Archive for November, 2010

Their Service, Our Duty

Thursday November 11 is Veterans Day, the only national military holiday that is celebrated on the same day by countries around the world. This day began as a memorial to mark the Armistice which ended hostilities on the Western Front of the Great War (what we now call World War I) in 1918. Armistice Day (also known as Remembrance Day and Poppy Day in European countries) was changed to Veterans Day in our country following the end of World War II. It has traditionally been noted by a two-minute period of silence at 11:00am local time, although the observation of Veterans Day has expanded over the years as the number of veterans has increased following major wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Veterans in this country unfortunately have not always received the honor and respect they deserve. In particular the service provided by men and women in either of the two Asian wars was often denigrated, partly because there was no clear “victor” in either conflict and partly because neither “conflict” received popular or political support at home. The terrorist attacks of September 11 served as a pivotal catalyst for military support in this country, and today veterans are once again being accorded the respect they deserve for their sacrifices.

Since both my father and grandfather served in the military and each fought in a World War, I was raised to recognize and appreciate the role that the military plays in preserving our freedom and way of life. However, it wasn’t until I read a newspaper article this morning that the true impact of these words struck home.

On page 2 of today’s Austin American-Statesman is an article titled “China sends dad to jail for his food safety activism” (you can read it online here). The story tells the ordeal of Zhao Lianhai, an ordinary Beijing man whose child became sick in 2008 after drinking baby formula tainted by its manufacturer with melamine. When he discovered the true scope of the scandal, Zhao did a relatively simple thing: he set up a web site to act as an online support group and forum for parents whose children were harmed by the formula. Not a big deal, right? You or I would likely do the same if it happened to our child.

The Chinese government thought otherwise. This week Zhao was convicted of “inciting social disorder” and sentenced to 30 months in prison. This is in addition to the time he has been in jail since being taken away by police in November 2009. The charges filed by the Chinese government against Zhao listed three violations:

  1. Zhao organized a gathering of 12 parents in a restaurant
  2. He held a sign in front of a court and factory involved in the scandal as a protest
  3. He gave media interviews in a public place

It is one thing to understand the freedom that so many of our veterans have fought for over the years, and another to see a present-day reminder of what the lack of such freedom can mean. Zhao Lianhai is really no different from you and me, except that we often take for granted the simple freedoms that he tried to exercise. He also lives in a country that prides itself as being a world economic leader and boasts the largest military force on earth.

The closest thing China has to Veterans Day is called “Armed Forces Day” which celebrates the founding of the Peoples Liberation Army, the military arm of the Communist Party of China. In honor of our Veterans Day, I’m posting this blog to spread the story of Zhao – and my sincere thanks go out to all of the veterans who have made this simple act possible.

NOTE: Recycled Reads is closed Thursday November 11 in honor of Veterans Day.

New Collectibles

This week we continue to highlight just a few of the many new additions going into to our Collectibles Cabinets. If you have questions about these or any of our Collectibles, please contact us during store hours at (512) 323-5123.

The following items will be available beginning Friday November 12th:

At Home After 1840 (1965) – Subtitled “Twenty-Seven Buildings in Austin, Texas”, drawn by Peggy Goldstein and annotated by Shelby Hearon, this volume contains line drawings of twenty-seven historical homes in Austin annotated with reference information on each home that provides location, builder, date of construction, materials, original owner, and “present” (as of 1966) disposition.

Published by The Brick Row Book Shop of Austin with Copyright 1965, this book is a scarce Limited Edition (1100 copies) dated April 1965 which has been signed and dated by the Publisher and retains the original publisher’s ‘Order Sheet’ for the book. Published without a dust jacket, there is some light soiling to the white cloth cover boards.


Alexander Penn Wooldridge (1963) – Written by Ruth Ann Overbeck with a preface by Walter E. Long, this is the biography of Alexander Penn Wooldridge, the man who came to Texas in 1872 and for more than fifty years served his city and state in so many ways that to read about him is to learn the history of the place. His leadership helped to initiate Austin’s free public school system and he was the first chairman of its Board of Trustees. He played a significant role in the the location of the University of Texas at Austin and was secretary of the first Board of Regents. Wooldridge held several appointive positions in the state and became Mayor of Austin in 1909. Wooldridge Park is named for this well-known Austinite.

Published by the Von Boeckmann-Jones Company in Austin with Copyright 1963, this is an unstated First Edition inscribed and dated by Wooldridge’s daughter Mabel Wooldridge Benson. This nicely illustrated volume with vintage photographs and portraits is protected by its original unaltered Mylar dust jacket. Although there is some rubbing wear to the dust jacket and a few small tears at the spine extremes, this book is in very nice condition. A previous book seller price of $30.00 is written in pencil inside the front cover and the previous owner’s purchase receipt is included.


The Mining Engineer’s Handbook (1947)The Mining Engineers’ Handbook was first published in 1918 and was updated in 1927 and 1941. The Handbook, one of the most successful and widely used mining books of the 20th century, fulfilled a need throughout the mining world and sold more than 100,000 copies worldwide. The 1941 edition (this set), was in print until 1989. Included is a write-up on Robert Peele from the Mining Hall of Fame Inductees Database.

Published by John Wiley & Sons of NY with Copyright 1941 (Third Edition), this complete two-volume set edited by Robert Peele is a September 1947 Third Printing. Protected with flex covers and with a previous owner’s “Professional Engineer” embossed stamp on the front free end paper of each volume, this set is in very nice condition.


A Kentucky Cardinal and Aftermath (1900) – James Lane Allen (1849–1925) was an American novelist and short story writer whose work often depicted the culture and dialects of his native Kentucky. His work is characteristic of the late-19th century local color era, when writers sought to capture the vernacular in their fiction. Allen has been described as “Kentucky’s first important novelist”. A Kentucky Cardinal, published in 1894, was Allen’s first and most successful novel. It featured a romance between a naturalist and a society girl. Aftermath was published in 1895 as a sequel.

Published by MacMillan of NY with Copyrights through 1900, this is a First Edition of this ‘New Edition Revised with a New Preface’ which includes 100 illustrations by Hugh Thomson. Ornately bound with gilt embossing and rough-cut page edges, this vintage copy includes the original (and extremely scarce) dust jacket, although the dust jacket is split nearly into two pieces at the spine fold and we have tucked it inside the back cover of the book. There is also some discoloration from dust jacket fold-overs on the end papers, and a previous owner’s name and date of ‘1900’ is written inside.


Indianola Scrap Book (1974) – This is a 1974 Facsimile Reproduction of the First Edition published in 1936 with Table of Contents and Index added. The Scrap Book is a “History of a City That Once was the Gateway of Commerce for This Entire Section” and was compiled and published by The Victoria Advocate in 1936 for the “Fiftieth Anniversary of the Storm of August 20, 1886”.

Published by Jenkins Publishing Co. – The San Felipe Press of Austin with New Material Copyright: 1974, this very scarce book was reprinted with an Index compiled by Leonard Joe McCown and illustrated with historical photographs, portraits, and copies of documents and newspaper articles. Published without a dust jacket, there are some finger-handling creases on the title page.


The Magus (1965)The Magus, which is John Fowles’ third book and second novel, appears on the Modern Library’s list of 100 greatest books of the 20th century. It tells the story of the Nicholas Urfe, a teacher on a small Greek island. Urfe finds himself embroiled in psychological illustrations of a master trickster that become increasingly dark and serious. Fowles wrote and rewrote the book for twelve years before its publication in 1966, and despite critical and commercial success, he continued to rework it until its revised version, published in 1977. The novel was a bestseller, partly because it successfully tapped into, and arguably help to promote, the 1960’s popular psychoanalysis and mystical philosophy.

This is a true first American edition, published before the U.K. First edition and eleven years prior to the “revised” edition, which is much more readily available than the author’s original version of the book.

Published by Little, Brown of NY with Copyright 1965, this is a stated ‘First Edition’ with scarce original unaltered dust jacket (retail price: $7.95). The original dust jacket is heavily worn at the edges and fold-overs with several large chips missing.


On Design (1979) – In this compilation of 19 essays written during the 1960’s and 1970’s with over 100 illustrations, world renowned mid-century industrial designer and architect George Nelson (1908-1986) brings his practical experience and his critical skills as editor, writer, teacher and lecturer to bear on major issues confronting designers. Nelson, one of the founding fathers of American Modernism, was not only known for his futuristic (and lasting) “Herman Miller” designs such as the Bubble Lamp and the Sling Sofa, but he was also known for provoking controversy with his honest and forthright analysis. Although these essays were first written and published 30 to 50 years ago, the thoughts expressed within this 192 page volume still offer its reader more than one occasion to experience a double take!

Published by the Whitney Library of Design, an imprint of Watson-Guptill Publications of NY with Copyright 1979, this is a stated ‘First Printing’ with original unaltered dust jacket (retail price: $17.95). There is some edge wear and light rubbing to the dust jacket, but otherwise no writing, marks, stains or tears.


Peregrinusings – A Queer Title For Some Moronic Essays (1924) – Written by Harry Yandell Benedict, this is a 1924 publication of “amusing” essays, humorous drawings and a few poems that appeared in issues of the University of Texas Ex-Student Association’s publication The Alcade between 1913 and 1923.

Published by The Ex-Students’ Association of the University of Texas at Austin with Copyright 1924, this is a stated “Limited Edition” with no number written in (and therefore unknown if “Limited” status was just part of the “humor” of the book). There is no dust jacket and it is unknown if one was issued. There is a light moisture stain along the top and outer edges of the first six pages, the hinges are cracked but no pages are loose, and one of the rough-cut outer page edges has a tear. This is a very scarce and unusual publication by the “Texas Exes”!


November 12, 2010 at 12:38 am 1 comment

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