The Hang Fire Books Blog

The rantings of a bookdealer in Brooklyn, New York.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Treasure Island Compliments of Hotel Taft NYC

While thrifting this past weekend I turned up and interesting bit of NYC ephemera. This edition of Treasure Island was published by and given gratis to guests of Hotel Taft:



It's undated but I'm guessing late 1920s-30s from the cover design. The copyright page says
"Tarry at the Taft, New York". The FEP carries this printed in bookplate:



and rear endpaper features an ad for "Hotel St. George Pool, Clark St., Brooklyn" where you can "Swim in Sparkling Natural Salt Water, Bask in Heathful Sun Rays" all for $1.



I found nine titles published by the Taft listed on ABE: Alice in Wonderland, Tale of Two Cities, Sherlock Holmes, Soldiers Three, Last Days of Pompeii, Scarlet Letter, The Dynamiter, The Light that Failed, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.

I wish hotel chains and publishers would try this again. It would be nice to find some reading material--besides the bible--on my hotel nightstand.

12 comments:

jgodsey said...

i always intended to collect that set, but i couldn't get past the fact that the paper was acidic and brittle.

but i would like to see this again as well.

William Smith said...

This one's still fairly white and supple. Unfortunately the cover has a large ink blot covering about 6 windows on the building (oh so skillfully virtually removed with photoshop)

Mae West NYC said...

William, this is a neat idea - - better than finding the Bible in a night-table drawer. Come up and see the Brooklyn bombshell Mae West, William. MaeWest.blogspot.com

vada said...

I found a book at a local library today printed for the same hotel! Except the book is "A tale of two cities" by Dickens. It has the same ad in the back of the book and the same front cover. Any information on the hotel or book? I think I found the taft hotel although its not the taft anymore; the building was made in the 1920's

Thor said...

I have the Dynamiter with the same cover design and inserts

Anonymous said...

I have two of them, including "Murders in the Rue Morgue" and other stories by Poe.

Anonymous said...

Still bludgeoning myself for leaving my Taft book behind during one of my many moves when I have lugged so many others... Isn't 15 years long enough? Guess not.

Trina said...

I have just found a Tale of Two Cities compliments of the Taft, amongst a bunch of books I recieved from my grandmother. I was thrilled to find this. I WOULD like to know a little about it & its value.

Anonymous said...

I just came across a copy of Barrie's THE LITTLE MINISTER in this same Taft Hotel series. This one is in nice condition except for a few light smudges on the cover. Wonder how many books they reprinted in all?

Anonymous said...

I have been collecting these for years. My first one was found in a used book store in Camarillo, CA. I have 19 titles in all. Beautiful little books.

Anonymous said...

Today I found "The Last of the Mohicans in the same orange cover with same printing on inside of front and read covers. I am not sure what to list it for - or maybe just keep it!

Paul Craft said...

I have a copy of Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray" from this series put out by the Taft. It has the same orange livery and it's original glassine jacket. I have seen various dates for this series, some as early as the 20's, but according to Wikipedia the hotel was not named The Taft until it was sold in 1931. I have not seen any other books published by hotels for their guests in my years of book-dealing. I am about to list the aforementioned book in my eBay shop, Beautiful Antique Books