Today I indulged myself by cataloging some old science-fiction pulps of which we have a few. I am by no means a hardcore sci-fi fan (Dr. Who excluded), but old pulps never cease to capture my attention, particularly those with wonderfully outlandish covers. Today I worked through a run of Wonder Stories published by Hugo Gernsback, for whom the Hugo Award is named. While typically the biggest attraction would be the eye-popping covers by Frank R. Paul, what gave me pause was an original letter from superfan Jack Darrow dated 1931 that was laid in to a copy of the Wonder Stories in which it appeared in print. Read the rest of this entry »

I started teaching guitar when I was 17. This happened for a few reasons but not because I was stellar at my instrument. When you’re 17 and don’t want to work at McDonalds you do a lot to put gas in your car. This can be anything from mowing lawns, helping elderly relatives, or in my case teaching your Aunt’s hairdresser’s daughter guitar. Read the rest of this entry »

More exciting than Hulk Hogan v. Andre the Giant? Eh, maybe not. But I was recently reminded of one of the questions that came out of this past year’s annual Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar – what’s the difference between Advance Reading Copies and Advance Review Copies, and is it legal to sell them? Read the rest of this entry »

At BTC I’m sometimes guilty of being a bit too earnest: my patronymic first name is, after all, Ernest. This is a useful trait in the trade not unappreciated by Tom, but if it causes me to spend too much time cataloging an unworthy book, he rightly sees it as an enthusiasm to be discouraged, or, when not properly curbed, then punished. Thus Tom had me catalog this week a Souvenir program for a 1942 benefit performance on Broadway for the Tiny Tim Society, a Ladies Auxiliary of the House of Saint Giles the Cripple in Brooklyn. Read the rest of this entry »

The imagination is a wonderful thing and I’m a big believer in the less is more school of fiction, but this can border on the comedic when carried over to non-fiction. I recently found a book from the latter category while out scouting. It’s a manual of sexual positions called The Forty Eight Ways by Fuji Yamamoto that grabs your attention for all of the wrong reasons. Read the rest of this entry »

No, this is not American History X; no, I have not somehow turned against my principles, and no, my name is not Eva Braun. I am, however, currently in the company of Hitler, from the neck up at least (him that is). Now before you all start accusing this fine establishment of being white supremacists let me explain why I’m currently being stared at by a bust of one Adolf Hitler. Read the rest of this entry »

Dan GregoryWe have in our book database hundreds of literary “events” – author birth dates, publication dates of books, and the like. You can view them, one week at a time, on our website (the bottom right corner of the home page shows “This Week in Literary History”). Because this table of literary events was compiled over the course of many years, not all the information in it is consistent. So from time to time, as a diversion, I update or correct the entries. This week happens to be a big week for Jane Austen buffs: she was born on December 16, 1775, and one of her classic novels, Emma, was published on December 15, 1815. The existing entries were okay, but I wanted to add to them. Read the rest of this entry »

First of all, I feel like a fraud writing this short blog. Young Ashley Wildes suggested the theme of writing blogs about one or another of the weird and random objects that one stumbles across in the vast storage areas here in our 15,000 square foot school building. Read the rest of this entry »

“Nothing happens!” my mother cries whenever I tell her The English Patient is my favorite book. Of course, she’s only seen the movie. Our debate usually ends when I tell her to read the book and she walks away. Imagine her extreme jealousy at the thought that I had an opportunity to meet the author of her “favorite” piece. She was practically green with envy, I think.  Or was that a stomach virus? No matter.  I, at least, was excited. Read the rest of this entry »

T-shirts as souvenirs? Do you collect Hemingway? Or cat books? (I do). I went to Hemingway’s house in Key West while there visiting family. And yes, took home a t-shirt. How about book stores? I’ve got one for Caliban Books, Pazzo Books, and a few more. Some of those came in exchange for the BTC t-shirt. Do sweatshirts count? Like a variant binding? I recently noticed I’ve been collecting t-shirts as others do post cards. Oh, wait. I collect post cards too, as souvenirs and as an addition to my local history book collections. Read the rest of this entry »

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