February 2012 | Rebecca Rego Barry


Catalogue Review: ReadInk Books, No. 3

Cat 3 cover for website.jpgYou can be sure that ReadInk of Los Angeles will be exhibiting at next week's California International Antiquarian Book Fair in nearby Pasadena. Whether or not you can make it there, you can peruse their latest catalogue -- an exceedingly clever booklet arranged in an ABC format, e.g. A is for Appel, a "hardboiled writer"; B is for Booze; C is for Cowboys.

I, for one, like the W section, with one book falling under each journalistic query, Who, What, When, Where, and Why. What Actors Eat -- When They Eat, a compilation of recipes from the radio and screen actors of the 1930s looks like a hoot ($125). In the Zs, a second printing of Stefan Zweig's The Tide of Fortune caught my eye ($200). Zweig is, as the catalogue states, "in perhaps permanent eclipse" as a writer, but he was also a major music collector.

One of the great treasures buried in this visually interesting catalogue is a VG+ first edition of Nancy Mitford's Wigs on the Green, which so distressed her family that she barred reprints until after death ($4,000). So states our friendly bookseller here in the catalogue: "I actually don't expect to ever see another copy after I sell this one to you, but such is the lot of the dedicated bookseller." This book, by the by, is under S for Sisters; another Mitford gem, a near fine first of Jessica Mitford's The American Way of Death, is filed under F for Funeral ($50).

This is a fun catalogue, full of neat mid-twentieth-century books usually in dust jackets, that veers (or leers) toward the underbelly of literature -- where D is for Deranged with 1947's If a Man Be Mad ($250) and Q is for Queer with 1964's My Son, The Daughter ($50).

Browse it all here, or see them in Pasadena next week!