Got the wood put up
and the garden mostly put down.
The Christmas trees are moving right along,
and Maritime List 255 is “all in and all done,” with an excellent percentage of items sold.
So there I was, sitting around yesterday, feeling moderately pleased with myself, when it occurred to me that I hadn’t published a catalog in quite a while. Not the electronic sort, with which you are continually bombarded, but a good old-fashioned hard copy catalog, with pages and pictures and such. A trip to the Ten Pound Island archives revealed that I hadn’t published a hard copy catalog in nearly three years.
Forty years worth of catalogs!
I remember why I stopped – money. I don’t sell all that many items, and as printing and mailing costs rose, the catalogs were taking bigger and bigger bites out of my earnings. The way it used to work, I’d send the catalog by Priority mail. After a few days, when I was sure everyone had their paper booklets, I’d put the catalog online. So I’d get two waves of orders. It was pretty neat. But, as I said, “neat” wasn’t sufficient to justify the cost of those mailings.
In March 2010, after some hard thinking and tough decision making, I issued Maritime List 189 – my last hard copy catalog. Almost
In July, a mere three catalogs later, came a catalog called I KNOW, I KNOW… The blurb read as follows:
MARITIME LIST 193
“I know, I know… Old and Rare Maritime Books & Ephemera”
I know, I know… I said no more printed catalogs, but I can’t resist. Printed catalogs are fun, and they’re good advertising, too. This one contains some of our more interesting recent acquisitions, including a tragic whaling log, an extra-illustrated copy of Magoun’s book on the Constitution, a rare Philadelphia clipper ship card, and the scrapbook of a young lady who joined the WAVES in 1943.
I toed the line pretty rigorously after that, deviating only on special occasions – such as Maritime List 200. And they were just eight-page fliers rather than full-blown catalogs.
My last effort was a Scrooge-inspired Christmas mailing called “Old, Rare and Short.”
The blurb read: With the commencement of my seventh decade on this planet I occasionally find myself feeling old. I can rarely stay awake past 9 p.m., and I have the sense that my time and temper are growing short. Therefore I am issuing a catalog entitled OLD RARE, AND SHORT…
And now I’m ready to do it again.
This time the joke will be that all the books in it are on the wrong shelf. Somehow they’re still on my shelves, when the should be on yours.
Next week I’ll let you know how it’s coming along.