I don't sell rare books, per se. Not that I have any objection to that concept. It's just that rare books are, well, really rare and require a rarified knowledge. The books I sell are collectible, or fun to collect, cool and/or curious. Unique or common, framed uniquely. I don't scout books. I hunt and gather. I go out into the field and pick them like fruit from brambles. I travel to small towns and other cities and scour their thrift stores and library sales, attend their auctions. I go into the basements and attics of the houses, but only if I'm invited. It has an archeological feel to it, the way I find books. I unearth them and bring them back to the shop, evaluate them, clean them up , put them in a context.
I work and stray from a canon of authors and titles in the fields of my interest. The books I sell reflect who I am. I sell, for the most part, literature, poetry, kids books and cook books. There's a special place in my heart for a certain vintage and aesthetic, namely children's books and pocket paperbacks from the1930s, 40s and 50s. In my shop, I offer essential or required reading, perennially popular, weird, cool, obscure, infamous. On my site, I offer good finds, signed and first editions, weird, cool, obscure and infamous. I even have some rare and antiquarian books.
I celebrate a time when everybody read books, for information, enlightenment and entertainment. People used to walk around with them slipped into their purses and vest pockets. They read on subways, on lunch hours and in the evening, before they fell asleep. I am wistful for that way of life and take pride in offering it in a loud, fast, complicated world.
In the summer of 2014, I attended the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar and gained an overview of what it means to be a rare bookseller. It's very different from what I do, what I've done for most of my life. I have to admit, it's pretty interesting, this concept of rare bookselling and little by little, I'm learning more. It's been a sharp learning curve and a bit uncomfortable at times, but I'm hanging in. I'd like to dovetail and make peace between the two. There's a certain integrity about rare bookselling that I admire and try to adhere to in the used book business. But even as I tiptoe into those waters, I remain what I am at heart: a shopkeeper.
SELL US YOUR BOOKS
While most of our books are scouted at auctions, thrift stores, estate and library sales, we are always interested in what you have to sell or trade. A short list of items we are always in the market for follows:
- vintage paperbacks from the 1930s through 60s
- 20th century art and poetry
- anything by the following authors: Charles Bukowski, Haruki Murakami, David Foster Wallace, David Goodis, Jim Thompson, H.P. Lovecraft, Italo Calvino, Richard Brautigan, Kurt Vonnegut
- zines, chapbooks and other ephemera relating to our areas of interest
- classic children's book titles in excellent condition
- pre-1960s cook books and pamphlets
- early and antiquarian books relating to our areas of interest
- modern first and signed editions
This is a very tight list of books that we are always in need of. We encourage you to call and have a conversation with Molly to explore what you have that we might be interested in.