Life before social distancing



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Artifacts from the pre-covid era.

Truth be told, almost all of our inventory is from before the coronavirus. However, I thought it would be fun to pull a few things that might demonstrate the changes we are all experiencing.

Just to be clear: Browsers’ takes precautionary health measures very seriously–but that doesn’t mean we’re always serious about it. If you can’t laugh at your doom, you’re already halfway dead.

Protesters & riots, public transportation, classrooms with students actually in them, tight dining seating, and crowded sporting events. Two frightening photo albums of 1970-2 Japan.

OHHSE 1970-1, 1971-2. Japan Study Center.

Each album follows the experiences of Oregon State University students during a year abroad in Japan. Many of the photographs revolve around the students’ experiences with Japanese culture & education. Interestingly, each photo album includes a few images of the ongoing student protests at Waseda University.
“The Zenkyōtō style of activism began at around the same time as Hansen, during the demonstrations at Waseda University in 1965, which is widely regarded as the birthplace of the New Left.”  (Kelman, P. Protesting the National Identity, 2001)

Two large albums, with self-stick pages, 46 and 34 pages, each page with 1-5 photos, four photos being the most common layout.

More photos can be seen in this quick slideshow:

Wear to covers, photos in near fine condition. SOLD

The horror of hairdressing

The Gift of the Magi
by O. Henry.
Illustrated by Steve Edwards
Kirkwood: The Printery, 2005.

She went to an actual hairdresser to cut her hair? Get that woman her own pair of scissors, quick!

Fine press edition of this classic, one of 150 copies printed on a handpress. Hardcover, marbled paper-covered boards with cloth spine, engraved frontis of author, colored title page. $100

What libraries really circulate

Melcher on Acquisition
by Daniel Melcher
American Library Association, 1971.

Libraries love to brag about circulation, but how many germs per book circulate?

Daniel Melcher is part of the reason for the success of today’s libraries.

Working with R.R. Bowker for decades, he was publisher of Library Journal, initiator of Books in Print, founder of the School Library Journal and generally did as much as possible during his career to further the circulation of books. Melcher on Acquisition is a nuts-and-bolts look at how libraries can run efficiently. Some of the technology is out-of-date today, including (tragically) the card catalog system, but he speaks enough in general concepts that it can still inspire some ideas today.

Inscribed by Melcher on front endpaper, fading to spine panel of DJ, one or two pencil margin lines, else very good copy in VG jacket. $25

Asimov’s horror stories masquerading as cozy mysteries

Tales of the Black Widowers
by Isaac Asimov
Doubleday & Co., 1974.

Cleverly disguised as a series of mystery short stories, Asimov embeds the horror so deeply that it seems to be mere harmless background: a group of disparate friends meet once a month for food, drinks, and to solve a mystery presented by a guest speaker.

Even more horrific is that this concept is based on a real society (The Trap-Door Spiders) founded in the 1940s: “Once a month, the TDS meets…sometimes in a restaurant, sometimes in a member’s apartment….There are drinks and conversation from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.; food and conversation from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.; and just conversation thereafter.” Can you even imagine??

Very good in like jacket. Speckling/foxing to top edge of closed pages, closed tear to front panel of DJ. First edition stated. $95

Move over, Manchurian Candidate!

Want to assassinate the Prime Minister? Simply get his “lady chauffeur” to play contact sports. Done.

Black and white photo, 8″ tall, trimmed, pasted on paperboard, and with hand-drawn decorative frame and caption reading “Lloyd George’s Lady Chauffeur Keeps Hockey Goal. P-A Photo.” The rear has the penciled date of Nov. 18, 1923, and a clipping from a periodical which reads “Miss Charlie Marsh recently attracted attention when she played a sensational game of hockey who playing int he goal for the Selfridge women’s hockey team at Wimbledon, England.”

Wikipedia calls Charlotte Marsh a “militant British suffragette.” $40

Babies = Goblins

Outside Over There
by Maurice Sendak
Harper & Row, 1981.

“Terrible Ida,” the goblins said, “we’re dancing sick and must to bed!” These babies/goblins are waaay too close to each other!

Signed & dated on title page by Maurice Sendak in year of publication. Fine in very good jacket with slight wear near spine. $95

From Tom “Terrifying” Brown to Harry “Horrifying” Potter, will the nightmare never end?

SuperMutant Magic Academy
by Jillian Tamaki
Drawn & Quarterly, 2015.

Who ever thought boarding schools were a good idea? (Except as enclosed-world settings for young adult novels, of course.)

Flat-signed by Tamaki on title page; “autographed” sticker to front cover; mild spine crease. Very good first edition. $20

Baseball in a ghost town

Base Ball broadside

Orofino, Idaho has a current population of about 3,000, but I can find no evidence that Fraser still exists as a community (I’m not joking about this. I’m also not going to joke about the fact that the Orofino high school mascot is the “Maniac.”)

The rear has a handwritten recipe for what I assume to be hard cider–possibly shared at the game?

Although not dated, it is possible that this broadside is from the Prohibition Era, making this recipe all the sweeter.

2 gal. grape juice
2 gal. sweet cider
2 lbs. sugar
2 lbs. raisins
Put in jar–cover with netting. 10 days–bottle & wire in stoppers.

Toning and three horizontal creases, light wear at edges. Very good overall, if a bit fragile. 8-7/8″ tall. SOLD

Problems America used to have

The Highway to Hunger: the Story of America’s Homeless Youth
by Dave Doran
Youth Publishers, 1933.

Thanks to efforts of the Young Communist League, America no longer has this problem:

“Negro Youth Suffer Most….Negroes, generally, are the first to be freed [from employement] and the last to be hired…On the road they face even worse treatment by the police…”

Two small chips to front cover, toning to pages and cover. 14 pages. Good condition. $12

Biological warfare? 1917 cruise ship to Hong Kong

This cruise ship launched just two months before the flu pandemic of 1918 began. Perhaps Dean Koontz can come up with a prequel to Eyes of Darkness about the 1918 flu being developed in America and shipped to China aboard the S.S. Venezuela.

Marked on the passenger list are Mr & Mrs Clarkson Dye: Clarkson Dye was a professional artist. (I’m not sure if that means these belonged to the Dyes, or if the owner just wanted to meet a known artist?) On the back of one of the cards are notes about some of the passengers–what their jobs were (dentist, life insurance agent, doctor, mining engineer, etc.), whither they were bound, etc.

Each leaf folded horizontally twice, about very good condition with annotations noted. $15

The classic narrative

Democracy in America
Alexis de Tocqueville
The Century Co., 1898.

Written during the first time that there were probably more Americans who did not experience the Revolutionary War than those who did, this is almost as fun to browse through as Boswell’s Life of Johnson (which, in my opinion, is the pinnacle of browsing material.)

A handsome set in full blue cloth with blindstamped rules and gilt lettering to spine. Light wear to extremities, bindings are solid and pages bright. Near fine. SOLD

An Undiscovered Genius

Acting Solo: The Art of One-Man Shows
by Jordan R. Young
Introduction by Julie Harris
Moonstone Press, 1989.

Past is prologue. It’s time for a revival of one-person shows…especially if they are live-streamed.

Warmly inscribed by Young to William Luce, who wrote several one-person shows including two starring Julie Harris, once as Emily Dickinson and once as Charlotte Bronte. Luce also receives “special thanks” in the author’s preface.

Fine copy in near fine jacket. SOLD

In all seriousness, I hope you are staying well and respecting the latest guidelines from the CDC and other scientists and authorities working hard to learn how to protect us all.

Terms: free shipping for orders net $40 and above, otherwise $4. Please respond to this email to order, or call (541) 758-1121 and ask for Scott (10 a.m.-4 p.m. PST).

Thank you,

Scott Givens
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