The booklover is distinguished from the reader as such by loving his books, and from the collector as such by reading them.
H. L. Koopman
The Booklover And His Books
My wife and I spent three weeks this month visiting relatives in New York. And we got some book-buying time in for me, and some antique-buying time in for her. We took the western route up from Florida so I could visit what is touted as the smallest antiquarian book shop in Pennsylvania: Brendan D. Strasser's Saucony Book Shop in Kutztown, a town that had several antique stores as well.
The Saucony Book Shop:
Only a fraction of Brendan Strasser's stock is located in his book shop. And he utilizes every inch of it. I browsed his stock online before leaving Florida, and he set three books aside for me. We talked about books while I was browsing his shop—I miss that when I browse books online—and I found two more books to my liking in his shop.
The Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection : A Catalog of the Gifts of Lessing J. Rosenwald to the Library of Congress, 1943 to 1975, Washington: Library of Congress, 1977
I have the catalogues of several prominent book collectors in my library. And I enjoy seeing which books they acquired for their libraries. Now I've added Rosenwald and his collection of books from the fifteenth through eighteenth centuries to the fold. To the right is one of the thirteen illustrations from books and manuscripts in the Rosenwald Collection.
Horace Walpole: a Memoir: With an Appendix of Books Printed at the Strawberry Hill Press by Austin Dobson, London: Osgood, McIlvaine and Co. 1890
No. 182 of 425 copies printed by Theodore DeVinne. I bought this primarily for my Austin Dobson collection. But I have a set of Walpole's Letters and thought I should have his memoir too. The appendix of Strawberry Hill Press books is icing on the cake.
Dreamers of Dreams: The Rise and Fall of 19th Century Idealism by Holbrook Jackson, London: Faber and Faber, 1948.
Holbrook Jackson examines the lives and writings of six nineteenth century writers: Thomas Carlyle, John Ruskin, William Morris, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman. From the bibliographical library of William P. Wreden, with editorial corrections and marked paragraphs in his hand.
The Making of an American's Library by Arthur Elmore Bostwick, Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1915
Bought because the chapter titles sound as interesting as the book title: Books as Room-Mates, The Art of Browsing, A Literary Laboratory, the Boy and the Book, and Recuperative Bibliophily.
The Booklover And His Books by H. L. Koopman, Boston: Boston Book company, 1917.
A word about Koopman's quotation, which I borrowed to open this blog post: I am always a booklover, most times a reader, but sometimes just a collector. In short, I don't read everything I collect.
Brendan has an extensive selection of books about books. And The Booklover And His Books by Harry Lyman Koopman (1860-1937), the librarian at Brown University for thirty-seven years, will appeal to those who love "The Book Beautiful."
We then visited my friend Terry Seymour who lives nearby in Center Valley. Terry gave me a tour of his books, interspersed with lots of book talk. And then we took our wives out to dinner. The next day my wife and I crossed over the Tappan Zee Bridge and on to my sister-in-law Annie's house in West Harrison, N.Y. We visited Hobart Book Village the next week, where I bought even more books.
Hobart Book Village:
We arrived at Hobart around noon on Tuesday, June 9th, and had lunch at The Coffee Pot, located right on Main Street near the bookstores—I recommend the corned beef sandwiches! The girls (my wife Linda and my sister-in-law Annie) took off to look for antiques at Second Wind Furniture. I walked over to Adams' Antiquarian Book Shop, and a little while later it started pouring. I left my umbrella in the van—six percent chance of rain for Hobart—but Bill Adams lent me an umbrella so I could visit the other bookstores as well. I had the town to myself. In fact, three of the bookstores were closed. But Bill Adams granted me access to all the bookstores. And I browsed the stock of four of them. All told I bought six books in Hobart Village.
Adams' Antiquarian Book Shop had perhaps the best stock—and I didn't even go up to the third floor where the high-end collectible books were. Adams' had an extensive section of books on New York, but not the set I was looking for: Leslie's History of the Greater New York by Danial Van Pelt, published in three volumes in New York by Arkell Publishing Company in 1898.
1919 Complete Automobile Rate Pamphlet: Rates for Liability, Property Damage and Collison Insurance by the National Workmen's Compensation Bureau, New York, 1919
Collision rates were based on the list price of the vehicles. Depending on the body type, the 1919 Model T Ford was listed from $475 to $775. Add $75 if the car was factory-equipped with a self-starter, and $25 if it had demountable rims.
Also from Butternut Valley Books:
Wild Flowers From Palestine by Harvey B. Greene, Lowell, Ma. c1898
Pressed flowers from Palestine are pasted to the pages of this book. I already had one of the author's other books: Wild Flowers From the Bay State.
Fear God and Take Your Own Part by Theodore Roosevelt, New York: George H. Doran Co. 1916
This book is dedicated to Julia Ward Howe, whom I've mentioned in two recent blog posts. And the Battle Hymn of the Republic is reprinted in the dedication. The book itself is a series of articles —a call to arms, of sorts— most of which were previously published in contemporary periodicals.
Inserted in the book was a newspaper article about the death of Kermit Roosevelt. I have a book formerly owned by Kermit Roosevelt, and wrote about it in a 2013 blog post. I was curious to see if the newspaper article mentioned Kermit's suicide by gun—it didn't.
Found later in the book was this curious sheet of pencilled portraits labeled Father, Sir T. Fairfax, French Commander, Dinwaddie(?), and Braddock. Fannie C. Cartwright, a former owner, appears to be the person who drew these portraits. The watermark on the paper itself (Irish Linen [Bond?] dates the paper to around 1920. I have no idea concerning the significance of these drawings.
Eighteenth Century Essays by Austin Dobson, New York: Appleton & Co., 1882.
I have a later edition of this work, but wanted to upgrade to vellum, which I shall clean later. This is the thirty-fifth book in my Austin Dobson Collection, and I just may do a blog post on my Dobson books at a later date.
I found two books at Adams Antiquarian Book Shop as well, both for my Philology Collection.
The Only Sure Guide to the English Tongue, Or, New Pronouncing Spelling Book: Upon the Same Plan as the Royal Standard English Dictionary ... to Which is Added an Appendix Containing Several Very Useful Lists of Words Properly Accented, Which Had Been Omitted in the Last Three Editions by William Perry, Chief Lecturer, Edinburgh University, published in Northampton,
Love the wooden boards! Label on front cover reads Presented by Mrs. Albert E. Loomis
Essays on English by Brander Matthews, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1921
This is the second signed book by Matthews that I have in my library. And he used the same words both times: Insist on the Signature.
I took a quick look in Mysteries and More for a book I wanted to buy for my brother-in-law; but I couldn't remember the name of the author—it was Stuart Woods (I ordered the book online later that week). I bypassed Liberty Books because I saw the girls were already waiting in the van. Although the girls were impressed with the quality and the pricing of the antiques in Second Wind Furniture, they were done browsing in thirty minutes, and waited for me in the car for an hour and a half. Note to self: Go to Hobart alone next time.
Hobart Book Village was the third book town I have visited, and I enjoyed visiting all three of them: Hay-on-Wye in 1988; Archer City in 2011; and now Hobart Book Village in 2015. I regard this as a feat of sorts. Baseball has its triple play. Hockey has its hat trick. And horse racing has its trifecta. The sport of book collecting should have its own term for the feat accompli of visiting three book towns. How about biblio-triplicity?
Coxsackie Antique Center:
We visited my sister-in-law Esther in Coxsackie, New York the following week, and she brought us to the Coxsackie Antique Center. There is a growing number of booksellers nationwide who rent space in local antique stores. And there were several booksellers who rented booths in this antique center. And the prices were extremely reasonable. I did rather well here in Coxsackie. To start with, my wife found an oak book stand for me:
And I found a few books, the most interesting of which was a book about Teddy Roosevelt:
The Roosevelt That I Know: Ten Years of Boxing With the President—And Other Memories of Famous Fighting Men by Mike Donovan, New York: B.W. Dodge & Company, 1909.
Note to self: spine cloth split; find matching cloth and repair it.
Presentation label pasted on ffep reads
This Book Presented to
Helen B. Hardwick
West Point, New York
Colonel William A. Dawkins
National Chief of Staff
United Spanish War Veterans
Helen B. Hardwick, in turn, gave this copy of the book to the West Point Library in 1942. The date of acquisition, 6/24/42, is written in pencil in the gutter of the Preface page. The date of deaccession, 11/94, is written in pencil on the copyright page, next to the letters WD (withdrawn).
Colonel William A. Dawkins was a commander of a regiment from Brooklyn during the Spanish American War. I have yet to find any other connection between him and Teddy Roosevelt. But I'm still researching!
And I'm still researching Miss Helen B. Hardwick.
Inventory of the Library of William Nelson Jr. of Yorktown, Virginia Issued by the Botetourt Bibliographical Society, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, 1972.
A catalogue of some of the books in the private library of William Nelson Jr. (1763-1803).
I acquired a couple of inexpensive books for my NYC Collection, which I will mention in my NYC blog post later this year. And then there's this book I bought because I thought it was about trolleys in the suburb of Queens, which is where I grew up.
But had I taken a second look at the front cover, I would have noticed that the book was about trolleys in Kirkwood, the "Queen of St. Louis Suburbs."
And that would have been the end of my book-buying binge for June. But we had one more stop to make on the way home:
The Factory Antique Mall:
My wife regards this place as Antique Heaven. And it will be a stopping place on all future trips north. We spent an hour and a half at the Factory Antique Mall, and saw less than half of the over 100,000 feet of antiques. I bought five more books. And my wife bought over $250 worth of antiques! There were several booths that had books and at least two booths that had nothing but books, one of which had several thousand books, and in all different genres.
The Book-Peddling Parson: an Account of the Life and Works of Mason Locke Weems: Patriot, Pitchman, author And Purveyor of Morality to the Citizenry of the United States of America by Lewis Leary, Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books, 1984.
I had seen several books on the web about Weems, and buying this book was a no-brainer. I'm looking forward to reading it.
American Authors and Books: 1640 to the Present Day by W. J. Burke and Will D. Howe and augmented and revised by Irving Weiss, New York: Crown Publishers, 1962 (First published in 1943 by Grammercy Publishing Company).
I buy some books for their contents. But I bought this book because Will D. Howe was one of the authors. Will D. Howe was one of the publishers of the elusive 1920 first trade edition of William Strunk's book, The Elements of Style. Howe left the firm of Harcourt, Brace, and Howe shortly after Strunk's book was published.
I added two more inexpensive books to my Philology collection
A Parser and Analyzer For Beginners with Diagrams and Suggestive Pictures by Francis A. March, New York: Harper and Brothers, 1875
The Practical Speller and Definer by B. K. Benson and F. A. Glenn, Boston: D. C. Heath, 1897
I had to smile when I noticed the fifth and last book I found at the Factory Antique Mall:
The Lilly Laboratories by Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, circa 1942 (published without a title page).
I have a few books about J. K. Lilly and the Lilly Library in my own library. And now I have a picture of the first Lilly Library—the one located in the Eli Lilly Research Building.
I made one more binge purchase, a set of books that I bought online before leaving New York:
Leslie's History of the Greater New York by Daniel Van Pelt, New York: Arkham Publishing Company, 1898.
The text blocks are completely intact. And I will retain the endpapers and the marbled paper on the boards. Note to self: Smile when you reback these books!
Another wonderful post, Jerry! As another fan of books about books and book collectors, this is by far one of my favorites. I've added a couple books to my ever-growing wishlist thanks to your recent purchases. =)
So cool that you've been to Hay-on-Wye! It's been on my "Book Bucket List" for a while now. Looks like I'll have to add Archer City and Hobart to try and claim that biblio-triplicity title.
I also found it interesting that you picked up that Automobile Rate book from the National Workmens Compensation Bureau. I used to be an analyst for the National Council on Compensation Insurance here in Boca Raton and dealt with rules and rates on a regular basis.
Thanks again for taking the time to share your adventures. I always enjoy reading about them. =)
Oh and on a side note, I hope you decide to go ahead and write that blog post about Austin Dobson sometime in the future. I'm interested to see what he was all about...
Sounds like you had a wonderful bookman's holiday, Jerry. Can't wait to hear all about it when I see you.
Thank you for a most enjoyable blog posting.
Thank you Becky, Carl, and Lew for your kind comments.
Thank you Fred Rickey for providing information about the page of portraits inserted in Roosevelt's book. The names on the portraits pertain to historical figures around the time of the French & Indian War—although I don't think the portraits look anything like the named individuals.
Thank you John Chalmers for providing bibliographical data correcting the place of publication for __The Only Sure Guide to the English Tongue__. The book was published in Northampton, Ma.—not Northampton, Scotland.
And thank you all ye booksellers who made this blog post possible.
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