Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Our New Fall Catalog-

Getting rid of fall leaves is always a bit of an issue for the book elves as October gives way to November around the Cataloging Cave. It's one thing to wait until every leaf is off every tree, and quite another to wait and see if they all blow away in a freak New England November hurricane. When that didn't happen (again) this year, the Book Elves decided to try some more imaginative methods of leaf disposal.

The series of advertisements they posted in the local newspapers extolling their "Organic Free Range Limited Edition Collector's Leaves for Mulching" didn't draw any responses, so they decided to burn them, which is technically feasible but also technically illegal. "No problem", they decided, "we'll just burn them really quickly, so they're done before the Police or Fire Dept. shows up" (at last that's what they told the FBI later).

So the book elves raked all the leaves together into a pile the size of a dumptruck and, in the company of a half-dozen curious graduate chemistry students from UMass., stationed themselves at a small distance from the mountain of leaves, with a barrel of liquid oxygen the students had "borrowed", and a match on the end of a really, really, really long pole...

But before they set off an explosion which vaporized the leaves, a beech tree, two wheelbarrows and a lawn gnome, and was clearly visible to the astronauts on the Space Shuttle, they finished work on our latest catalog-


features 120 books and catalogs on all aspects of
arts and antiques, and you can
browse it on our website.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Our New September Catalog-

Our latest Recent Acquisitions catalog is now online-

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Our Latest Catalog-

It’s June and the Book Elves have discovered the local neighborhood “anyone can play” soccer team. They've become quite dedicated, although some of us believe that their sudden enthusiasm for team sports has more to do with the apr├Ęs-game beer & pizza parties than a love for the great outdoors & athleticism.

But before they went up on Netflix and rented “Soccer Hooliganism For Dummies”, the Book Elves finished our latest catalog-

"Catalog 324 – Recent Acquisitions for July, 2009” , contains 110 books and catalogs on the decorative and fine arts, architecture, trades, design, and related topics.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Home Again-

A week at the beach was a welcome break, even if the early June weather was a bit chilly, but it all left me with one burning, unanswered question- what's the difference between flotsam and jetsam, and can you have one without the other?

Monday, June 01, 2009

Oh. Well, That's innocent Enough.

Here's a rather frightening series of illustrations from a 19th century French inventor's magazine I just bought-

Now, I'm not sure what this looks like to you,
but I know what it looks like to me-

ok, yeah, this is what I thought the next step would be...

please please please please don't show what comes next.

oops. Oh.

It's just a roll of paper advertisements
to be read by passersby.

I'm not sure whether this makes me happy or sad...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pedal to the grindstone...

We're back, back home again from the long weekend, refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to rock n' roll! Now, nose to the grindstone! Pedal to the metal!

Um... is it lunchtime yet?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Adelaide Alsop Robineau-

Our Book of the Day is an interesting, beautiful folio-sized magazine from an important American art potter -

Friday, May 15, 2009

Featured Book-

Please visit our new Featured Book, a charming 1849 French watercolorist's guide with hand-colored plates.

May 15 in History-

Today in History-

May 15, 1565 Henrick de Keyser, architect and master builder of Amsterdam, was born.
May 15, 1856 L. Frank Baum, American Author
May 15, 1923 Richard Avedon, photographer, was born.
May 15, 1930 –Jasper Johns, American Abstract Expressionst is born.
May 15, 1936 Ralph Steadman, British Artist/Cartoonist, was born.

It's a Cat's World-

The beauty of being a cat is that you can sit anywhere you want.

How long 'till dinner?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Our Latest Catalog-

The anguished cry could be heard from one end of town to the other. It disturbed the cows down at the dairy 3 miles away and annoyed the crows as they finished their nests in the tall pine trees-


Yes, it was true- the Book Elves signed themselves up with a Twitter account.

There were positive sides to the ghastly news- it quickly became evident that, with the Book Elves solidly planted down at their computer screens twitting away the day, the chaos & mayhem level in the Cataloging Cave decreased remarkably, and we actually went an entire week without getting a single visit from the police or FBI.

So, despite my initial horror, there may actually be a positive side to the whole thing. And hey, now I get to call them “twits”.

But before they accumulated 32,511 “followers” on Twitter, the Book Elves finished our latest catalog-


which features 112 books and catalogs on decorative and fine arts, design, and related subjects. You may see the catalog on our website.

Printed copies are also available. Please remember to send us your postal address if you would like one.

And, if you’d like to follow to Book Elves on Twitter, don’t say you weren’t warned...

Monday, May 11, 2009

So, how do you define "healthy", anyway?

Specifically, I wonder if homemade strawberry shortcake is an acceptable Springtime breakfast. It's fruit and dairy, right?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Bloomin' Spring-

The crab apple in full bloom in front of the cherry tree, also in full bloom, as seen from the window at the top of the stairs.

Monday, April 27, 2009


The azaleas have come into full bloom out back, so we sacrificed a few to mount on my office mantle...

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Nation Mourned-

A story in today's New York Times-

After news of President Lincoln's assassination reached New York, in all arteries and capillaries of the city, shopkeepers designed makeshift shrines to the martyred president. An anonymous diarist walked for miles, drawing sketches of as many storefronts as he could (evidence suggests, but does not confirm, that the diarist was a man). Through his relentless activity this nameless reporter made the news a bit more comprehensible. Here are selections from the diary entries.

Here's the full story
and images of the pages.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Are Your Sure?

I just took one of those Facebook quizzes which asked "Which Shakespearean Character are You?" and found out I am Lady Macbeth. And here I was hoping for Richard III. I think it's rigged...

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Bonfire of the Xmas Trees

Yesterday we humanely disposed of several years' worth of dead Xmas trees by having a bonfire in our neighbors' backyard fire pit. First, the pit was readied by burning a few old wooden pallets as the audience warmed up with some champagne-

And in goes the first tree!

That was fast. the second tree approaches...

And there it goes!

Same time, same place, next year?

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Morning -Yeah, What's Up with That?

Philosophical Query for the Day-

What is the Real Problem with Morning?

a) it's an every-day event, and that's just too much. Can we cut it back to, say, 4 days a week?

b) people expect you to do stuff when it happens.

c) it comes before lunch.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Rain? Sun??

The forecast says rain-
The sky says sun. It's April,
And I'm so confused.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Opening Day ! (??)

Well, Red Sox fans are all set for Sox Opening Day, Take 2, after yesterday's washout. Hey, at some point it has to stop raining right? Maybe by May?

Opening Day Haiku-

Its Opening Day-
First pitch- going, going gone!
What's gone- ball or hope?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Our Latest Catalog-

The past few weeks were Spring break Time, and the Book Elves went winging their way Southwards. Well, ok, not “winging” it exactly, as they have been banned from flying almost all the domestic airlines, but Peter Pan’ing it to Florida, where they spent a few weeks in one of the few counties where they did not currently have outstanding warrants for public nudity and intoxication (and, in one instance, a warrant citing a surplus US Army truck, a circus donkey, and the roof of the Sarasota Town Hall).

But before the Book Elves arrived in Key West, did their unforgettable (and obscene) a-capella rendition of “Margaritaville” and had Jimmy Buffet call the cops on them, they finished our latest catalog-


-which features 135 books and catalogs on the decorative and fine arts, design, and related topics. The catalog is now posted on the web , and we also have free printed copies available.
If you would like one, please send us your mailing address.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Our Latest Books on Silver Catalog-

The rapidly changing March weather can prove daunting to even the most experienced meteorologist, and this March's weather has been schizophrenic enough to defeat even the best of them. The Book Elves would no sooner get the sleds ready for promised snow than it would rain. A forecast for a sunny day with temps in the 50s saw them getting the lawn chairs ready only to be covered with 3 inches of sleet. Annoyed, the Book Elves decided they could forecast that sort of weather with as much accuracy as any talking head on channel 4, and set up their own You-Tube-based weather forecasting service called "L@@K -> WEATHER 4YU!!".

But before they re-labeled the quadrants on the Book Cave dart board "Sun", "Snow", "Sleet" & "Meteors", they finished out latest catalog-

"Books on Silver & Silversmiths, A-H" features 128 books and catalogs on silver & silversmths, and you can browse it on our website!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Those Darn Jewels!

I do love a good Art Deco dust jacket...

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

New Books on Ceramics Catalog

March is said to roar in like a lion and leave like a lamb, but it’s always a bad idea to use such descriptive phrases around the Book Elves, who are likely to put them into “living” practice on the front lawn... But before the local State Police lieutenant (who is around here so much that we now exchange Christmas and birthday cards with him) showed up and began taking photos of what the MSPCA is insisting in calling “the incident scene”, they finished our latest catalog-

"BOOKS ON CERAMICS" features one hundred and sixty-three 18th, 19th and 20th century books and catalogs on a wide variety of pottery, porcelain, potters, and related subjects.

The catalog is posted online, and we also have printed copies available. Please send us your address if you would like a free copy.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Word Freak!!

I just unearthed a small pile of buttons I picked up at one the the yearly Boston Globe Book Festivals back in the late 70s or early 80s. Here's one-

Friday, January 02, 2009

Drama in a Picture-

We had a copy of Phillip Barraud's 1782 book "A New Book of Single Cyphers, Comprising Six Hundred Invented and Engraved by Ph. D. Barraud" in our catalog a few years ago. We sold the book, but I wanted to share one of the engraved frontispiece plates at the front-

I just love dramatic copper-plate engravings like this.