings on in the old book shop building. Holmes was Harold C. Holmes, who lived from 1877-1965. A brief biography of Holmes is found at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, where his papers are archived. He was born in Toronto, Canada, but his family moved to the San Francisco Bay Area when he was about five years of age. There, his father started the Holmes Book Company, which had several antiquarian book shops in San Francisco and Oakland and offered the opportunity for Harold Holmes to enter the busine