Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair November 4, 2016

img_1624   Here are my purchases from the Seattle Book Fair back in early October.  Busy times – I have just unpacked the bag containing my purchases.  I loved the Fair – and would have liked to repeat the experience in Boston this past weekend when we were on the East Coast.  Can’t have too much of a good thing – but maybe not enough money or room in my suitcase!  There are so many books out there I want to read and/or collect.


Shopping For Books February 22, 2016

Filed under: Book buying and selling,Book stores,Genealogy — Janet @ 7:37 pm

What could be easier – working on my genealogy, sitting at home, using the computer – I find a reference to a publication and decide to check on whether I can find it on Amazon.  Surprise.  It’s available and not too expensive.  I press a few more keys and the publication is on its way.




A Book Fair American Style October 10, 2011

Filed under: Book buying and selling,Book Fairs,Books — Janet @ 6:32 pm

  This is the flyer for the Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair, held as you can see last weekend.  This was our destination last Saturday.  Very similar to the Dublin City Book Fairs in which I used to participate except the Seattle one was much larger and more upmarket.  I never went over to London to attend the Antiquarian Book Fairs in Russell Square but I suspect they would be more comparable to this Seattle one in terms of the value of the items for sale.  The Seattle Fair had almost 100 exhibitors and they came from all over the U.S. and Canada and even a few from Europe.  We were browsers and lookers.  The items were out of our league as purchasers but it was interesting to say the least.  In searching the internet for items about book fairs in Ireland I found this link to an article in the Irish Times last August.

Knitting news:         a scarf for the oncoming winter season.


Armstrong Sperry Revisited June 24, 2011

In my previous blog entry I referred to Armstrong Sperry and gave a couple of references.  Now just to complete the picture,  here are a couple of entries I made some time ago  in my other blog Travels with Janet.

The Book Collector – this is the title of a chapter that I wrote back in the mid-1990′s when I was reflecting on events in my life.  Here are some excerpts from what I wrote at that time:

Browsing in the rather ramshackle book fair, casually perusing the miscellaneous assortment of books – beekeeping, history, political pamphlets, mountain climbing, fairy tales, “not much here,” she thought.  Armstrong Sperry – suddenly there as if by magic leaping up at her from the motley collection on the table.  There she was suddenly jolted back to her childhood – a favorite author from way back when.  What marvelous hours had been spent in the arms so to speak of Armstrong Sperry.  For he wrote spell-binding tales of adventure in the far away South Seas.  It was so unexpected to come across this book in Dublin -for upon reflection surely Armstrong Sperry was a New England American author writing for and about children of the East Coast of America.  Children for whom the South Pacific had a special allure.  An author writing in the 1930’s and 40’s for a childhood audience, inspired by the adventures of a way of life peculiar to a very small segment of New England society 100 years before.  The whalers setting out from the Massachusetts coastal town of New Bedford and the now romantic sparsely populated small islands of  Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard 30 miles at sea beyond the shores of Cape Cod.  These brave men pursuing a way of life which meant distancing themselves from their wives and children for long long voyages lasting years at a time.  Voyages around the world to the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean in pursuit of the leviathans of the deep – whales rich in oil needed to light the lamps in the tiny homes thousands and thousands of miles away.  The monstous struggle of men in tiny boats in pursuit of these semi-human mammals of the sea.  Oh how I loved Armstrong Sperry.  And the wood-cut illustrations in his books.

                 For sentimental reasons I was sorely tempted to purchase that copy of  All Sail Set,  published in 1935.  I loved this book – the lure of the clipper ships.  I did not succumb to nostalgia on that occasion (but a few years later I was visiting Nantucket and I saw it reissued in a new edition.  I decided to buy it, even though it was brand new and not the copy I had seen in Dublin..  The copy I had seen at the book fair in Dublin had been priced at £6 and had been given as a present to someone in 1937.  It was a first edition with wonderful black and white woodcut type illustrations.   Much more provenance to that one!)

The feel, the smell, the sense of marvelous anticipation of a new book – always a treasured present from an elderly aunt.  Auntie always chose a well recognised book – usually a Caldicott or a Newbury Award winner.  I remember the special gold label on the dustjacket.   Makeway for Ducklings was one I remember – a charming story of a duckling family who lived in the Public Gardens in Boston.  This book seems to be as popular today as it was over 50 years ago.  Then there was  Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses, another book which Auntie gave me at an early age.  She also gave me subscriptions to a children’s literary magazine called the Jack and Jill.  Babar the Elephant was another early favorite.

Paddle to the Sea was the book we all read in 3rd grade with Miss Sawyer.  It was a beautifully illustrated large book about a carved canoe which was carried through the Great Lakes eventually reaching the Atlantic Ocean.  I remember reading ahead and then getting tired of the slow pace of the class and wanting to move on to another book.

The Bobbsey Twins books were very popular when I was a child but I did not care for them – there was something too sweety sweety about them for my taste.  And then there were the books which  I shared with my sisters – the Nancy Drew mystery stories which were passed on to me by my sister Nancy almost 10 years my senior.  And we shared the terror and suspense of those stories so vividly – I think those are still going strong today.  And the Hardy Boys.

As I grew older I loved to read books about submarines.  There were a few in the house which my brother had had and then I was constantly perusing the shelves of the small library at the head of our road.  And there I found many reading treasures.  Commander Ellsberg.  And I read books about polar explorers.

Two Under the Indian Sun – the associations with this title – first discovered and read in Nairobi Kenya in the mid-1960’s, read and loved but not saved.  Rediscovered in a summer fete book stall in Dundrum in the 1980’s – reread and really loved since that was just after having returned from living in Banladesh for 5 years.  And discovered again in hardback at a book fair in 1995 – a nice dustjacket and complete with photographs

When I was little I spent a lot of time in the Benton Branch Library, either inside browsing the shelves or outside climbing the outer walls and peering in the windows, much to the consternation of the librarian Miss Cardigan, who was to beome  Mrs. Moran at the age of 50+.  It was at the Benton Branch library that my mother started working part-time after my father died.  She was not a trained librarian but she was soon urged to do some courses in library science at Simmons College.  She followed this advice and later became a full-time student to earn her master’s degree.

I also used to spend a lot of time at the Payson Hall Book and Gift Shop – I used to spend so much time browsing that the proprietors would urge me to leave – also not to bring my dog with me when I came to the shop – my dog used to wait impatiently outside and would barge her way into the shop at any opportunity.  Not only was this an interesting book shop where I used to buy Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy books, but they also had jigsaw puzzles for rent and also an adult lending library.  Despite being ejected numerous times from the shop, I was still fond of it.  It is highly probable that my sisters and brother also had purchased their children’s books from the shop – earlier Nancy Drews, Judy Bolton, the Hardy Boys and Tarzan of the Apes to name but a few which we had on our shelves at home.  Our bookshelves at home were a constant source of entertainment for me – rich treasure there.  In addition to conventional sized reading books we also had a very large collection of “big little books”.  How I would love to have that collection now – real antiques and collectibles!  My heart gives a lurch whenever I encounter one of these long gone items at an antique fair.  These books featurerd pictures and text.  Many many authors were published in this format – Walt Disney characters, Dick Tracey, Tarzan, etc.  Another item of printed matter which was devoured by each member of the family was the Sunday comics – how my father used to laugh over the antics of the Katzenjammer Kids.

Now in later life I find myself a member of a Book Discussion Group, a friendly association of 7-8 booklovers.  We take it in turn to choose the “book of the month” and to lead the discussion, and separately to host the meeting.  Although it sometimes means I read books I do not like and feel a waste of time, I still enjoy the discussions, and sometimes even though I have not necessarily enjoyed the book it has forced me to read a book I would not otherwise have chosen and I have ended up being the richer for that.


Reviewing some of my books April 10, 2011

Filed under: Book buying and selling,Books,Geography — Janet @ 8:33 pm

Just going along sorting through my books and pulling out more volumes to pass along to the Buzzard, or Ophelia’s Books, or Magus, or Mark at Fremont Market, or the Seattle Public Library Book Sale.  I’ve been doing well this past week and have managed to shift quite a few books, one way or another.  Still hardly a dent in the total.   Here’s a book I found this morning.  You can guess why I liked this dust jacket.  This particular edition was published in 1979.  But the stories it contains were originally published in the 1930’s.

And here are some of my books lined up in our hallway.  

  just a few of the 300+ books ready to go.

Another statistic – on my side bar you might note the number of flags representing countries which have visited my blog.  Next to the flag is the number of times visited by a reader from that particular country.   Visitors from 167 different countries have visited my blog.  Yet I’m told I have 230 flags – I don’t quite understand that discrepancy.   For a long time I had only been visited once by a reader from 9 individual countries.  I now see that that number has been reduced to 8.  I want to figure out which country has leapt to 2 or maybe higher?  And which are the countries from which I receive so little traffic?  I receive the most traffic from readers in the U.S., followed by Great Britain, and Canada.


Janet’s Books Relocating March 25, 2011

Filed under: Book buying and selling,Books — Janet @ 10:16 pm

  some of my readers may remember this little notice that I had at my “book table” at the Dublin City Book Fairs.  That was almost 2 years ago now.  Well, all the unsold book stock got packed and shipped to Seattle.  Over the past few months it has been unpacked, moved around the house, stored in the hallway, stored in the garage etc.  Now I think those books are going to be relocated again.  I have taken a few to a used bookstore in Greenwood, the Uncouth Buzzard.  The Uncouth Buzzard bought about 6000 books from Epilogue when it closed down on Market Street here in Ballard.   A sad day when Epilogue closed last August.  Correction, I now understand that the Uncouth Buzzard is now the Couth Buzzard.  A book store and espresso cafe – a cool place.

I was over in the University District earlier this week and I went to Magus, a good used bookstore there.  I was on the search for some old sheet music but as I was there leafing through piles of music, various customers were bringing used books in for assessment.  Cash or credit or rejection were the options.  I watched in amazement.  I thought maybe there’s an opportunity for me.  So I’m hoping to meet up with the Magus assessors on Tuesday when  I have lined up a chauffeur who can wait in the car outside while I ferry a few bags of books into the store.  My stock numbers about 300 books – I might try to take about 100.  All these books are well-loved, but it’s time to move them on, either for cash or credit.

Looking back I see that I wrote a rather similar post about a year ago on March 17 2010.

  some of my stock, on display at one of the Dublin City Book Fairs

another photo from the past