My bookstore opened in November, 1979 in Sacramento, California...It has always been in this the capital city of California and currently is in its third location. It is a wonderful city, particularly so for books, i.e. temperate climate with very low humidity. The present location of the bookstore, open since May, 2007, is situated in a beautiful residential neighborhood of great charm a little distance from downtown Sacramento. It is a neighborhood of large Victorian and Arts and Crafts homes all graced with a leafy, shade-producing canopy provided by very large and very old Elm trees. Sacramento is reputed to be the city with the most trees in America and this neighborhood is testimony to that reputation.
The physical store, built 100 years ago, is 1700 square feet, tall ceilings, wood paneling on the walls used in the past for the interiors of railroad freight cars, extensive glass front with a wooden overhang; an elegant, inviting, calm and calming ambience.
I came to bookselling from the world of academic librarianship. This natural pairing of two closely related métiers is not peculiar to me for it is also the background of some other antiquarian booksellers.
Stock and specialties
All independent bookstores invariably reflect the idiosyncrasies and irascibilities of the proprietor, rightfully so, in both the appointments and the book stock at hand and this store is no exception. Since the decorative arts of the 20th century is one of my specialties one will find here modern glass, ceramics, furniture and poster art scattered throughout.
Most of my book stock is out of print with some rare books. (A primary concentration is the art movements, artists and decorative arts between the two world wars to around 1975.) My book stock numbers 7000 titles / 16,000 volumes give or take a few hundred either way.
A great effort, quite pleasurable, is made to buy and sell interesting and not easily available books in my specialties. First and foremost, however, is that the books chosen--new, used, out of print and rare--resonate with the owner and hopefully, in turn, they will resonate with like minded folks. Buying what the market demands is a myth, except for multi-national corporations, as there is no such thing as a discernible, i.e. predictable market in my kind of endeavor. Crystal ball gazing is de rigueur.
You do what you do best and love and perhaps like minded souls, i.e. my clients will find this yellow brick road.
I buy and sell new, out of print and rare books primarily in the arts, i.e. sculpture, painting, printmaking, prints, printing, graphic arts, posters and poster art, photography, architecture. All the decorative arts of the 20th century is a specialty as is pre-20th century decorative arts the world over. Other specialties include textiles and textile art, books by and about women artists, ballet and dance, how-to books, very selective, as applied to the arts, books about books, artists' books, and a small selection of literature, music and film books.
I also buy and sell books on non-Western art including Native American art, art of the Middle East, Islamic art, art of India, art of Persia, art of China, art of Japan, art of Korea, art of Mexico and Latin America. I buy and sell Judaica with a concentration on Jewish art and Jewish artists. I buy and sell rare books in all fields with a concentration on the arts.