Rare Book Monthly

Articles - July - 2006 Issue

More on Partnerships and Parasitism



The desperate: "This is the first well thought out and written expression of the problems facing those of us who need to feed, clothe, and provide shelter for our families". "I am considering leaving the business, I pay my utilities and that's about it". "We have a house for sale, and if it sells, I'm bowing out of ABE." "I have watched bookselling degenerate into a low-class, shady, almost impossible way to make a buck." "We truly are at the mercy of our website 'partners'. Short of amending their ways, we have no outlook for a better situation. I suspect it will get worse before it gets better...." "The actions of the listing sites are about to drive me out of business." "I see no possiblity of change unless these people [i.e. ABE] go bust."

The questioners: "Have you any suggestion for a new or existing site which would be the role model you are searching for?" "There must be something we can do about this. Any suggestions?"

The critics: "Not all the bad spellers are trolls".

The comics: "My aquaintances who are very rich insist that the less advantaged dealers exist to be exploited. The only people who truly count, whose needs and desires should be considered, are the members of the investor class. They all chuckle when I point out they are scum." "The reason for the delay in payment (by ABE) to booksellers is due to the interest they collect while holding the money...I mentioned this to ABE and was told they didn't think their management would do something like this."

The problem-solvers: "I wonder what the big corporate sites that you described so well would do if the booksellers just took their books off and moved them somewhere else [hmmmm.....] "We decided on a cooperative [Tomfolio]. It was the only way we could afford to implement our idea, protect us from corporate or leverage takeover...our concept was to provide a listing website...that insisted on high business standards but that would not impose upon nor interfere with the business of any of our sellers who abided by our Code of Ethics." "If you have a petition, I'll sign it." "You give every reason...for joining us renegades at the TomFolio shelter." "Aside from government intervention in monopolistic practices (which probably is a reach), the only real alternative would be to form a guild/union of booksellers to raise both bookseller stands and to make demands from the sites." "I think if more booksellers did something, instead of just grumbling, there might be more likelihood of change." "We need a ban on non-inventory holders" [i.e. computer programmers who create hollow listings looking for a customer hit.]." "If you come up with a plan of action, please let me know." "Perhaps the next step is to promote a mass exodus or to encourage bookdealer cooperatives." "I am wondering if you have considered organizing some sort of booksellers association with the primary objective of putting heat on ABE (and others) to influence them to rethink their greedy practices?"

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <center><b>Gonnelli Auction House<br>Books and Graphics<br>19th, 20th and 21st April 2021</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br>Atlases and Maps</b
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br> Veneto and Venice, a Selection of Books from the XVI to XX century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br></b>Rossini Gioachino, Baguette de chef d'orchestre appartenuta a Gioachino Rossini, dono del Comune di Passy. 1500 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Manetti Saverio, Storia naturale degli uccelli trattata con metodo. Cinque volumi. 1767. 18.000 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Poe Edgar Allan, Double assassinat dans la rue morgue. Illustrations de Cura. 1946.
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
  • <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b> Ronald Reagan. Series of 37 letters to Senator George Murphy, and related material, 1968-90. £50,000 to £70,000.

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