Newsletter for February 2016


We are trying to clear up some space for two big purchases coming up in the next few months. Sounds like coupon time to me! Here it is:

Spend $10 on anything, and get any DVD movie for $2! (Or a television show DVD for $3). You can even spend the $10 on a gift certificate for yourself! This is good for any multiple of $10: so, if you spend $50, then you can get five movies for just ten bucks.

Just mention the newsletter at the counter. Good for entire month of February, get your sweetie a movie for Valentine’s Day!

We’re also going to be doing some housecleaning for a sidewalk sale at the Albany store. It will be a fundraiser for the Albany Public Schools Foundation. Penciled-in date is April 2, so save that date. More news on that in the next newsletter, but start saving up your pocket change now!



Gorey1. GOREY POSTERS. Edward Gorey. Includes some great scenes from his books as well as selections from note cards, posters, etc., including this nice poster for Dracula. $20









George MacDonald2. “GONE ASTRAY”. George Macdonald, 1877. Complete in two parts, in volume four (1876-77) of St. Nicholas Illustrated magazine. Bound in red cloth heavily decorated in black & gilt. First American edition of the story by the author held in such high esteem by C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. I enjoy reading short stories more when they are in a magazine than when they are collected and published in a book because you can browse through the rest of the magazine to get a feel for the times. Foxing to front & rear, else VG $75



Two items of interest for Black HIstory Month:

3. A NARRATIVE OF THE UNCOMMON SUFFERINGS AND SURPRIZING DELIVERANCE OF BRITON HAMMON, A NEGRO MAN. A 1994 reprint of the 1760 edition, of which there are two known copies. This is the first slave narrative and the first printed work of an African American. Multiple copies, stapled paperback, these have been in a warehouse for 20 years, never used. $5

4. THE BLACK BOOK. Middleton Harris et al. 1st ed, 1974. An interesting idea–a fake scrapbook of African Americana. With an introduction by Bill Cosby (unfortunately). Spine cracked at color plates insert, as is common. I notice that Goodwill has a thrashed copy online for $186, but ours is only $10

5. SUNWISE TURN: A HUMAN COMEDY OF BOOKSELLING. Madge Jenison. Dutton, 1923. A memoir of two New York women who open a bookshop. It’s a light-hearted book with quirky characters, funny anecdotes, and heartfelt complaints about how hard the business is, but there’s also this great context of the times–not very many bookshops at the time would have been owned and run by women. This particular copy is inscribed by a woman (presumably an employee) to her family, “as a souvenir of my seven months in the Sunrise Turn.”  Very nice condition in the original dust jacket. $25

Rossetti6. THOMAS B. MOSHER. The book above has a quote from the Sunwise Turn proprietor on the front cover: “We fail in bookshops by what we do not know.” This might be a fancy way of saying what one of our customers told me a few years ago (and which I will never forget): “You’d have to be dumb as a brick not to find something to read in here.” This also applies to the owner: because the more I look around the back areas of this crazy place, the more stuff I find, including a stack of books (that I purchased years ago) published at the turn of the century by Thomas B. Mosher. He, along with Elbert Hubbard, was at the head of the American publishers who wanted to make books both inexpensive and beautiful. These replenish our little section of Mosher books on top of the  A-B case of old fiction in the Albany store. Most $5.00-$12.00, the Rossetti pictured is the exception at $40.


shakespeare7. THE FIRST FOLIO OF SHAKESPEARE. No, not the real thing (though I think a copy is still on display at U of O right now), but the Norton facsimile edition. It’s a whopper, I’ve had it in my house for years but it has been replaced by an even larger book! My wife may not realize I have two sets of Poe but these Shakespeare books are pretty noticeable. Anyway, what needs to be said about Shakespeare other than he is the most important author in the English language? Fine copy, first printing thus, in slipcase, with the line indicator ruler. $50






ralph steadman8. SCAR STRANGLED BANGER. Ralph Steadman. Harrap, 1987. Steadman is best known to me as “the Hunter S. Thompson illustrator” but he is an accomplished artist in his own right. This copy signed in gold marker, and dated in 1987. First edition, precedes US publication, fine copy in like DJ. $150




9. ROBERT SHECKLEY. Two paperbacks published before he moved to Portland, Oregon. A first printing of OPTIONS (1975) for $3, and a 1978 reprint of PILGRIMAGE TO EARTH for $1.25. Unlike many authors who slowly fade away after they die, Sheckley has been going through a rebirth during the last few years and may be more popular today than he ever was during his lifetime!



Paperback Exchange, Book Bin East, and The Book Habit have all closed in the last several months, all for different reasons. My reaction to The Book Habit closure is here:

Congratulations to the Book Habit Bookstore!

I am often told by Salem customers that they’ve never heard of Escape Fiction, so look those guys up if you live in Salem–they have a good store! Almost as good as Browsers’ Bookstore! 🙂


Okay, remember to pick out a video, save the April 2 date for Albany sidewalk sale, and keep on browsing & reading!

Scott Givens