Friday, February 25, 2022

Something About Book Fossicking

Look it up if you don't know what it means ;)  .

Oh, hey.  I stumbled upon Kurt Zimmerman's American Book Collecting blog this week.  His post is really the story of Australian bookseller and writer Anthony Marshall telling stories about being a secondhand bookseller.  From the description alone it made me recall some of niche locations where I used to dig around for rare titles - and those precious Gorey-illustrated Bellairs titles so many fans are fond of.

Thus Kurt:
Trafficking in Old Books (1998), collects fifty-two essays relating almost exclusively to running an open bookshop.  Every conceivable situation is described, reflected upon, laughed at, and occasionally grumbled about.  Your own engaging character emerges throughout, adding unusual depth to the panorama that populate the essays: fellow booksellers, book buyers, book thieves, collectors, and other hangers-on, including bookstore pets and the taxman.  Nowhere have I found another book that more fully explores the workings of an antiquarian / used bookstore.   And it is accessible to the average reader -- however that is defined -- who simply enjoys good stories.

Your follow-up Fossicking for Old Books (2004) collects thirty-seven essays and mines the same biblio-vein. ... [W]elcome to this book which celebrates the delights and dilemmas of book-fossicking as well as other pleasures and pitfalls associated with old books, old bookshops and old booksellers.
I can only imagine what took place in some of the bookstores I've visited. At any rate, I know there are a few booksellers in our audience and I thought they would enjoy as well.

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