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Future

I have been attempting to get a sale space set up for a private sale. This involves a multitude of boxes, shelving and organization.

More books are being posted on the Abe website.

Also trying to post photos.

In addition more blogs will be coming weekly.

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Dustcovers

Dust covers or Dust jackets are the paper or waxed paper coverings on a hardcover book that shows a synopses and an artwork somewhat relevant to the interior. Depending on the era, D.J. art could be designed by an up and  coming artist. If that artist became popular, then that DJ, regardless of the book, can be very expensive.  Some of the artists become popular for DJ art alone and are seen on every book in a gendre for an era. A good example of this is Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell. If these names don’t ring a bell check out the link ( https://www.borisjulie.com/ ) and you will see examples of the art that graced science fiction and fantasy covers from the 1970s-1990s.  First editions of books with this art art a boon for collectors.

Sometimes publishers will reissue novels with different artists. When this is done with multi volume series, people can become frantic to obtain matching cover art.

Another thing that collectors look for on Dustcovers are mistakes. The most common of these are misspellings of the title or a type face that doesn’t match the size of the covers. But sometimes there are more drastic  changes. For example a recent book in the Valdemar series  by Mercedes Lackey contains a synopsis of a plot for a book which never got written. One can assume it was for an earlier draft of the novel. This print run was cancelled and new covers were printed.  The old ones are to be discarded and destroyed, but in a few years they will be resurfacing.

Are there a real tangible value to these? Possibly, but the whole idea here is to pay attention to the covers. Enjoy the art, the skill it takes to design them and see what the artist has created else where.

 

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Events

Tallahassee Pagan Pride Day was a great introduction to the local community. No other events are pre planned as of yet, but in the works is a personal viewing day at out “shop” during the holiday season.  Be on the lookout for us at other Holiday events.

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Lexile Scores and Reading Levels

If you are looking at children’s books for school you might notice a Lexile Number at the back. “A Lexile measure is a valuable tool for teachers, parents, and students. … The higher the Lexile measure, the higher the student’s reading level. The reader’s Lexile Framework works in intervals of five with 5L being the lowest. The highest possible measure is 2000L.”

But what exactly does that mean? What is a good score for a grade level?

https://www.graniteschools.org/curriculuminstruction/english-language-arts-secondary/interpret-sri-scores/

The thing is, Lexiles measure a book’s complexity by a painfully literal algorithm of sentence length, word choice, and syntax.

To be fair, it’s only meant to be a rough guideline rather than some iron-clad dictum or curriculum. And any teacher knows that a work can have a low Lexile difficulty while being thematically unsuitable for younger readers. But still. How can Hemingway be lower than Mr. Poppers Penguins?

What are your thoughts on this? Should the complexity of the subject matter mean more than the vocabulary?

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Weather and your books

Now that the weather is becoming more extreme the question that comes to mind, after how am I to survive  is how will my collections be safe?

The more droll among us would say that not living in a place where there is extreme weather would be good, but let’s face it. Extreme weather can and will happen anywhere.

There are two things that can be done and must be completed before the evacuation orders are sent out.

1: Keep a list of your items, with photos on a drive for insurance purposes 

 You will never get the true value of the items back from your insurance, but it will help. Also it is a good way of proving what you had, what you need to get again and what condition it was in so that it can be fixed. Update this list when ever you buy something new or every month so that it is up to date. Keeping a record of where you got the items will help as well. Please remember to keep the drive in a weather safe (fire safe) that can be taken with you.  Do not keep in a bank vault.  Why? Well if a flood and storm destroys your home, how secure is the local bank’s vault?They may be burglar proof, but water? The link below tells the story of how one bank had to deal with the contents of the vault after Katrina. 

15. Moldy money vault

2: Get containers. 

Okay this sounds simple. Put your collections in to containers.  But here at Unique Editions Reads we have over 4,000 titles.  Packing these items will take hours. And sometimes you don’t have hours. Sometimes you don’t have enough container or even the correct ones.

So what can you do?

Height. First off if you have your collection in a storage unit get some pallets. I prefer wood, (eco friendly, recyclable) but plastic ones don’t rot. Line the bottom of your storage unit with them Two to three levels high if you can. Most flooding is between 6 inches and  2 feet. Keeping things high enough will prevent them from being soaked.

If you have your collection in your home, put them on a higher secure surface, like in taped cabinets or on a strong steady table.

Look for square containers of equal proportions that have a seal to the, Think about how your food containers are made. Some boxes are sold as weather tight, like the Iris brand. Pick a size that you can lift when full, and get enough for your complete collection for ease of stacking. Also when stacking remember books are heavy. If you are stacking the containers be mindful of the weight. Too heavy and the lids will be crushed. It is good to have a few pieces of wood or drywall to put between layers to distribute the weight.

If possible put each book into a ziploc bag and remove the air. If not get a sheet of plastic and wrap them like a gift and put them in.

Remember to number the boxes and list the items inside. Put this on the interior and exterior of the box and also a copy on the drive.

Damp/Mold Proofing

With paper, this is the main issue. Unless you turn all of your books into “bath books” or typed on waterproof plastic. Weather conditions will cause decay.

Silica Gel can be bought in bulk from art supply shops or you can just save all the little packs that come in various food packages. These will help with the humidity and mold issues while things are being stored.  Mylar envelopes can hold smaller books and prints.

 

What can be done after the storms and your collection is wet? Well the professionals at River Campus Libraries have some good ideas. Some are very expensive, but for the layperson the following will help. .

Air-drying: Fewer than 500 non-coated paper books with non‑water soluble components.

  • Cover drying surface with plastic sheeting & absorbent paper (e.g. unprinted newsprint), as needed.
  • Open book to a shallow angle & interleave approximately every 20 pages with paper towels. Begin by laying the book flat & interleaving at the front of the book, allowing the work surface to support the main weight. When interleaving has reached the approximate center of the textblock, turn the book over and start interleaving from the back.
  • The book may be left flat until paper towels have absorbed some of the water, about one hour.
  • Stand book on end (head or tail), slightly fanned.
  • Change paper beneath the books and interleaving periodically until the book is only “damp”, and then proceed to #3.
  • Keep air circulating by using fans. Do not aim fans directly at the wet materials.

 DAMP BOOKS:

  • Cover drying surface with plastic sheeting & absorbent paper (e.g. unprinted newsprint).
  • Stand damp books on head or tail, slightly fanned. If the cover is damper than the text, place absorbent paper between the boards and book, change them as needed.
  • Use fans to circulate air to dry the books completely.

You can read their article on this subject here. https://rbscp.lib.rochester.edu/3246

As for the smell Baking soda is the best. Put some on flat plates all around the storage unit or room and they will absorb the moisture. Also some sprinkled on the books will get rid of the musty smell. Best of all, it brushes right off and the baking soda can be put in your compost or on your garden.

There are no fool proof ways to do this. And better materials are out there and will be produced. The best thing is to do what you can so that your collection and you survive.

Best of luck in the storm seasons.

 

 

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Reading Lists: Are they important?

Oprah’s, The New York Times Bestsellers, Calcott, Calvert’s, Newberry, and every school in the US have them, along with every library system. You can find them for picture books, religious groups and nearly every sub group out there. But are they really necessary? Why do we have reading lists? They are intended to showcase certain ideals or stories, but most people, I have discovered, tend to use them as a way to avoid certain books.

What are your ideas?

 

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The Importance of Magazines

As someone who is more technologically old fashioned I feel like I need to step up and defend older art forms.

While electronic forms of reading are more eco-friendly there is something to be said about keeping physical magazines. There have been many discussions and studies about the physical handling of magazines (and other printed media) helping one understand the importance of the reading material, and many others about the waste that producing them creates.

But this is not about any of that.

Magazines are transient parts of culture. Cheaply (for the most part) made and easily discarded. The information on them is direct and compelling, offering people a glimpse of what they have never experienced before. Magazines offer children the chance to read materials and discover other things they might find intriguing. They create rabbit holes of interest and enjoyment.

Zines (home made  magazines) have given fans a chance to see their work in print and to share ideas & tales to the outside world. They have allowed the strange, out of the box thinkers a chance to find like minded fellows and realize that they are not alone. Sometimes this will encourage them to be more of themselves and bloom, othertimes it will just keep them from wilting.

Zines can become magazines, as some did back in the early days of the 20th century when science fiction was still in its early stages. Asimov and others have printed them on cheaply made paper, kept hidden behind the bookstore’s counter or on racks in the back.

But like everything, magazines caught the general media’s eye and thus had it’s own heyday. For a span of my lifetime they were everywhere and on every obscure subject. Five different ones on the history of stain glass printed monthly, 20 different ones on sewing printed monthly.  News, gossip, sports and alternative ones printed weekly. All sent to every bookstore in packs of 30. When the new issue came in, the covers of the unsold old ones were ripped off and returned to the publisher for credit. The books themselves were trashed. (later recycled) Never to be seen again.

All hat information lost to time.

If you were lucky the library might have the copy you missed, but they wouldn’t keep them past a year. If you could afford it, you could order back issues from the printer, but even then sometimes you were out of luck.

While out dated, older magazines can offer insights to how people thought in that era. The illustrations and photos can show us things that have been lost to time. And sometimes we can discover stories that have been forgotten, or that have inspired others into greatness.

SO next time when you are out at a bookstore, an old bookshop or a yard sale don’t pass the dusty pile of old magazines by. Give them, and yourself, a chance to shine.

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Found items: Fly-aways or ephemera?

Today I discovered another thing left behind in a book. A business card from the 1960’s or earlier. I know because the phone number had letters in it, which was not used after area codes started and party lines were dropped.

This card has been placed in a box with other’s of its ilk. Over the years I have found many items that people have used instead of bookmarks: love letters, grocery lists,earrings, feathers,broken chain bracelets, coupons, cancelled checks, postage stamps, clean candy wrappers and business cards.

Lately it has been more business cards, as they have become more prevalent in our society in the last decade or so. Some of these items have been tossed, others have been “sold” on Listia and other sites for cryptocurrency, but most I have saved as a way to glimpse a bit of the past.

One thing I have rarely found left in books are book marks. Considering I see hundreds of types in every store that sells anything close to a book or journal, one might think that there would be more left behind in the pages of a returned library book. Sadly, for me, this is not the case.

Since childhood people always have given me bookmarks, and yet sadly I have never really used them. Where are you to put it when you are reading on the train or bus? And some are bulky and damage the spine. So while beautiful or thoughtful they have proven, to me at least, to be more art than practical. But is this the same for all readers?

So here is the thing….

What do you call the items that are used instead? Are they still book marks? When they are left behind do they change titles?  Are they mementos? Fly-aways? Ephemera?

No one really knows. Biblio groups all use their own names and classifications. A few years back the I-Love-Libraries  group wrote a post on it and quoted an article about it as well. (see below). Perhaps, in generations to come, people will treat them as historical treasures. Or perhaps just throw them away.

Either way I count it as a surprise to find them and collect them just the same.

Posted by I Love Libraries on Tuesday, June 11, 2013

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Sad tidings

The last few months have brought some changes.

The White Elephant in Crawfordville Florida has closed down. All of our inventory have been removed and we are currently looking for another vendor spot.

We have moved our storage to another spot in Tallahassee and a good portion of our inventory was damaged by weather.

But we are still putting more books onto biblio.com.