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.