Not book related, but Dan Barry's story about Humboldt Creamery for the New York Times may be the best story I've ever read about life here in Humboldt County.
Mel (at bottom of picture) from Curley's Grill, dished up their famous Caesar Salad as fast as she could to feed the hordes out on Wednesday night for the 17th Annual Taste of Main Street.
Shelf Awareness, the daily free email blast for the publishing world, ran this photo of Humboldt's finest children's book authors – Natasha Wing, Mary Nethery, and Barbara Kerley. Shelf Awareness even gave Eureka Books credit for publishing the books. That's a job we'd love to hold (if we knew anything about publishing), but Natasha, Mary, and Barbara are actually published by real New York publishing houses. What Shelf Awareness meant to say was that Eureka Books supplied the books sold at a recent event to benefit the Fortuna Friends of the Library.
On a related front, we also donated a gift certificate to the Trinidad Friends of the Library as a prize in their adult spelling bee, to be held as a fund-raiser on March 28. As an indication of the rather sad financing for the library system, this fundraiser generates the money needed to pay the utility bill at the Trinidad branch libary. Call (707) 677-0227 for details on the spelling contest.
On Saturday (March 7, 2009), we had an opening for Augustus "Gus" Clark, a prolific and much-loved Humboldt County painter. He's been making "books" for years by laying loose sheets between heavy boards. They are really quite something, and the public response last night was incredible. At first people weren't sure what to make of them and knowing that you aren't supposed to touch art, they tended to stand in front of them a bit baffled. With a little encouragement, they were soon leafing through them with exuberance.
We also commissioned Clark to paint the covers of blank books, which were very popular. In all, we sold eight pieces last night. In the photo, Gus is holding a coffee cup in the upper right corner.
Katherine Almy, who writes a local art blog, reviewed the show.
A couple of weeks ago, we went out to a customer's house to buy some books. He was moving and wanted to clear some space. We selected several dozen volumes of contemporary world history to buy and after we reached a deal, we loaded up the car. As we were getting ready to go, he said, "What about the encyclopedia?"
Admittedly, it was a much nicer than usual Victorian-era encyclopedia, in very good condition and illustrated with thousands of engravings. It's not dated, but this copy of the English Cyclopaedia (London: Bradbury, Agnew, & Co.) dates from the mid-1870s. It is divided into Geography (2 volumes), Biography (3 volumes), Natural History (2 volumes), and Arts & Sciences (4 volumes). It must run 10,000 pages.
But we already have a Victorian-era encyclopedia in the store and didn't need another one. So we made our excuses and tried to leave.
To which our customer said, No encyclopedia, no deal. He was moving and couldn't take the encyclopedia. After a bit more haggling, we packed up the encyclopedia and took it back to the store.
We don't have space for it, and so it will be gone by the end of the month, and here's how:
The price started at $300 on March 1. Every morning when we open the store, the price drops $10.
So today, the price is $260.
On March 15, it will be $160.
On March 31, it will be free.
UPDATE: The set sold for $130 to a nice young woman who said, "I have so many books at home, I might as well have some that will look nice in the living room."
We're helping to judge a Flash Fiction contest sponsored by the North Coast Journal. One of their photographers, Bob Doran, came by and took this picture of us last week. Since the contest was for fiction under 100 words, we decided to pose with small books. From left to right: Jess Friedlander, Mark Shikuma, Amy Stewart, and Scott Brown.
Bob has posted more photographs of Humboldt County's independent booksellers here.
Recently discovered on our shelves, a small pamphlet describing Amateur Journalism, the 19th-century version of blogging, with participants printing their missives with lead type and using a letterpress.
fraternity of boys and girls, young men and women of America, who edit
and publish small papers of their own, for the purpose, mainly, of
self-culture, and the exchange of their ideas upon various topics, the
dissemination of amateur news, and the discussion of many interesting
questions incident to the existence of the fraternity."
satisfaction of seeing mention made of his venture is only equaled by
that experienced when beholding his own name, for the first time, at
the head of the editorial column of his journal." And when the reviews
are not good, the amateur journalist "scans the papers containing them
for any flaws they may possess, and is at once eager to issue another
number and annihilate his audacious critics."
Sounds a lot like
old-school blogging to me.
In doing research on this bit of history, I discovered that the National Amateur Press Association still exists and still exchanges printed papers among its members.
Amateur Journalism A Pamphlet Explaining Its Aims, Interest and Extent, with Instructions for Becoming Connected Therewith.
New Glasgow, Nova Scotia: Finlay A. Grant, 1884. First printing. 16 pages, printed on pink paper and bound in purple wrappers. Not in OCLC. Good only. The staples have corroded and have eaten away the paper at the spine and there is an old dampstain at the top edge. $45