Yesterday’s Finds | A Father & Daughter Bookstore

We traveled yesterday to the Capitol City of Mississippi which is quite a hole. It’s way up on the list of most dangerous and stupid places in the U.S. of A. Years ago it had some great old book stores, one, I remember fondly, managed by the guy who was tasked with inventorying Edora Welty’s library. That one closed up shop years ago. But I found a new one, and some finds there.

  1. A new used bookstore in Jackson, Mississippi! The Book Rack: Read Books Drink Coffee. No argument from me.
  2. Two LPs: “Scheherezade” by the Nord Deutsches Symphony Orchestra; and Two Twentieth Century Masterpieces, Hindemith’s “Concerto for Violin and Orchestra,” and Barber’s “Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op 14” both with Isaac Stern as violinist, and NY Philharmonic conducted by Bernstein. I’ll clean them and put them in acid-free sleeves. FYI. The next Horizon has an interview with Isaac Stern.
  3. The Cotton Country Collection (1972) cookbook published by Cotton Bayou Publications, Monroe, Louisiana. There will be crawfish recipes. John loves cookbooks like these. Every recipe is followed with a woman’s name.
  4. The Victrola Book of the Opera (1924) which is an extended catalog of sorts of The Victor Records of Operas. There is first historical context or the composer, et al., followed by technical aspects of the opera, and its stage run. A synopsis of each act, lengthy if the fame of the work merits it. Finally Victor recording information. Looks like in the mid-20s records were going for about a couple bucks. Nice book. Nice paper.
  5. Great Ages of Man: A History of the World’s Cultures. Yes, yes. It’s Time Life. Late 1960s. Nothing particularly special. Pulp of the day on better paper. Likely tens of thousands exist. But….

They were shelved on the floor under some shelves in the History nook. I pulled a couple out and flipped through. Exactly what you’d expect. Did he have a complete set? Indeed he did. Our respective searches priced a complete collection of 21 volumes beginning at $100. He asked $80. Sold.

After Sasha–he’s from Ukraine–and his daughter* had assembled a complete set, we then searched through his duplicates looking for the most attractive spines for various volumes and managed to swap out several with worn spines and a few with odd colors. (The three red were the exceptions.)

How does one make a living selling old books?

*Best part was watching Father & Daughter. She must have been about 15 or so–she was manning the register. At the beginning of the searching (there was a lot of searching, each volume was in their catalog as an independent entry) he told her what to enter and she’d report results. I asked how many books they had and she said, “Over 36,000. Wait! I can tell you exactly,” and searched their catalog. At one point, there was a cute, “I did that already, Dad.”

4 thoughts on “Yesterday’s Finds | A Father & Daughter Bookstore”

  1. My grandmother had a few copies of Great Ages of Man. It likely was my first exposure to academic art history. The bookstore sounds delightful. 36,000 volumes, wow! Amazing that they have a complete inventory of the holdings.

    1. There used to be another store just around the corner. In chatting with Sasha, I learned he bought that one. I recall the previous owners kept pretty good records. In fact, my name was still in the database. So he started with a catalog and I imagine just added to it. He outgrew the smaller store, which had the same name. It was good for a few seconds of “what the heck?” when my phone kept telling me “you’re here!” And I’m like, no I’m not.

  2. I am not at all surprised you have that book! Huh. I’ll be danged. There is a Mississippi Opera. In Jackson, of all places. I had no idea.

  3. That looks like a great book store. I have, somewhere, a different edition of the Victrola Book of Opera.
    When I lived in more cultured parts of the country and attended the opera couple times a year I would read the storyline of the opera from this book prior to attending the performance. Very helpful when (normally) the opera was performed in its original language.

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