Back to the books.

What a difference a day makes! One minute I’m thinking I will have pack up 5000+ rare books, move them to my house, then figure out to sell about 5000+ rare books, ephemera items like Playbills from the turn of the century and beyond, prints ad infinitum and for the rest of my natural life.

Just a few days ago I was doing my usual research online. Learning about pricing, history, background, what the book is about, looking for images that were the same as the book I had,  when I stumbled upon an auction house in Ithaca, NY that will help me get the job done!

What I  didn’t want to do was the wrong thing and I thought I had to research every book myself and try to sell them online. In the process of my research I found help. Help is what I wanted. Help is what I asked for and help is what I got.

After a lengthy phone interview  to make sure that I was not completely breaking every family generational edict of what not to do followed by a reference checkout,   I decided to get them to help me.

OMG!  Yay! Woo hoo!

What a relief! I feel as if I have been let out of jail. Time to let others love and care for my grandfather’s collection.

My role has now shifted from being the beast of burden trying to sell my grandfather’s books on my own, to becoming the person who gets to uncover the all- important provenance, family stories around this collection and  signatures .

The good news: the scoping out work has already been done by my mother and my grandfather.  Thank you!!

They left clues. Their notes have notes.

So expect an update from time to time.   Rare books are becoming extinct and dear and the market is on the upswing.


Don’t worry I will clue you in about the where and the when.

This one is in my bookcase at home;  look how pretty it is. Small in the hand like a lovely little accessory.

The top of the pages are gilt-edged with real gold.

And inside are stories with titles like: The Altar Painting A love tragedy of an Italian Artist.

A thing of beauty to behold. And probably not read. The book is from 1896.

Who makes books like this today?

So pretty it's an accessory!

And so what’s my lesson? What’s the big shift that happened?

Ask. Just ask for what I need in my life.

Presto, I got it! With a little help from the internets.

Unless you have been living in a cave you must have noticed fashion’s latest iteration on jeans + leggings.

Jeggings!  There are many price points and style possibilities. The democratization of fashion allows anyone to get anything they want at just about any price.  No matter whether you spend 14.99 at Marshall’s or $148.00 at a fancy boutique make sure they accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative

As former director of special events for The Fashion Group International in New York City and a woman old enough to know my limitations in choosing the latest styles I would like to offer up a few tips for those who have not yet taken the jean leggings plunge, especially for the grown up set who really do NOT want to look like their teenage daughter’s. ( Please say you don’t!)

1. Make sure you look at yourself in a 3-way mirror.  How tight is too tight? If you look like ten pounds of sausage in a five-pound casing go up a size. Believe me your public will appreciate it.

Check now to avoid sausage legs later.

2. Wear the lingerie you will most likely be wearing when you try them on.  They will fit better and you will get a better read on what is showing or not showing.

3. Try on several pairs and be truthful with yourself about how they look on you.  Don’t be in a rush to grab the first pair get the pair that flatters you, updates your style and  enhances your wardrobe possibilities.

4. If you can’t see how you really look (or don’t want to) shop with a friend who will tell you the truth and help you pick out the best pair of jean leggings. You will be happy later on.

5. If you have a bit of a tummy that pooches out look for a pair with a higher waistline. The stretch will do wonders for holding in that part of the anatomy and give you a smooth, sleek look. Leave the low- waisted hip huggers to the under 25 set.  I bought a dark-wash pair at Marshall’s by a company by the name of Suko for $14.99 and they are just the thing for my “woman of a certain age” waistline that no amount of pilates  and going to the gym is going to change. (and I am an exerciser and still slim but not like I was when I was younger, body shapes shift as we fill out and become more womanly. ) Go with it.

6. Unless you are going out to dance clubs or plan to perform live onstage in a band or want to attract customers of a certain type you might want to avoid sequin leggings.  If you have a daughter or son in high school or college you might want to pass on these. Though they would look great on your daughter no doubt. (Would dad let her out in these??)

For that rock star look

7. Once you have found your dream pair of jeans leggings go find some tops to pair with them, a pair of ballet flats and enjoy your svelte, sexy, updated look.

When my mother died at the age of 91 I was left with the task of liquidating a lot of books and ephemera that had been collected by my grandfather whom my mother always called Jack.  He was a lawyer who’s name appeared in Who’s Who and he loved books and items of ephemera along with Asian art, prints and many other items.

For two years I had no idea what to do with all this stuff. I had been given an edict not to trust dealers. And a good thing too. I had brought in two different book experts who took a look and declared that these books were not worth much at all.

One fellow took an interest in one book.  A first edition of a Virginia Woolf title with an intact dustjacket.

One book? Just one?

These were books that had come into my childhood home in my teen years.

They were objects I was afraid to touch, enclosed in Globe Werneke bookcases that lined the walls of our house in Levittown, NY.

And then, one day as I sat in my childhood home waiting for the oil burner man to fix the burner on the coldest day of the coldest winter in a decade, I sat with a tiny space heater that belonged to my mother, I opened one of the glass doors and took a look at the forbidden books.

Inside of each book  I opened, I found there was a note on a small scrap of paper from my mother telling me about the book.

Right there. I said “sh*t”.

Shift Happens. I knew I had to take this task on. I had to Free the books and find them good homes.