What was the first book you bought for your collection?
The first book to start my collection was actually a gift from an old rancher that knew I liked books. It's the three-volume edition by JE Rouse called World Cattle. Rouse took a worldwide trip documenting the breeds and management of cattle. It is incredible to see documentations of breeds that once were so vital to a region and have since been displaced and are rare or endangered.
How about the most recent book?
My most recent addition is Community Grazing: Practice and Potential in New Mexico by Clyde Eastman and James R. Gray. I look forward to reading this 1987 first edition that evaluates the tragedy of the commons in a region I am familiar with.
And your favorite book in your collection?
I have Godfrey Bowen's Wool Away which is one of the most complete books ever written on sheep shearing. Bowen was a real innovator in shearing technique to ease stress on the sheep and shearer. As a sheep shearer myself, I review it each spring before the shearing season begins.
Best bargain you’ve found?
I had my eye on some of Chip Hines books, he is a Colorado rancher/author who has now passed. One day I was perusing Ebay and saw one of his books for $0.99 with free shipping. Can't beat a deal like that. It is one of my favorites too.
How about The One that Got Away?
I had my eye on a 1909 rare copy of Alexander Graham Bell's sheep breeding experiments, It was signed which added significant value as his autograph is quiet rare. It recently sold for $8000 on eBay. I was unfortunately not a contending bidder.
What would be the Holy Grail for your collection?
I would love to add any of the works from Jan Bonsma, a South African researcher who took time to thoroughly understand cattle metabolic function and what makes cattle adapted to a given environment. His books are quite hard to come by, but I do hope to add some someday.
Who is your favorite bookseller / bookstore?
I have really enjoyed shopping on eBay, there are often many undervalued and uncommon books that can be found if you hunt frequently enough. As for a brick and mortar shop, BOOKS in Cortez, CO is my favorite. It's a very well organized shop with a proprietor who I enjoy visiting with.
What would you collect if you didn’t collect books?
It is easy to say without hesitation that collecting antique tools would be my go to, I already have a few gems.