Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Good book finds Tuesday

Okay, so I didn't find any high priced books but I still had fun. I always have fun book hunting. It's a veritable treasure hunt full of surprises.

I ended up at a little thrift store I occasionally visit, located on the main drag.
The door of this store had was open today to let in the fresh air. When I drove up there was an elderly man with a cigarette in his hand standing in the parking lot talking to someone seated in a car, the engine running. I stepped inside the store and began looking through the books. But the cigarette smoke was coming through the front door, competing with the fresh autumn breeze. For a couple of minutes, I tried to ignore the smoke and concentrate on books. Then I decided to pull my shirt over my nose and kept scanning titles. About the time I did this, the nice, elderly man came inside and I didn't want him to see me with my shirt pulled up over my nose so I jerked it back down. Thank goodness he finished that cigarette.

And thank goodness I got this book for a buck:
Betty Cornell's Teenage Popularity Guidecopyright 1966
Library of Congress
Catalogue Card No. 53-10967
*My copy is the twelfth printing
Artwork by Abbi Damerow
The cover is a wonderful pink and oh so feminine hue, with cutesy innocent teenage girls peeking out at you.
So much to read and so much to giggle at!

Betty, you're so funny! You say some of the darndest things!
You warn me not to squeeze hickies, tell me to shave my legs up to half my thighs and bleach the rest, cover my head in church, have a wisp of veiling at an evening wedding and keep myself tidy and clean, all the way down to my underwear (you recommend only nylon).
Betty is also concerned about not letting teen girls walk the streets looking like hookers.
"How you look on the street is a question that seldom troubles many of us, yet it is a mighty important one. City officials have been driven to despair by the sight of young ladies traipsing up and down their town in short shorts and bedraggled dungarees. Whether you realize it or not, some so-called 'informal' dress is enough to make adult blood pressure rise to the boiling point. For Heaven's sake, have a little pity on others and a lot of pride in yourself: put on a skirt when you're shopping." Chapter 9 "What To Wear Where" page 55. If only Betty could have predicted what we have to live with today: People of Walmart. She would have a coronary!

Here is a scan of the inside cover. Unfortunately mine came without the dust jacket so I had to snag the above picture from the 'net.

If you enjoy teenage guidebooks from the 1960's and earlier, keep an eye out for this little gem. Abebooks has I believe 3 copies for sale with the average price of around $12.00. Amazon also has 3 copies with the same average price.

My hat's off to Betty Cornell. Thanks for the most interesting advice I've ever read about hickies. You're the best, Betty.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Wigger - a taboo name and a rare Dell children's book from the 1970's

Everyone knows that this word has become taboo 30 years after this book's release.
However, due to the controversial title of this children's book and its somewhat rare status, I found only 7 copies on Amazon, the first starting at $40.00. I was skeptical so I checked on ABE Books and found similar pricing.

This book is sad story of Susanna and her talking blanket.
"Susanna's security blanket was her only friend."

Dell Publishing Co., Inc. NY NY

Original price was $1.50.

The author, William Goldman,
also wrote The Thing It Is...., Marathon Man, Magic, Boys and Girls Together, and The Temple of Gold and produced several screenplays.
The illustrator was Errol Le Cain, a British animator and children's book artist.
I was able to snag this copy for a mere 15 cents. As is such, this is my rare book score of the week. And to think I was almost going to tear up this book and use the illustrations for collages. Oh the horror!

Friday, December 11, 2009

1950's cook book cover - marvelous!

Found this Thursday for a quarter while scanning some bookshelves on a half hour book hunt. It even has its dust cover - not so common for books of this age.

The illustrations are by Josephine Irwin.

©1955 by Peter Pauper Press, Mount Vernon, NY

Peter Pauper Press also published a
related book, King of Hearts Drink Book
the same year.

The original price for these books was one dollar.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wednesday book finds

Book hunting is fun, even when you don't always find something and walk away with hands empty.
One never knows what they might find or what might be hidden on the bottom of a dusty shelf in some dumpy little thrift store. The goods are there and sometimes you have to dig.
When I had to run a couple of errands yesterday, I stopped by a little thrift store that's becoming a favorite book haunt for me. It's Christian run as most are. However, their prices are very low and no one there seems too interested in what books they receive as donations. Of course this is to my advantage. This store's book prices are simple and cheap: paperbacks are 50 cents and hardbacks are a dollar. No arbitrary pricing, no large orange stickers with outrageous prices on the covers - this a bona fide down home good place. I don't have to worry here as I can grab a stack and not have to put some back.
Although I didn't find anything extremely rare, I did find some good stuff for clipart and collage and for my self interests - one of which is astronomy. Ranger To The Moon
by Willy Ley
A musty Childcraft book circa 1961 of Folk and Fairy Tales - these books are excellent for clipart and collage. The illustrations are amazing in the older volumes. These books are easy to find and recommended for clipart geeks. You might want to stick with the editions earlier than the 1970's as they usually have better illustrations.

©1961 Childcraft series
Folk and Fairy Tales

The Southpaw
by Donal Hamilton Hanes

This is the 1949 printing

Scan of back cover (I like this more
than the front cover)

Published by Comet Books
Rockefeller Center
New York 20,
New York

Life Science Library
Energy by Mitchell Wilson
and the editors of Life

©1963 by Time Inc.
Library of Congress number 63-21614

And another copy of Maus - My Father Bleeds History
by Art Spiegelman

The story of Maus contains a biography of sorts about the life of Spiegelman's father who grew up as a Polish Jew and learned to survive under the Nazi regime.
Highly recommended.
Stunning artwork and heart wrenching as well. This comic book novel took 13 years to complete.

And a spread from the comic book

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Funny Book Cover of the Week

Well this is one interesting book, that's for certain. I wish I had a copy so I could figure out why it's really named this. I don't think it has to do with cigarettes. What a strange title.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Collages

I've been creating collages since August of this year. For my projects, I use old books with unusual illustrations and graphics found in science books, medical books and encyclopedias as well as old children's books. A couple of them are for sale on Etsy.com.
Here are a few I've created.

Voices and Instruments

Icarus Meets Atlantis

Oscillations (SOLD)

Bernhardt Mulls Medicine


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Funny Book Cover of the Week

Make your own Casket Sarcophagus!
Times are tough. Save money any way you can.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Watafak | Diseño Gráfico » Guion consulta

Creative and wonderful typography piece - you just have to see it for yourself.

Funny Book Cover of the Week

Well, okay, it's a comic but still...


explanation needed,



Unusual and Rare German Metal Art Nouveau Book


Fine & Rare Books Maps & Prints


has in its latest catalogue a fantastic and unusual book of cookery for sale.

Quote from the catalogue:
The ‘smallest cookery book in the world’ (at least that is what the title says!): Very decorative miniature cookery book (approx. 1 in square), containing over 100 recipes in German for all kinds of soups, meats, pastries, fish, vegetables, sauces, salads, etc. Reading requires a magnifying glass!
No place, no publisher, no date, but ca. 1905 [19594]
24 x 22 mm. 136pp. Original silver binding, floral Art Nouveau cover decoration, clasp and ring for chain.

Yours for a mere £650
- about $1,250 US dollars.

Very unusual and ever so tiny, I'm really surprised that it's survived for over 100 years without having been lost. Someone must have really cherished this lovely little work of art.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tuesday book finds

At the last minute yesterday (by book hunting standards - as many book hunting nooks and crannies close at 4:59 pm sharp) I jumped in my book hunting jalopy and went over to a regular haunt.
I clamored over to the bookshelves in the far corner. The first thing that caught my eye was a funny booklet, Is Satan Real? A two lesson presentation telling who Satan is and how to defeat him. Everyone needs this book in their collection and I was certainly no exception. I was hoping to find a way to keep Satan at bay when I was cruising thrift stores. This book will help me no doubt. Just look at the cover of this - guaranteed to scare the crap out of little kids. There's a sword held at the kid's neck, for crying out loud! Satan, put that sword away!

Grasping my great find, courtesy of Satan, in my left arm, I bent down scanning through the books. The same books that I saw a few days ago at this location were staring at me again: Danielle Steele, Nora Roberts, What to Expect When You're Expecting, The DaVinci Code - the usual cringe inducing, popular writers and titles. On the top shelf, I spotted a brown book that resembled a high school yearbook from the 1950's. I was half right. It was from the 1950's - 1957 to be exact, and had a cover with a raised picture of a girl and boy gazing up fondly at their mother, who was wisely holding an open book. A high school yearbook it wasn't. The book was The Young Mothers Study Club.

I flipped through the pages and saw plenty of great illustrations, some very funny - like these:

which can only lead us to....

Miltown - the miracle 1950's drug that due to its tranquilizing effect kept many a weary overworked mother from beating her kids into godly submission.
But I digress. (And might I interject here that I added the text to the picture of the distressed mother). For heaven's sake, get that woman a Miltown!

Score! Filled with hilarious, typical 50's illustrations of frustrated mothers, pissy children and the occasional question posed to Daddy such as, "Why do you plant seeds, Daddy?" Certainly a must have among 50's clipart and illustration collectors. And yours for apparently only $34.99 on Amazon. Over at ABE, 5 copies are available with the cheapest being a little less than 6 clams.
I doubt there's a high demand for this book, but if you find one, grab it. It will keep you giggling for hours.
I'll keep mine for nostalgia's sake.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Funny Book Cover of the week

I'm not really ƒure just what needs to be explained about farting. Everybody does it. Even Benjamin Franklin, who trumpets his pride in ƒhooting the breeze in a compelling and attention graƒping book, Fart Proudly.
And proudly we ƒhould.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thurston Moore to Launch Art Book Publishing Company

Art books on the way from Kim Gordon, Raymond Pettibon, Dave Markey Thurston Moore to Launch Art Book Publishing Company

Photo by Jason Bergman

Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore spent a pretty good chunk of his non-SY time co-writing art and photo books like Abby Banks' Punk House: Interiors in Anarchy and Michael Lavine's forthcoming Grunge. This past weekend, the Los Angeles Times reported that Moore is all set to delve even deeper into the world of art books with the launch of Ecstatic Peace Library, his very own boutique publishing house. (He already runs a record label called Ecstatic Peace.)

According to the L.A. Times, this past weekend, catalogs of Ecstatic Peace Library's first releases were distributed at the New York Art Book Fair. And on January 1, they'll also be available from the company's website. Right now, Moore is planning to release books from wife and bandmate Kim Gordon, punk rock brutalist (and Goo cover artist) Raymond Pettibon, and 1991: The Year Punk Broke director Dave Markey. According to the L.A. Times, the books will come with recordings by the authors. The books will be distributed through D.A.P./ Distributed Art Publishers.

from Pitchfork

Over at Arcana Books, you can find old zines by Raymond Pettibon and a few books. Hefty prices, but enjoyable to check out the great covers.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Funny Book Cover of the week

I've always wondered what to do with discarded pantyhose. Thank goodness my question is answered with this lovely book!
I will now spend my free time making pantyhose dolls for the whole family. Makes cheap gifts and provides hours, days, even weeks of family fun and entertainment.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Book Bindery labels

I've recently started paying more attention to book trade labels that might be in some of my older books. After reading about these intriguing little pieces of artwork nuzzled in the often overlooked front pages of older books, I noticed one in a children's book entitled Collecting Cocoons by Lois J. Hussey & Catherine Pessino. I'll be looking through more of my antique books for these interesting labels.

Here are more from other collectors.

Funny book cover of the week

He apparently was also an athlete.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Museum of Printing Presses

Here is a great site of old printing presses. Wouldn't it be nice to have one of these to use!

Museum of Printing Presses

Head on over to Cuts and Caps at the Museum of Printing Presses and you can download ornaments like these below:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The quandry of thrift store book prices

It was about a month ago when I stepped into a local Goodwill, promptly making my merry way back to the book section. This particular Goodwill was a place I'd found many good books for my own collection as well as for resale. I scanned through the books and found a couple of interesting ones and headed up to the cashier. She gave me the total: "That will be $4.28."
I said, "What?"
"Our paperback books have gone up to $1.99 per book and the hardbacks are $2.99."
"I can't do that," I answered back. Paying $4 for two paperbacks was not something I really wanted to do in Goodwill. I was taken aback at their new book prices.
Apparently I am not the only one who feels frustrated over Goodwill's new higher book prices. Others in the store were complaining also.
I went back a couple of weeks later just to have a peek to see if there was anything to make my day. I didn't find anything but noticed that many newer and popular paperback books were just sitting on the shelves. No one was buying them. As more and more people begin to find out about the higher pricing, they won't be buying as many books as they once did. I think this won't be good for Goodwill. And I personally thought it was a bad choice for several reasons. First, we live in an economically depressed area where high paying jobs are hard to come by. We are the second poorest county in my state. Children in my city go to school hungry and without proper school supplies.
Raising book prices at thrift stores has its unfortunate consequences in that poorer people who shop at thrifts for books because they are the only place they can afford to buy them won't have as many affordable places to obtain books for their kids. Raising prices even a dollar or more can hurt the working poor.
I'll be watching the Goodwills in the next couple of months to see if they have the same books sitting on their shelves.
Perhaps I'm a bit cynical, but I find the greed of the larger thrifts to be ever increasing.
In a small town not too far from here is a Waterfront Mission, a religious based thrift store. Waterfront Mission charges different prices for its books. Hardbacks are usually $2.00 unless they decide for some strange reason to put a $5 or $10 price on a hardback because it's big.
What's the worst thing anyone could do to books besides tear them up? Mark in them or on them. Waterfront will sometimes mark books with a permanent black marker. Some Goodwill stores do this as well. The other day, I found an antique book from 1902 with poetry by some famous guy (can't recall now) - lovely cover in gold gilt, small book in blue cloth. I would have purchased it for $1.19. But it was $2.99. And an employee had put a nice large "K" on the spine of this 100 plus year old book. So I placed it back on the rack and decided to leave.
These are the times when I get a little frustrated. Don't get me wrong, I love book scouting. But sometimes it's frustrating to see these books marked up with black marker by the employees.


If you want to do something to an old book, you can be creative. Here's a great example. Now some people get upset when books are altered and used in art projects. I have no problem with it. I'll address the issue of using books in altered art projects in a future blog. In the meantime, enjoy this video on how to make a book purse.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Book trade labels

Among the delights of acquiring a nice collection of books is the art of the book label. These tiny works of art are usually found in the endpapers of books. Proprietors involved in the printing or publication of the book, including designers and printers use the book label to advertise their part in promotion of the publication.
You can view a nice assortment at Seven Roads Gallery.
After writing this, I looked through all of my antique books and was a little disappointed to find only one not very remarkable bookplate, and one torn and illegible book label. Am hoping to find some in my future hunts!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Thursday Book Hunting

After running an errand this late and unusually humid October afternoon, I decided to pop in at one of my favorite thrift stores to check their used book stacks. After a few minutes of looking, I didn't see anything of interest. The usual titles peeked out at me by authors we commonly see in these environs: Nicholas Sparks, Danielle Steele, Nora Roberts, Janet Evanovich - flavors of the year.
I scanned one of the last bookshelves where I found an interesting title:
Federal Prison, Where Inmates Stay & Convicts Run: A Survival Guide and Reference by Tracy W. Humble.
Surely most of us would find this handy! Well hopefully not. For 50 cents I couldn't pass it up. I love weird books like this and you don't find these kinds of books often.
I opened up to the copyright page and saw it was a small press, Edutainment, out of New Orleans.
Hmmm, small press, unusual book, I'll take it.
When I got home, I went to Amazon to see if maybe it was something worth listing. My fifty cent investment paid off. Copies were going around $40. But I was wondering why.
I Googled the book and found the website where the book was being promoted and sold. Due to Hurricane Katrina, they weren't taking any more orders.
In any case, it was a nice day to find a sort of rare book - an Amazon surprise. I hope I'll never have to put this to good use.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Hi and welcome to my new book blog.
Salmagundi Booktopia will be focusing on the love of books, which covers anything and everything.
I'll focus on things I find of interest - ephemera, antique books, book collecting, selling, scouting, anecdotes, rants and news.
Hope you'll enjoy what you read and comments are always welcome.