Rare Book Monthly

Articles - November - 2017 Issue

Used Bookstores Are Back: The Published Page - Large Bricks & Mortar Shop Opens Near Ft. Worth.

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On Nov 1 Jim & Connye Hart, 72, are opening a large real used bookstore in Cleburne, Texas. When fully completed they expect to have over 100,000 books.

Move over Amazon, starting November 1st, Jim and Connye Hart open a big olden days style used bookstore in Cleburne, Texas outside of Fort Worth. When fully built out the Published Page expects to offer over 100,000 actual physical books. And talk about confidence, they are also buying a large two story 140-year-old building with nearly 10,000 sq. ft. of usable space to house the books!

 

The pair of 72-year-old booksellers, who live a few miles down the road in Arlington, started selling used books in 1997. First they were in a small antique center and later in a large regional mall, but rising rents forced them out of retail. By the early aughts they put the books in storage, put the business online and have been online as the Published Page ever since.

 

But with the Cleburne adventure, all that's about to change. According to Jim Hart, Cleburne is a small (pop. 30,000) old railway town about 30 miles down the road from Ft. Worth. In the past it has been bypassed by the highway system, but recently the Chisholm Trail Parkway (southern trail toll road) has opened, and apparently this route goes directly from Ft. Worth to somewhere near their front door. It takes about a half hour by car.

 

Earlier in the Fall the Harts announced their decision to their fellow Internet booksellers and since then they’ve been counting down the days to opening. Their Facebook page displays photos of the new premises - there’s Connye up on scaffolding painting the front facade, here comes the big moving vans, there are the shadowy figures physically moving their inventory in hundreds of boxes to the site, leaving little doubt that everything old is about to be new again.

 

The family has six children, none of whom, Jim said, has ever displayed the slightest interest in the trade before. But, he said, “they’re all pitching in to make this happen.”

 

Hart sees the November 1st date as a soft opening. He hopes to have at least a quarter of the floor space ready for occupancy and have enough books up on the shelves to make the shop a destination for book hungry buyers from the city and others in an area where used book stores, especially big ones, are sparse.

 

His plan is to begin on the ground floor and then continue building out the upstairs, which he describes as old style offices with antique lettering on the doors built around a traditional atrium. “I am an engineer,” he said, “so making the repairs, that part has been fun, but I’m ready to start selling books again."

 

Even though he's adding a huge new retail component, he expects to continue his internet business and feels confident that the numbers are going to pencil out, only now he’ll be paying a mortgage instead of storage fees.

 

The Published Page specialties include science fiction, petroleum geology, Civil War and American History. "Our average sale is about $12. We also sell inexpensive books for as little as $1.95," he said. “I like being in the book business and hate to see us price ourselves out of any market. I want our customers to be able to find something to buy and I want them to come back."

 

He also buys books, sometimes lots of books, and sometimes a few here or there. In the store he’ll buy either for cash or store credit, which should be a boon to those who have older books, paper or estate material and a dwindling number of places to sell them.

 

As for staff, Hart said, "Jim Arner, aka 'Gentleman Jim,' (a colleague in the Western trade) has volunteered to help for the first month, there are the kids, and we’ve had several qualified people express interest. The basic thought is, 'Let’s get it running.'”

 

Hart is an engineer by training, and although born in London to a Texas GI father and a British mother, his Texas roots go way back. When it comes to books, “I’ve been a reader and book collector all my life,” he said. “I was attracted to online book selling because I was writing computer software.”

 

Originally he thought he was going to be a “software guy” but after they bought their first really big lot of books, “it’s been more about books and less about engineering and consulting since then.” Presently the Published Page owns about 100,000 volumes of which about 40,000 are already cataloged and can be viewed online.

 

Asked why a septuagenarian couple takes on a six figure mortgage, he replied that they’d been scouting for a new location for several years and it “seemed better to have a hard asset (than a leased space). Given how old I am this is my retirement. If something happens it’s an asset for our children."

 

Hart isn’t sure if their new shop is the advance wave of a resurgence in large used book shops, with the smell of old paper and the long hours spent browsing through the shelves, but he did say, “I hope there will be booksellers around for a long time, and I hope to be one of them.”

 

Their new physical address is:

 

The Published Page

10 East Chambers St.

Cleburne, Texas 76031

Owners: Jim & Connye Hart (817) 349-6366

jimhart@publishedpage.com

 

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/bibliotreasures/

 

The Published Page online

www.publishedpage.com

 

Store hours are expected to be Tues.-Sat. from 10-6, with other hours by appointment. He hopes to eventually be open seven days a week. The Published Page will participate in a town-wide celebration in Cleburne on Sunday, Nov. 5, but will not otherwise be open on Sundays.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ian Fleming, <i>Goldfinger,</i> first edition, inscribed to Sir Henry Cotton, MBE, London, 1959. Sold for $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Joseph Brant, Mohawk Chief, ALS, writing after pledging support to King George III against American rebels, 1776. Sold for a record $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Sonia Delaunay, <i>Ses Peintures</i> . . ., 20 pochoir plates, Paris, 1925. Sold for a record $13,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Diana, Princess of Wales, 6 autograph letters signed to British <i>Vogue</i> editor, 1989-92. Sold for $10,400.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Alexander Hamilton, ALS, as Secretary of the Treasury covering costs of the new U.S. Mint, 1793. Sold for $12,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Benjamin Graham & David L. Dodd, <i>Security Analysis,</i> first edition, inscribed by Graham to a Wall Street trader, NY, 1934. Sold for $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> George Barbier & François-Louis Schmied, <i>Personnages de Comédie,</i> Paris, 1922. Sold for $9,375.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Alphonse Mucha, <i>Ilsée, Princesse de Tripoli,</i> Paris, 1897. Sold for a record $13,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ralph Waldo Emerson, <i>The Dial,</i> first edition of the reconstituted issue, Emerson’s copy with inscriptions, Cincinnati, 1860. Sold for a record $3,250.
  • <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Sold for $500,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. Sold for $25,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. Sold for $50,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Fitzroy, Robert. Autograph Letter Signed to agent Thomas Stilwell, informing him of the progress of H.M.S. Beagle. Sold for $17,575.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br> Property from the Collection of Nicole and William R. Keck II</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. Sold for $13,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. Sold for $5,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. Sold for $7,575.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. Sold for $4,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. Sold for $8,825.
  • <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini. June 27</b>
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini:</b> KENNEDY ONASSIS, JACQUELINE Typed letter signed to Oleg Cassini. $400 to $600
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini:</b> [CASSINI-KENNEDY FASHIONS] Important archives related to the development of fashions for Mrs. Kennedy… $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini:</b> [CASSINI-KENNEDY FASHIONS] Detailed ledger of the Kennedy White House years… $500 to $800
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini:</b> KELLY, GRACE. Four autograph letters to Oleg Cassini. $5,000 to $8,000
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini. June 27</b>
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini:</b> CASSINI, OLEG. Group of Kennedy-era original fashion sketches. $1,000 to $1,500
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini:</b> KENNEDY ONASSIS, JACQUELINE. Autograph letter signed to Oleg Cassini. $800 to $1,200
    <b>Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini:</b> CASSINI, OLEG. Fashion sketch titled “Mrs. Kennedy-Palais de Versailles-State Dinner.” $800 to $1,200
    Doyle, The Estate of Oleg Cassini: [CASSINI, OLEG - KENNEDY, JACQUELINE.] Group of approximately 130 original fashion designs… $800 to $1,200.
  • <b>Christie’s Paris:</b> Blaise Cendrars and Fernand Léger, <i>La Fin du monde filmée par l’ange N.-D.,</i> Paris, Editions de la Sirène, 1919
    <b>Christie’s Paris:</b> André Breton, <i>Second manifeste du Surréalisme,</i> Paris, Editions Kra, 1930
    <b>Christie’s Paris:</b> Paul Eluard and Pablo Picasso, <i>La Barre d’appui,</i> Paris, Editions « Cahiers d’Art », 1936
    <b>Christie’s Paris:</b> Blaise Cendrars and Fernand Léger, <i>La Fin du monde filmée par l’ange N.-D.,</i> Paris, Editions de la Sirène, 1919
    <b>Christie’s Paris:</b> Hans Bellmer, <i>Die Puppe,</i> Paris, G.L.M., 1936
    <b>Christie’s Paris:</b> Salvador Dali, <i>La femme visible,</i> Paris, Editions Surréalistes, 1930
  • <b>Christie’s London, Jul. 9:</b> Pushkin, Alexander. <i>Evgenii Onegin. A novel in verse.</i> A first edition of the most important work in Russian literature in its original parts, 1825–32. £120,000 to £160,000
    <b>Christie’s London, Jul. 9:</b> Gogol, Nikolai. <i>Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka.</i> A rare first edition of Gogol's first masterpiece, 1831–32. £70,000 to £100,000
    <b>Christie’s London, Jul. 9:</b> Darwin, Charles Robert. <i>On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.</i> First edition, owned and read by two contemporaries of Darwin. London: John Murray, 1859. £140,000 to £200,000
    <b>Christie’s London, Jul. 9:</b> Galilei, Galileo. <i>Sidereus Nuncius.</i> First edition, announcing the first astronomical discoveries made with the telescope. Venice: Tommaso Baglioni, [March] 1610. £300,000 to £500,000
    <b>Christie’s London, Jul. 9:</b> The seal of Wulfric. England, first half 11th century. £70,000 to £100,000
    <b>Christie’s London, Jul. 9:</b> Bible, <i>Ezechiel</i> in Latin. [Northern Italy, 5th century]. £120,000 to £180,000
    <b>Christie’s London, Jul. 9:</b> Blaeu, Jan and Willem Blaeu. <i>Grooten Atlas [Atlas Major]</i>. Amsterdam: Johannes Blaeu, 1664. £450,000 to £650,000
    <b>Christie’s London, Jul. 9:</b> Petites Heures of Charles VIII use of Paris, in Latin. An exquisite Hours illuminated by the Master of the Chronique Scandaleuse. [Paris, 1490s]. £300,000 to £500,000

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