The Hang Fire Books Blog

The rantings of a bookdealer in Brooklyn, New York.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Bookseller Ticket Collection Grows by Leaps and Bounds

Bookseller Sarah Faragher of Sarah's Books in Bangor, Maine made me a generous gift of a fat envelope of bookseller tickets (doubles from her collection).

Here are a few of my favorites:

She also offered useful advice on extracting these little buggers.

I find that the easiest way to get tickets out of books is this (if they don't just pop out because the glue is so old): wet a small square of paper towel with enough water so if you squeezed it out water would be visible, then fold the bit of paper towel up until it's the same size as the ticket you want to remove, put it over the ticket and let it sit for a few minutes. The water will soak into the ticket and loosen the glue, then the ticket will almost always (unless it's foil) let go very easily. Set the ticket aside to dry off, leave the book open to dry, too. It doesn't take long and it really works. Same technique for removing book plates, but I've seen people use larger damp pieces of felt for that. After the ticket dries I usually write on the back of it the date of the book it came from, just to get an idea of when that bookseller was in business. Or if someone else sends me tickets I write their name on the backs. All in pencil of course...
This has already saved me hours of heartbreak and disappointment. Check out Sarah's blog. She posts on running her dream business, books about books, landscape painting and nature. It's always a nice contrast from the mean streets of NYC bookselling.

Anyone have any photos or know anything about The Satyr Bookshop of Hollywood, CA? All I'm Googling is that the store was designed by architect Julius Ralph Davidson who apparently worked in the Beaux-Arts style, created sets for Cecil B. De Mille and designed famous nightspots: The Cocoanut Grove (Hollywood) (pictured below) and The High Hat Restaurant (LA).

More bookstores should be designed like nightclubs says I, with shady mob ties and Paris Hilton slagging it up in the poetry aisle and stumbling out at 4AM...sorry, I'm drifting.


A commenter left a useful link from the Rara-Avis Archives containing more info on the Satyr Book Shop.

--From the LA Times magazine section about the 81-year-old Musso & Frank restaurant:

Two remarkable bookstores within a block or so of Musso's made the Grill an even more attractive hangout for writers. Faulkner, Chandler and Aldous Huxley often browsed at Louis Epstein's Pickwick Bookshop (opened in 1938). Stanley Rose's store, literally next door to Musso's, was a more social place, where writers drank whiskey and swapped stories with the Texas-born bookseller. Musso's served as the Rose store's unofficial banker; patrons of both establishments moved back and forth freely in (as Starr wrote) "a nonorganized movable feast."

An earlier store in which Rose had been a partner, the Satyr Bookshop on Vine, was busted for pornography; it inspired the salacious Bennett's Bookshop in Raymond Chandler's 1939 novel, "The Big Sleep." (Rose's defense lawyer on the porno charge was Carey McWilliams, whose nonfiction work "Southern California Country: An Island on the Land" in 1946 inspired its own L.A. fictions, notably Robert Towne's script for "Chinatown" in 1974.)

Thompson, the pulp-noir master ("The Killer Inside Me," "The Getaway"), lived four short blocks from Musso's and used the Grill as a virtual office throughout the '60s, according to biographer Robert Polito. The old writer favored the pot roast special and the zucchini Florentine, washing them down with Jack Daniel's and Heineken chasers. At Musso's, Thompson played the hard-bitten raconteur, spinning tough yarns to an eager audience of one or two. And in a booth at Musso's, he made deals and signed papers with sharp young producers, acts he later regretted.

This sounds like the most hard-boiled bookstore ever. (Thanks Diana!)


Anonymous said...

sarahsbooks said...

I also want to add that I don't remove tickets from fine books - you know, books for which provenance is important, and the ticket is part of that provenance, part of the book's travels. Most of the books I remove tickets from are mainstream novels and such. Common books from the dollar bins, or damaged books. I also don't remove binder's labels if the binding warrants identification.

Thanks for the link, William! And best of luck with your move. (My deepest sympathies.)