Tag Archives | biblio


I was trying to explain this to a friend of mine..perhaps it is a personal opinion, perhaps it is something a lot of people think but haven’t attached a name to, but there are some books in some editions which feel inexplicably good to the touch.

Just a quick image of one part of one shelf in my room with well worn copies i would never replace with other editions, nevermind an Ebook version. There is something about a well worn paperback that feels good between the fingers. There are even some hardcover editions that just ‘feel right’ come on…shouldn’t beowulf or basically anything written in a dead language only be read in a blue cloth hardback from Oxford U?

Of my favorite books I have many copies..even if i go out of my way to buy a first edition, that may not be my FAVORITE edition of said book. Das Boot by Bucheim i have many copies and editions..but for some reason my favorite is the well worn paperback with the curved spine. I can’t say that the above Avon paperback of Dracula is my favorite edition of that book, even though it has marvelous biblio-umami, my favorite copy to revisit is the Modern library copy with the green face dust jacket. My favorite copy of Moby Dick is not the fat Random House Rockwell Kent that i have on the shelf..but the little bitty Oxford Classic edition that i rebound in blue cloth – add a little gilt lettering and it could be mistaken for a bible.

There are definitely some editions that are nicer to hold than others. Ebooks on any device may be nice to read on the go, such as newsmedia, text books, reference books etc..but they will never replace the tactile experience of reading.

Dust n stuff

I spent the last couple of days helping a friend break down his workshop…thirty basement years of stuff…book binding tools and materials, letterpress materials, cameras, enlargers, artist tools. Dross up the wazoo.

The letterpress stuff is going to the museum of printing in north Andover. The binding stuff I will split with a friend…. That still leaves a lot of stuff to give away.

I do have to resist the urge to merely sort it and store it….. Cause I can easily see myself with a basement just like his in a few years.

why is it when you pay all your bills, you get this self righteous feeling and immediately go out and buy something frivolous? i just bought 100 bucks worth of underwear and socks.

see? I am planning to throw all my old ones OUT when they get here.
btw when buying socks, always buy a large quantity all the same.
That way you can ALWAYS make a pair.

damn my space key is sticking……

and i just ordered some cheese from the wallace and Gromit official cheesemongers.

David Maisel’s Library of Dust.
is worth a looksee

more on post cards – from Sam Coulbourn

From: Samuel W. Coulbourn
Subject: More on postcards

I enjoyed Jerry Blaz’ piece on postcards. I collect (and sell) postcards, as well as journals, autograph books, memo books, and scrapbooks, each with some small story that gives clues to America’s rich history. Not the “big” history but the little stuff — like a young woman in 1928 writing the whole journal of her trip to Europe on the back of 22 post cards.

Or Elsie, in 1911, writing on a card with a picture of the Battleship Alabama, to poor Davidson, who is about to go to jail. She’s equally concerned about whether her suitcase got scratched up. But she’ll pray for him anyway.

Or there’s a card from Blanche to Flora on a card with a picture of a young man sneaking a look at young girl’s legs, with caption: “Veal is meat but calves aren’t.” Writes Blanche, the humorist, to Flora: “Do you have any good veal like this down your way. Received your card thanks.”

Leila writes Aunt Jenny from Revere Beach, Mass. in 1907 on a card showing fully-clothed people spread out on the beach at Revere, with entertainment pavilions in background. “We will leave Thursday…coming by trolley to your home. Leila.”

Ruth Bradford’s Post Card Travelogue, 1928: Boston girl is on the “grand tour” of Europe, and sends home this detailed, colorful report of her adventures, carefully described on the backs of 22 post cards. She watches the fireworks for Bastille Day at Biarritz and warns her friend Lucia to stay clear of Nice. She tells about the violent hailstorm as her group drives through the Pyrenees. Luncheon in Quimper, visit to the potteries.

Elsie Writes to Davidson, 1911, from Brooks, Iowa. “I am praying for you as you go to jail… I was in Omaha last week… Did my suit-case get scratched up?. Meeting (Prayer) starts here today….”Revere Beach, MA 1907

J.C. writes to “Miss Lizzie” in Everett, Mass. in 1908: “This is me, stirring the sugar…”

Best wishes,

Sam Coulbourn
Rockport, MA

New feature – curious finds

Hawaiian Post card album – found this at the salvation army today….I was there picking out my new spring wardrobe. Instead I ended up with 2 throw pillows a desk lamp, the album and the monkey.

It’s about 9½”x7″ and has 10 leaves, room for 20 postcards or photos. The most curious thing is board covering: the green part are large leaves, and the beige part is covered with something that looks like corn husks. the buttons, twine, etc . . . are all natural fibres. I am surprised at the condition, though it wouldn’t take too much to cause a problem with the front hinge. I am wondering, if I should add moisture, like steam or add oil, like a leather treatment, or is my best bet to polybag it and hope for the best? I am guessing it is late 60s to late 70s, but i am not up on my Hawaiianania.

Well so much for my guesses…appparently this is not an uncommon item, as they are still cranking them out in Indonesia. but i still think it’s wicked cool.

Kansas is tasering students?


ever wonder?

one potato •
they are choosing up sides in the UK over HMV’s acquistion of Ottakar’s, since they already have Waterstones, some people think it’s a little greedy.

essays • nice longfrom Ready Steady Book literary blog.

edit • ever wonder how all those books got in to project Gutenberg’s database? well you can volunteer to be a proofreader for digitized public domain works.

did you know there is a for plagarism automagically? just in case you were wondering: any phrases you find on the Bullpen that are not in quotes and attributed are guaranteed to be my own. I may lift an image here and there for illustrative purposes, but I try to skate the edges of ‘fair use’

blog note • Excellent blog devoted to Japanese fiction in translation, particularly mystery, sci fi and horror – from Rebekah Bartlett

bank toaster • don’t forget to sign up for Knopf’s April Poem A Day mailer.

WOD – headband

headband n. A functional and/or ornamental decorative strip of silk or woven threads attached to the top and bottom of a book’s spine to fill the gap normally found there. It does provide extra strength to the top of the spine when the book is unshelved by pulling on the head.

school of thought

super shopping • Shakespeare’s legendary first folio is to be sold and may fetch up to £3.5m. Although 750 copies were printed only a third survive and most of those are incomplete. Even the complete ones have bits missing or are in replacement binding. The only comparable edition to appear at auction is an edition known as the Houghton copy sold in 1980 and now in Tokyo.

obit worth reading • Irish author John McGahern in Dublin at the age of 71.

talking heads • a nifty Alice Hoffman interview in MO’s Herald Online.

hot item • The new set of limited edition reprints of the Book of Mormon is now available.

red hot item • New Battlestar Galactica comic book series to start in May. If you haven’t seen the new TV series you have been missing out on some great story telling.

banktoaster • Middlebury College has their digital image archive available online. Check it out, there are some images from their past Bread Loaf Conferences, manuscripts from Longfellow, Whitman, Thoreau, Bierce, Alcott, including some nice Vermont postcards.

hey mikey • Michael Palin’s ‘Himalaya’ added to geography curriculum in English schools

almost naughty • once upon a time there was a comic book….THE comic book to end all comic books: Transmetropolitan, A little dose of HST, a large serving of distopian vision, wit and wisdom from the twisted mind of Warren Ellis. But 60 issues later it was gone, lucky for you, some blogger has loaded issue #8 “Another Cold Morning” onto the net,even better Warren Ellis isn’t upset, he is encouraging people to read it. I say read it, there is more where that came from.

Adult fare • On the spur of the moment, I grabbed the box set Dick Cavett Show : Comedy Legends off the shelf at the video store. For those of you who are experiencing this neo-Vietnam era for the 1st time around, you may never have seen television for grown-ups, but it did exist and is now enshrined on the same media format that you can find Dukes of Hazzard and Survivor. The closest we have to Cavett presently would be Charlie Rose and James Lipton. Intelligent conversations between people who aren’t just famous for being famous. Cavett has topped off these ‘best-of’ sets with some new introductions, and tossed in some clips of his precendent morning show. I was dumbfounded when he spent 10 minutes of one episode, reading letters from viewers of the Joan Baez /Alan Ginsberg program, which unfortunately is not on this set or the Dick Cavett Show: Rock Icons box set. The letters were both pro and con, irate and complimentary, it was truly fair and balanced programming. Anyways, it wasn’t book oriented but I just thought I’d share. BTW the Shout Factory also has a box of Jack Parr Shows which is now on my wish list. 8) Damn, I love DVD techology!

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