Tag Archives: collecting

Scavenging for books

I’ve heard of book scouting. Ever since reading John Dunning’s Booked To Die I have romantcized that I could amass enough book-knowledge to make a living squeezing every last undiscovered rare volume from local bookstores. But, I haven’t quit my day job yet… but this great article in the NY Times is one of the first times I’ve heard of book scavanging as a living.

I can’t imagine going through the trash here in Birmingham and finding enough discarded books of value to feed yourself. Which is about all the money the two guys featured in the article need, because they are homeless. What a quirky turn to the story. I’m not saying them being homeless is a good thing, I’m just saying that it made for an interesting news article.

It also tipped me off to Mitchell Duneier’s Sidewalk, which I had never heard of. But is now on my list, as the author uses these street salesmen to address the “Broken Windows” strategy/theory of cleaning up a neighborhood, which our new mayor has just begun to employ across Birmingham.

{via BookChase}

Stylin’ stamps

The USPS has long been cranking out stamps designed specifically for collectors. Now they are releasing some with a great eye for design. I have to agree with the Theorist that these Eames stamps are high on the want list!

But I have to say I also dig this short sheet of vintage black cinema posters. I like the typography and boldness of some of the colors.

We share no books

I have never read a book that Thomas Jefferson did. What a bummer! Not one! I was hoping for at least one, but alas, Jefferson read too many French books (or maybe I don’t read enough).

I know this thanks to 17 volunteers over at LibraryThing who cataloged all 4,889 books that Jefferson owned. VERY cool! They even entered all of the third President’s book reviews. The collection these folks spent four months cataloging is the own Jefferson donated to the US after the British destroyed the Library of Congress during the War of 1812. It’s a pretty cool catalog and author cloud to peruse to see what all Jefferson collected.

The libraries of Tupac Shakur and Mozart have already been completely entered.

Other famous folks are slated to ‘join’ LT, including  Ernest Hemingway, John Adams, William Faulkner, William Congreve, Adam Smith,  Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Marie Antoinette and Isabella Stewart Gardner.

I wonder what one book (outside of the Bible, they all seemed to own the Bible) all these people owned?

New Basbanes is out

Nick Basbanes’ latest ‘book about books’ is out today. It’s titled Editions & Impressions: My Twenty Years on the Book Beat and is a collection of essays written by Basbanes over the past 20 years. There is a hb trade edition available. But you can also get the Deluxe or Limited editions straight from the folks at Fine Books, if you have the cash!

According to the press, most of the articles here have been expanded upon and updated since they first ran. This one seems to have a pretty large global scope too. Could be a good one.