Two unrelated buyers came in today looking for horse books. Their selections decimated that section a bit so time to dig for some more...so to speak. We now have a brand new WESTERNS section. Two shelves of titles from Edward Abbey to Zane Grey to Louis L'Amour. You will find it all the way downstairs just as you turn to the right and enter the main basement room at the bottom of the stairs. Across from the the Horse, Dog and Cat section!
Eugene Povirk, my business partner and the store's co-owner, is still out healing from a broken leg and knee AND having chemotherapy for bone cancer once a week in Boston at Mass General. Some ups and downs, but at present he is looking forward to a knee operation, possibly in the next 4-8 weeks! Steve O'Halloran, a fellow bookseller from Greenfield is working his hours and restocking his shelves so we are in good hands here. We miss Eugene and may he make a speedy recovery! Only positive thoughts here.
Tony Di Terlizzi ( author/illus of SPIDER AND THE FLY and the SPIDERWICK series) lives in the valley here and stopped in yesterday to check out what was new in our Children's and Illustrated sections. You can often know a talented illustrator by the books that they buy. Often this includes those by innovative and award winning talent (ie Lane Smith) and classic writers and illustrators. In Tony's case, he purchased a beautiful early Arthur Rackham illustrated book with 34 tipped-in color plates and several nice Maurice Sendak titles in dust jackets. We talked about where the book world is going (who knows?) and I related this following "Meeting a famous book person" story:
For many years I sold my "better" books at the Greenwich Village Book Fair in New York City. As my specialty has been children's and illustrated books for many years, I always had many of those on hand. Arthur Rackham, Jessie Willcox Smith, Walter Crane and others of that ilk. Also some beautifully illustrated and hand-colored early (19th century) German juveniles which are slow sellers but ones that I personally love.
At some point during the show I realized that this tall, bald gentleman was piling up many of these illustrated titles. He had a very tan, bald head, a long cloth side bag and somewhat grimy but comfy cotton clothing (I used to be in the cotton clothes business.) He asked if I would hold them aside while he went back to his apartment to check and see what he already had. Sure, I said. Why not. There was something familiar about him so I thought maybe we had done some business before.
The short version of this tale is that he was Shel Silverstein. Familiar to me, as he looked just like the photos on the end flaps of his books (THE GIVING TREE, THE END OF THE SIDEWALK etc). Someone I really admire(d) and think his adult "cartoon" book DIFFERENT DANCES has a biting genius to it.
Not until he came back a few hours later, bought the books he had had me hold and was writing a check, did I see who he was. Before then we had a great conversation about the magic of Martha's Vineyard that was beginning to fade for him because of the increasing onslaught of people each year. I was recommending Monhegan Island (Maine) one of my favorite get-away places at the time. I thought of framing the check, but the $500 he spent was worth cashing! Leonard Baskin, another book store regular, years ago once told me that a fair number of his checks were never cashed, likely for that same reason.
Okay, enough name dropping. But what a rich and varied world is that of the used and antiquarian book store proprietor!
More about it later, but if you like the old post cards, hold the date, April 14th, Saturday 9-3pm. The Greenfield Post Card Show returns to the church on Silver Street.
Here it is 3 hours later and I am finally finishing up this Blog entry. A good number of people have been coming through and buying. Yes! The $1 garage is open and a couple of dozen books have sailed out of there. Some other interesting items sold were a small box of 3-D glasses (from the mezzanine area) and an unopened box of the game Trivial Pursuit Genus 5 that was in a box of donated books!
I have also bought 2 boxes of hunting, fishing and gun related books and shelved a good number of books on religion, Hebrew language and science purchased earlier this week. A good Friday in the used book trade!
Now closing with a CD entitled Music of the Kennedy White House. Quite a mixed bag! Camelot to Pablo Casals to West Side Story!
Happy booking and hope to see you in real time some time soon.