Friday, 30 March 2018

Good Friday

A poem For Good Friday
What makes Good Friday good?” you ask.
A challenge! A rather daunting task.
Some may dismiss it with a shrug and a smirk,
And consider it another day off work.
Others, religious, pious as such,
Take a few minutes for a mournful watch;
Merchants unlock their doors with glee,
Anticipating the pre-Easter shopping spree.
A bunny here, a chocolate egg there,
Symbols of a society that doesn’t care.
“Care?” you say, “Do you mean me?”
“What’s there to care; how can this be?”
It’s the cross, you forget, that rugged wood,
That makes Good Friday eternally good.
What’s so good about the death of an ancient man,
Who died long before my life began?
This man, who on this earth once trod,
Was not only man, but the Son of God.
That wood, that tree, that old rugged cross,
Was the symbol of gain and the symbol of loss.
To those who believe, it is the promise of gain;
The hope that, like Jesus, we’ll rise again!
For the skeptic, the doubter, the meaning is loss;
An eternal gulf, which no one can cross.
Good Friday is good, because of the death
Of Jesus the Savior, who gave His last breath
So you, friend, and I, could be cleared of our guilt,
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb that was spilt.
Mourn not, my dear soul, for the death of the Lamb,
For that cross made the bridge to the Great I AM.
Christ paid the price, rose again to God’s side,
And brought us next Sunday: the Resurrection-tide!
written by Alan Allegra.
Art Janice Northcutt Huse

Dinner for friends

I used Chicken not rabbit :)

Veggie option


Cheese and biscuits
Mints and coffee

Number Line

What are number lines?


As you delve into the world of book collecting and begin to grasp the basics of identifying first editions and the print runs of collectible books, you are certain to come across something called the “number line."
Also known as a “printer’s key” or “publisher’s code,” the number line is a string of numbers printed on the copyright page, and it is used to indicate the print run for the book.  They are often printed in descending order (10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1) and  the lowest number generally indicates the printing of that particular copy.
With each printing of a book, the publisher instructs the printer to remove the lowest number that indicated that run.  The reasoning behind removing the lowest number from the string is that if the printer is only removing one number, they are less likely to make a mistake than if they are introducing a new number each time.
Publishers began using number lines in the early 1940’s, and there is still not an industry-approved, standardized system for this convention.  Therefore, each publisher has its own form of identification.
Some publishers may use ascending number lines (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10), others sometimes use letters, and to make matters worse, some publishers may leave the “First Edition” statement on the copyright page but modify the number line to indicate a later printing!
Here’s some industry examples of number line differences:
This is an example of a number line that would indicate the second printing of a book done in 1970: 
2 3 4 5 6    73 72 71 70
Here’s a hypothetical example of a number line from an outsourced printer indicating the third print run of a book by Acme Printing Corp. done in 1996:
3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10   APC   00 99 98 97 96
Random House is a notable exception to the basic number line.  For a period of several years, they indicated a first printing with a number line that began with “2”.
Anness Publishing uses a number line that reads 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2. The 1 indicates that this is a first printing. This same number line in a third print run would look like this: 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4.
The number line can provide some useful information if you know how to read it. When it all comes down to it, the best way to know that you are purchasing a true first edition, first printing is to get a guide to identifying first editions with descriptions of number lines and other identification points for each individual publisher. 

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Mystical Garden

Mystical Garden
The piercing blue water
cascades off the gleaming
smooth rocks, descending
into a pool of mystics.
The dark amber trees soar high
into the heavens,
the ample leaves whisper
sweet nothings in the air.
The radiant flowers
blanket the earth,
crimson roses wrapping
you in their charm.
A tranquil soothing breeze
mystifies the air,
ever so softly the wind
chimes a tune.
A captivating
surrounded by sparkling bugs,
in the midst of this beauty.
The magnificent book
captures her in it’s
golden pages,
buried deep in the abyss.
A mystical garden so full
of poise and grace,
invisible to the naked eye,
covered by a silken sheet.
By Cheryl Dawn Mcfadyen
Art Amanda Clark

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Chasing The Moon

Chasing The Moon.
In my younger days,
I chased the moon with a hunger
in pursuit of love and lore.
So far away they seemed,
beyond my every reach–
that soon I starved
in the dark abandon.
I am older now, matured
cured of disillusion
having learned that love
is a not a place that I can seek
not a desire that I can feed
but rather, a way to be — content
and grateful that wherever I go
when I gaze up into the night-time sky
the moon will always be there
to light my way.
by Jason Weaver, 2013
Artist Neil Thompson

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Good Books

Good Books
Good books are friendly things to own.
If you are busy they will wait.
They will not call you on the phone
Or wake you if the hour is late.
They stand together row by row,
Upon the low shelf or the high.
But if you're lonesome this you know:
You have a friend or two nearby.
The fellowship of books is real.
They're never noisy when you're still.
They won't disturb you at your meal.
They'll comfort you when you are ill.
The lonesome hours they'll always share.
When slighted they will not complain.
And though for them you've ceased to care
Your constant friends they'll still remain.
Good books your faults will never see
Or tell about them round the town.
If you would have their company
You merely have to take them down.
They'll help you pass the time away,
They'll counsel give if that you need.
He has true friends for night and day
Who has a few good books to read.
By Edgar Guest
Art Aimee Stewart

“Just A Dog”

“Just A Dog”
Just a therapy dog
Just a guide dog
Just a police dog
Just a service dog
Just bomb dog
Just a search and rescue dog
Just a sheep dog
Just a hearing dog
Just a mobility assistant dog
Just a sniffer dog
Just a sled dog
Just a best friend dog
Just a antidepressant dog
Just a snuggle dog
Just a comfort dog
Just a companion dog
The list goes on, if you believe they are just a dog you are seriously on the wrong page. Puppers are part of our lives, they become part of us and who we are. People are willing to give up so much to ensure their puppers get everything they need, they don’t do that for “just a dog”, they know what the true meaning of having a pupper in your life means.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

The Best Things Found Between the Pages of Old Books

Inside the cover of this 16th-century star atlas, a reader found a handwritten letter.
Inside the cover of this 16th-century star atlas, a reader found a handwritten letter. COURTESY MIKE SMITHWICK

WHAT SECRETS HIDE AMONG THE pages of old books? There might be a lock of George Washington’s hairthe story of an forgotten luminary of American literature, or a centuries-old manuscript full of mystery. We asked Atlas Obscura readers to send us their stories about the most amazing items they found in books, and you sent us hundreds of responses—from the gross and macabre to the utterly charming and deeply surprising.
We heard about dried bubblegum, boogers, lint, tiny book scorpions, dead head lice, and other unsavory discoveries. Six different correspondents wrote to us with stories about finding strips of fried bacon. (Can someone please enlighten us as to why anyone would use bacon as a bookmark?) Many people use books as hiding places, and the most common find was money, from a few dollars to thousands. Second to money was reports of carefully pressed marijuana leaves (and one sheet of LSD).
People also leave things in books that they want to keep safe, or items that have a particular resonance with the volume itself. One reader found a original news clipping about the sinking of the Titanic in a book about the ship and its survivors. Another found a suicide note in a book about suicide. We heard stories of forgotten love letters, family photos, medical scans, and notes from famous figures—all tucked between pages and then forgotten.
Here are some of our favorites.
Beach photos and Shakespeare, a perfect pair.
Beach photos and Shakespeare, a perfect pair. COURTESY MAY HELENA PLUMB

Family photos

My favorite possession: Complete Works of Shakespeare, complete with beach photos…. Throughout this book the previous owner has taped old photos, seemingly unrelated to Shakespeare. Also, a newspaper clipping about a change in leadership at an insurance agency in Keyser, West Virginia. —May Helena Plumb, Austin, Texas

Not just money … really old money

An old family Bible contained an envelope with a note on the outside saying, “Grandfather’s revolutionary war pay.” Inside was a colonial currency bill and a signed receipt for its payment for service in the Connecticut 2nd Continental line. —W. Kevin Dougherty, Brackney, Pennsylvania

Incredible coincidences

Unbelievable but true. I bought a second-hand book in Rathmines, Dublin, in 1982. There was an old-looking negative.... I was in a camera club, so I brought it in and developed it. It was a photo of me at three years old outside my first home, the number on the door visible. Showed it to my mother and she was amazed as she had never seen the photo....
I still have the book, Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. I often wondered if it had been my godmother’s book. She originally lived two doors up and was an avid reader. There’s no name or inscription on the book, but it’s an explanation and she always gave her old books to charity. Although it was 15 years after the photo was taken, Dublin was smaller then. Still a bit weird but nice. —Anna McManus, Ireland
What happened on the notorious day?
What happened on the notorious day? COURTESY THIAGO AMARAL

Sketchy notes

I’ve found many things in old books, some interesting, some just okay.... I found a drawing of what looks like a woman smoking. It’s small and made with a pencil and ballpoint pen. On the back, in Portuguese, you can read “From Guida, To Rosário, From the notorious day.” No dates, nothing else is given.…
Another interesting thing was a photograph of a big dog lying down, looking kinda sad. On the back you can read, “Born on February 17th, 1971,” also in Portuguese, in the handwriting of a child.... And the last one was an unrequited love poem, handwritten, by a woman. I think she meant to give it to her lover, but could never get the courage to do so. —Thiago Amaral, São Paulo, Brazil

Food for thought

I used to work in a bookstore, so I have perhaps found more surprises inside of books than the average bear. Sometimes these surprises were pleasant notes, sometimes they were boogers (okay, most of the time it was boogers), but one time I found an entire apple tart inside of a book about computer programming. —Grace, California

Forgotten tickets

A 1967 Red Sox World Series Ticket, unused in mint condition. —Robert Bolduc, Boston, Massachusetts

Lost letters

I work in an antique bookstore, so I have found many, many pressed flowers, bizarre receipts, photographs, notes, etc., tucked into books. But I think my favorite is a letter that I found tucked into a French book about Byron published in 1929. The letter, from “Savvy,” is on the Associated Press letterhead, dated March 14, and is so full of longing. —Moira Horowitz, Baltimore, Maryland

Genetic material

A pretty large lock of brown hair, still tied in a decaying bow, fell out of the pages of a turn-of-the-century photo album onto me in an antique store. GROSS. —Jody Amable, San Jose, California

Body parts

While I didn’t find it myself, a finger was found in a book in the library where I worked in Italy. This is the same library where Sharon Tate worked before moving to the United States and becoming an actress. —Amy Robbins-Tjaden
An old clipping that someone wanted to save.
An old clipping that someone wanted to save. COURTESY EDWIN DOUGLASS

News clippings

A circular from 1890 about how the local sheriff (of my hometown) shouldn’t be blamed for the escape of a murderer from the jail. —Edwin Douglass, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Hidden truths

I love old books. Deeply, passionately. I work in a bookstore so I spend my days with books. My favorite find was a letter. I don’t remember in which book, possibly a Hungarian classic novel. It was a short letter, never sent. A teenager wrote it to their parents. From a summer camp. Nice story, isn’t it? Absolutely not.
It happened during communism, when teenagers were forced to visit summer camps to learn the rules of dictatorship.... The children had to write letters to home. About how fantastic is the camp, how generous and perfect is the political system. Every letter was checked; they had to say and write what they were told. And this was another kind of letter. The writer says she wants to go home, because the whole camp is like Hell.... I loved this letter because it was a piece of our past. Not just a simple letter, the truth about that great FAIL. —Lili Palatinus, Budapest, Hungary

Lost pets

I was about eight years old and had a small goldfish bowl with one goldfish in it on top of a small bookcase in my room. One day he just disappeared and we couldn’t figure out where he went, until the day I was reading one of those books and found a petrified goldfish between the pages. —Rebecca MacLeod
There's a story here somewhere.

There’s a story here somewhere. COURTESY MICHAEL RENE ZUZEL


In September 2005, I visited Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon, and bought a used trade paperback copy of William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition. Inside I found a credit card receipt for the book, which had been purchased on July 10, 2004, at LAX airport. I also found a boarding pass for an American Airlines flight on July 21, 2004, from New York’s JFK airport to LAX, issued to the same person whose name was on the book receipt. But none of that was the really interesting part.
Also in the book were a Russian 50 ruble note (worth about 87 cents today) and small scrap of paper bearing the words “I LIKE HAM!” printed in black Sharpie. The other side of the paper bore a faint repeating pattern of a yellow Chihuahua dog. Was it the dog who liked ham? Did the owner of the book buy ham in Russia and get 50 rubles in change? And, most important, did he like the book? —Michael Rene Zuzel, Talent, Oregon

Creepy messages

In an old copy of The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty, I found an old Post-it note that read, “With thoughts such as these, he slowly watched the water turn to wine.” It was about halfway through, and I found it when I was up late reading. Creepy! —Casey Abribat, New York, New York

Secret devices

A World War II hidden radio —Ron G. Woering

Historical documents

I was looking up something in the narrative of the voyage of HMS Adventure, a forerunner of Darwin’s Beagle, in the special collections room of my university library when something fell out. It turned out to be a folded “stampless cover” (a folded letter) written and signed by Captain Fitzroy of the Beagle, simply confirming his position on such-and-such a date and sent to his employer, a shipping company. (This was, of course, long before the telegraph or other rapid means of communication!) —Art Shapiro, Davis, California
One of two creepy clown photos.
One of two creepy clown photos. COURTESY J.L. STRICKLAND

Mysterious photos

Two vintage photographs of rather creepy-looking circus clowns. One with a child at his feet. The photographs were in an old, well-used volume of short stories that I bought at a huge outdoor book sale at a large church in Columbus, Georgia. Neither photo, obviously ancient, was dated, but the picture of the “coy” clown with his finger to his mouth had the name “Pirrus,” or “Pirris,” scrawled on the back in pencil. — J.L. Strickland, Valley, Alabama

Important research notes

A slip of paper in an old Tom Clancy book listing every page where a swear word could be found. —John May, Dallas, Texas
Pretty good life plan ...
Pretty good life plan … COURTESY BRUCE FALCONER


Found in an old hardcover book about the siege of Fort Sumter, on the discount rack outside of Second Story Books in Dupont Circle. A faded tan piece of construction paper, torn along the bottom edge, as if hastily ripped out of a notebook. Yet the text is carefully typed and dripping with the hope and excitement you’d expect from the title at the top: “MY TRIP AROUND THE WORLD.” It spans from 1970 to 1982, and has our unknown adventurer deep-sea fishing, hunting tigers, sailing distant seas, touring Europe and Asia, and ultimately arriving in San Francisco, where the plan is to, “Sell boat buy land and start cattle ranch.” —Bruce Falconer, Washington, D.C.

Notes from the rich and famous

A letter written in hand by King Edward VII on Buckingham Palace stationery. —Don Love, Toronto, Canada
A very good four-leaf clover.
A very good four-leaf clover. COURTESY GLEB BOUNDIN

Extra-appropriate four-leaf clover

Found a four-leaf clover pressed in a book of Robert Pinsky’s poems. The book is called The Figured Wheel. —Gleb Boundin, Brooklyn, New York