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tv   Black Swan Books  CSPAN  February 20, 2017 10:48pm-11:01pm EST

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>> what a treat it has been to have you with us. opened in 1847 in the final resting place of jefferson davis as well as james munro and john tyler and it's the second most visited the cemetery in the country after arlington national cemetery. we continue to feature on richmond with a visit to the local bookstore. >> this is an example of a book that is not particularly valuable that is absolutely
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beautiful. >> we sometimes think it is a rare book shop and that isn't from me. i want the bookshop and the business to be for everybody. i want people to people to come in and say look at that gorgeous book and open it up and find that there is $25 they could probably afford it and that's a nice thing i think. nothing was going to work out
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for me. 20 years ago we bought the inventory of a bookshop that was going out of business and it turned out not to be very good inventory that i didn't pay very much. and we put it all in storage. my son that is running the shop in the district we put all of them on the bookcases and all of a sudden we were book dealers. that was in 96 or 97 so it's been almost 20 years. >> named after william byrd who founded richmond way back in the 1720s i think he and he was a book collector and an interesting guy like a jeffersonian type. he went over to london and he was a bit of a rascal because
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not only was he an arrest of inviting books which he did and sent them back to virginia, but he was also very interested in winning and one of them referred to him as the black swan. it seemed like that was a cool name for a bookshop in richmond. i go out all the time. i feel like i don't have time to catalog my inventory because i'm busy going out and buying more of it. of this is a highway in the wilderness. wilderness. i looked at that and i thought i never heard of h. stearns and i doubt very few people have.
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this is a religious track that might be kind of interesting that probably isn't. it turns out the highway in the wilderness was to teach at an african-american school in moorestown tennessee in the 1870s. that makes the book interesting because it is full of what life was like at the school for colored people in tennessee in the 1870s. if nobody is selling at or alternatively you can find it being held by any institution that is that you ca day but youy
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confident given the subject matter but somebody's going to want. carefully and thoughtfully and in a way that i can market it to someone that is interesting in african-american history. it looks like a very nondescript religious pamphlets. often it is a lot of job but it's something interesting. i got a bunch of books and brought them back here.
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if there was a folded piece of paper that turned out to be a printed flat piece of paper and isaid to them on non- slaveholdg south, that looks interesting. i dug around to try to find it out and it was by a man who was an abolitionist in the 1970s and she was great friends of john brown who is known for his rate of harpers ferry and subsequent hanging. john brown said to spooner, don't issue this broadside because it was saying to people
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go ahead and be bold against the slave holders. so they didn't print very many of these. if the abolitionist movement leading up to the civil war. there was a lot of money stuck in the back of the book but no one saw it and as people often don't because it is just a piece of paper stuck in their. this is a whole stack of things that's interesting to give several items about a single person. this one i bought from one family about an ancestor of bears who was a dentist in west virginia but he trained for his
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dental education and maryland baltimore and it's all for digital stuff. it's manuscript, diaries, the continentacontinental guard rivr excursion in etd before -- 1884. it visiting cards and advertising cards and most importantly, journal entries that tell us about what this man was doing in his daily life in the 1870s in baltimore and then later on in west virginia. so if he so why go to catalog things because you've got to sit down and read it. look at the title page to this
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commonplace book that he had. they wrote all kinds of items. there's an envelope with a picture of george washington printed on it that says beware of traders. here's an envelope that was painted during the civil war just stuck in this commonplace book. people come to the store all the time and sa say do you appraise books and what they mean is do i buy books often. what they want is to sell books.
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the internet has created everyone is an expert but they are not. i have one guy bless his heart, he was a very simple man out in the country he showed up on a saturday with a pickup truck full of books and every book had a slip of paper with the value of the book that he saw online. he had things like a really beat up copy of the decline and fall of the roman empire in the 1930s and then a value at $10,000 he had seen the first edition for $10,000 or something. he thought he had a gold mine. people just don't understand. you've got to compare the right
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book to the right book. i was at the boston fare talking to the book trade and he said i give the trade ten years and then it is all over and no one will buy anything else. i looked at him and i looked at the young dealers selling beautiful well catalogued interesting material into the air may be in their 30s. they don't think it is going to be over in ten years, and it isn't going to be. but it is changing. some of the books that used to be valuable in itself pretty easily are selling for a lot less. the internet has driven a lot of the prices down. and people are selling more and more visual things, posters,
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art, stuff like that. the soul of books isn't going away. there are a lot of really interesting people coming up in the trade. they may do it a little differently from the way things were done 20, 30, 40 years ago but they're doing it very well if you're going to be enormously successful.

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