The Hang Fire Books Blog

The rantings of a bookdealer in Brooklyn, New York.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dutch Treat

I just cataloged the hell out of this book because it's beautiful and absolutely worth it.

Dutch Treat Club: Year Book 1941 "Total Offense", 1941. First edition.

Privately printed yearbook for the "The Dutch Treat Club", a society of illustrators, writers and performers established in the early 1900s and still going today.

(click on images for larger, NWS versions)

Wartime issue. 8" X 5.25". Paper-over-board, pictorial wraparound cover. Laminated/glossy. Photo EPs of nude women cavorting on a cannon. Unpaginated but approx 100 pages. Edition page jokingly states: "This edition is strictly limited to 12,500,00 copies (Berlin), 12.5 (London), of which every copy is number 1" (numeral "1" hand lettered).

Elaborately printed and illustrated. Filled with pin-up / girly art and cartoons from member illustrators including:
  • Rube Goldberg
  • Dean Cornwell
  • Carl Mueller
  • Arthur William Brown
  • Otto Soglow
  • Harry Beckhoff
  • John J. Floherty, Jr.
  • Frank Godwin (creator of the strip "Connie")
Because this was a privately printed publication, the art is racier than other work from these artists and more explicit than comparable pin-ups of the time (i.e. pubic hair). Also includes a pop-up illustration by Tony Sarg.

Famous members of the Dutch Treat Club include:
  • Robert Benchley
  • Robert M. McBride
  • Isaac Asimov
  • William Morris
  • Ogden Nash
and more. Some of the club officers/members listed in this volume:
  • Clarence Budington Kelland (president)
  • Edward MacNamara (actor)
  • Harold Ross (founder of the New Yorker)
  • Whitney Darrow (cartoonist)
  • J. P. McEvoy (Dixie Dugan creator)
  • Westbrook Pegler (journalist)
  • Lowell Thomas (broadcaster)
  • Frank Crowninshield (editor Vanity Fair)
  • William Beebe (Naturalist/Author)
  • William De Beck (cartoonist "Barney Google")
  • Cliff Sterrett
  • Rex Stout
  • Efrem Zimbalist
and more. Other features include: A list of club speakers and events, news/current event parodies, and a full list (with addresses and phone #s) of current members. Pencil inscription from previous owner "W. R. Steinway" dated "April 4, 1941". Covers lightly rubbed/scuffed showing light tanning to spine. Bump with slight exposed board to lower front cover. Binding slightly shaken but solid. Very Good. Hardcover.

Apparently these yearbooks were well-known for their girly art but this is the first I've seen (though hopefully not the last). Listed for sale here but I'll be sad to see it go.

And more Dutch Treat Annuals.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Last Weekend's Haul

Two glorious sunny days full of bike-riding, stoop sales and a street fair. Good times.

Here's my haul from the weekend. (click on the image to view in Flickr w/ thrift-o-vision annotations). These are part of the "Junk in Your Trunk" pool devoted to documenting yard sale and thrift hauls.

Best find was the 1941 yearbook from the "Dutch Treat" social club filled with fantastic girly art and even a pop-up. I'm going to break this out into a separate blog post, it's so nice.

The cupcake tin and shawl are for the Missus.You have to bring a few of those home if you want to get away with the smut and video games. It's a yin-yang thing.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Personalized Catalogs

If you've bought a book from me before you've probably received one of my nifty zombies-attacking-a-bookstore bookmarks.

Sadly if you received said bookmark it's 99.999991% likely that you didn't see (or were unmotivated by) the coupon code stamped on the back which gets you 15% off your next order and reduced or free shipping. Even customers who've purchased from me 5-6 times ignore this substantial boon. I'm at a loss...

Anyway, to hi-light my Gates-level generosity I decided to start printing up short personalized catalogs to include with select orders listing other material the buyer might enjoy and emphasizing the discount.

I use the free version of Bookhound as my database which allows you to easily create customized pick lists. Here's how I do it:
  • Search Bookhound by catalog, keyword or description (with quantity set to ">0" so you only get current inventory).
  • Once you have results, click in the empty space at the far right of each record (beneath the "+" sign) to add select books to a new list.
  • Do several searches--and add titles that are interesting and appropriate--until you have somewhere in the neighborhood of 30-50.
  • Click on the "+" in the upper right corner and Bookhound will display all the titles you just selected.
  • Review your list. Does it feel logical and appealing? If you find something doesn't belong, click "omit" and then the "+" again to get the revised list. Add more titles as necessary.
  • Sort your list by author or title by clicking on the column head.
  • Click "Save list" and name it something appropriate.
  • Click "email list" (not "print list") and Bookhound will copy your list (with full publication details, descriptions, price, etc) to the clipboard.
  • Paste your list into a word doc. I use a template with my logo, contact info, list name, date, page number, and a short explanatory paragraph.
That's it! Print the list and include it with your order. I also save the list as a dated doc so I can reprint if necessary and track its effectiveness. If you receive a similar order down the road you can call the list up in Bookhound from the "saved lists" pull-down on the search screen and freshen it up by adding new acquisitions and deleting sold items .

I find this is a great way to bring some of the hand-sell magic back to online bookselling. It's fun to try and laser in on a customer's reading and collecting needs, it keeps me aware of my older inventory and it gives the customer something to peruse when they step away from the computer.

I've done two so far. Fingers crossed that it wins me some loyal repeat customers.

NOTE: If you staple the list/catalog make sure you fold and place it in such a way that the staple doesn't mar the book. Also if it's more than 2 pages thick, don't place it inside the book or you could damage the binding.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Stoop Sale Report

My haul from the last two weeks of stoop-saling (click on the image to view in Flickr w/ thrift-o-vision annotations). These are part of the "Junk in Your Trunk" pool devoted to documenting yard sale and thrift hauls.

Not one but TWO Bang & O turntables, a great selection of LPs and DVDs, a book on cock-fighting, Aleister Crowley's Thoth tarot and more.

Not too shabby considering I've been coughing my lungs out for two weeks straight from some disgusting lung affliction.

Favorite sale moments: The guy selling the first B+O table said he was clearing stuff out due to anxiety induced by cable hoarding shows (I heart A+E). We discussed the finer points of collect-o-mania and I gave him my informed opinion that you are only a hoarder when you stop inviting people into your home and "stuff" starts to displace your sleeping/eating/showering space. Until then you're a connoisseur.

Other favorite moment was trying out a compound bow outfit and talking jazz at a sale held by a chatty ex-cop, private investigator.

Very excited that the season has begun.