Bayswater's Find of the Week on the Used Book Floor Blog

Saturday, March 2, 2019

How-To


     Our most recent "Find of the Week on the Used Book Floor" is one giant "how-to" experience.  If you like to learn new things, (and if you have read any of our past blogs, you know we do) this post could very well be right up your alley.

     Our book that held the find is truly a discovery all of its own.  Published in 1950 and titled, "150 Ways to Play Solitaire," this 128 page small paperback details how to play the classic card game in - you guessed it- 150 different ways.  Ok, we need to take a pause, here, to say - seriously?  Who knew it was even possible to play solitaire anywhere near that many ways? 

     Upon looking at the table of contents, we found that the possibilities are categorized by ways to play using one, two, four, and multiple packs of cards.  To add to the charm, each game has been given a unique name.  You could try your hand at playing "Beleaguered Castle," (a one-pack solitaire game) "Miss Milligan," (a two-pack experience) or "Empress of India," (a multiple pack extravaganza) just to name a few choices.  If none of those struck your fancy, you could always give the "Idiot's Delight" or "Blondes and Brunettes" games a whirl.  Really - those are just the beginning of your solitaire options according to this 69 year-old gem.  


     As if the book, itself, was not enough, while flipping through the many pictures of card layouts, we found a paper from the Wild Salmon Seafood Market in Seattle, Washington.  Providing fish from the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, the Wild Salmon Seafood Market ships their all-natural, wild salmon overnight across the world.  While detailing the many kinds of salmon that are caught in the Pacific, Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean, (Keta, Coho, Sockeye, King and Pink salmon, etc.) the Wild Salmon Seafood Market also provided a chart that guides those cooking the salmon at home.  From baking, broiling, grilling, barbequing, poaching, steaming, sauteing or microwaving, the well-known Seattle salmon provider walks you through what to cook the fish on, how long it needs to be on the heat and other incidental bits of info that could be very helpful.  If you remember nothing from this paragraph but one thing, remember this: in short, overcooking salmon is a common issue and, regardless of how you cook it, all salmon needs to be checked for doneness between 8-10 minutes.

     So...150 ways to play solitaire games with creative names, salmon types from the Pacific and how to cook the perfect fish in any way imaginable...yes, that about covers it for this week's Find of the Week on the Used Book Floor.  We promised a "how-to" experience when you first began reading this and we think we've delivered.  As always, however, we have only touched on the highlights from the book and the find.  To gain the full experience and learn more, "150 Ways to Play Solitaire" and the Wild Salmon Seafood Market's Guide to Salmon can be yours, together, for the grand total of $4.99.  You can catch up with our previous finds of the week from the used book floor at bayswaterbooks.com and on facebook.  Better yet, stop by the store in Center Harbor and check out the used book floor for yourself!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Dogs, Cats & Hope For the Future


     Our latest "find of the week on the used book floor" was all about solitude - until it became about saving the lives of millions of animals and humans who have cancer.  Tucked into a 1988 paperback copy of the classic self-help book, "Solitude," by Anthony Storr, was a colorful map of the Colorado State University campus.  It shows all of the buildings and roads on the campus, along with a key that helps to find them.

     This could have been the map for a prospective college student to use during a visit to the campus, right?  At first, we thought so, too, but our eyes were then drawn to the word "vet" written in pencil with a question mark next to it.  We wondered what that meant, so we did a little research and discovered that while Colorado State University is known as an institution that provides a college education, it also contains the Flint Animal Cancer Center, a cutting edge facility that treats cancer in companion animals.  Pioneers in what is known as Comparative Oncology, the CSU Flint Animal Cancer Center draws conclusions between the findings discovered in treating cancer in companion animals and the treatments that are similarly used in humans suffering with cancer, as well.  In other words, The Flint Animal Cancer Center treats animals and translates their discoveries to solutions for people.

     How prevalent is cancer in dogs in cats?  We were wondering, too.  According to the National Cancer Institute, out of the 65 million dogs and 32 million cats in the United States, 6 million new cancer diagnoses are made for each - 12 million diagnoses - each year.  Because it has been discovered that dogs and humans contain many similar genes that are present in cancer, Comparative Oncology has led to the creation and study of the canine genome sequence for human cancer research.  Researchers also hypothesize that in addition to genetic connections, the fact that humans and their cats/dogs share similar water, air and environments create a viable connection for research, as well.

     Upon looking over Colorado State University's website for the Flint Animal Cancer Center, we quickly got swept up in their many stories of hope (complete with adorable pictures) surrounding animals such as Gouda, the cat who is recovering after treatment from nasal cancer, and Benson, the dog who is currently cancer-free after battling lymphoma.  We could not help but wonder (a common occurrence for us when we discover finds in our used books) if the person who left the map of CSU behind in the book was seeking cancer treatments for their pet, also.  We’ll most likely never know, so, to ease our hearts, we'll assume that their pet could very well be Gouda, Benson, or any of the other success stories we read on their website. 

     The copy of “Solitude” can be yours for the price of $4.99 (complete with the map that got us started on this quest of learning to begin with). You can catch up with our previous finds of the week from the used book floor at bayswaterbooks.com and on facebook. Better yet, stop by our store in Center Harbor and check out the used book floor for yourself!

Friday, January 11, 2019

The Earliest Wine


     Our find this week takes us back to 1991, 1971, and, finally, 3500 B.C. – all in one swoop!  How is this possible?  Behold, the power of a hidden treasure tucked into the pages of an old used book.

     It is not unusual for the book that contains our find to be just as interesting as the find, itself, and this week is no exception.  Our book is a first edition, limited printing of Hugh Johnson’s “The World Atlas of Wine,” published in 1971.  This book contains 272 pages of pictures, articles and maps that, together, create a comprehensive reference book for any wine enthusiast.  Beyond the printed pages, however, the book actually contains much more.  This gem was once so loved by its previous owner that it was filled with newspaper and magazine clippings from several different publications spanning decades, providing additional insight and new discoveries to enhance the topics in the book. 

     It was one of these newspaper clippings that caught our eye and helped to make this rare book a   Tucked into pages 187-188 was an article from the New York Times entitled, “The Earliest Wine: Vintage 3500 B.C. and Robust” printed in April of 1991.  This article detailed the discovery of an earthen jar from Sumerian ruins in Iran containing rich-colored deposits that were high in tartaric acid - almost certainly the traces of ancient wine.  The jar, with its narrow mouth, tall neck, earthen stopper and rudimentary seal, was deemed to be ideal for storing liquids at the time. 
part of our “find of the week” collection.

     Previous to this discovery, little research had been found to point to the earliest origin and first uses of wine.  With this find, however, the article now suggests that wine was consumed long before Noah planted his vineyard after the flood, or the “first toast was drunk to Dionysus on the shores of Homer’s dark-wine sea.”  In addition, other items such as a stone-bead necklace and a marble bowl were unearthed next to the jars.  These objects were deemed to be luxury items at the time, suggesting that even in 3500 B.C., wine may have been a high-end item, or status symbol, as it is often considered to be today. 

     A first-edition book, many old magazine and newspaper clippings, and the discovery of ancient jars that could contain the first evidence of wine – all previously hidden on one of the shelves of our used books!  To get in on the historic (and wine-filled) fun, “The World Atlas of Wine” can be yours for the price of $25.00.  You can catch up with our previous finds of the week from the used book floor at bayswaterbooks.com and on facebook. Better yet, stop by our store in Center Harbor and check out the used book floor for yourself!


Monday, December 3, 2018

The Kept Flower


When is the last time you put aside an item in a safe place that held a special meaning to you?  We are all known to tuck away items from time to time as keepsakes and this week's Find of the Week on the Used Book Floor was just such a discovery.   

     Our find was hidden in a copy of an 11th edition "Robert's Rules of Order” book published in 2011.  This timeless set of rules for conduct at meetings was first created in 1875 when Henry Martyn Robert, an engineering officer in the Army, was asked to preside over a meeting being held in his town.  He quickly realized that he did not know how.  After failing miserably and feeling embarrassed, Robert vowed never to attend or preside over another meeting until he had researched parliamentary law.  Upon completion of his research, he created the now well-known "Robert's Rules of Order" guide that has been updated eleven times to show the progress in parliamentary laws and procedure. You are probably well acquainted with Robert's Rules and may not have even realized that you have been following them, or attending meetings where others are.  If you are familiar with a call to order, accepting minutes of a previous meeting or making a motion, you have been introduced to Robert's Rules of Order.

    When we first saw an envelope (our find) tucked into the procedural book, we have to admit, we thought it might turn out to be a copy of minutes from a meeting, or perhaps even the notes of a nervous first-timer looking to read up on how one presides over such an event.  Alas, however, we could not have been more wrong.  Inside the envelope was what appeared to be a dried rose and a note that says "Christine, Christmas 1972" alongside it.  Flowers tend to tell a tale, be it one of joy, congratulations, thinking of you, sorrow, or holiday remembrance.  As we held it up, we could not help but wonder what story the rose took part in 46 years ago.  This flower was important enough for its recipient to tuck it into an envelope with a note, press it, and hang onto it for decades.  We certainly hope that the rose was one denoting happy times, but it is impossible to tell. 

     Does this discovery make you wonder where your keepsakes are that you once put in a "safe place" and how long they have been there?  Something tells us that the owner of this special item never thought it would end up on the shelves of a used book floor in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire just shy of 50 years later. 

     “Robert's Rules of Order” can be yours for the price of $4.99 and the 46 year-old find is yours, as well.  You can catch up with our previous finds of the week from the used book floor at bayswaterbooks.com and on facebook. Better yet, stop by our store in Center Harbor and check out the used book floor for yourself!


Saturday, October 27, 2018

Drama for Dinner


     We don’t know about you, but sometimes we find that the quest of what to make for dinner each night is never-ending.  Our latest “Find of the Week on the Used Book Floor” deals with just that question, as the individual who left the discovery behind gave us a peek into his/her decision making process.
     The book, or keeper of our find, is a 2002 autographed copy of “No Certain Rest,” written by Jim Lehrer.  If that name sounds familiar, it is most likely because Lehrer, now 84, held the position of PBS NEWSHOUR anchor (or co-anchor) for 36 years.  Since stepping down from his regular anchoring duties in 2011, Lehrer is still involved in the editorial direction of the show and sometimes moderates the weekly analysis programs that air on Friday evenings.  In addition, he has written 20 novels, including “No Certain Rest”.
    Though Lehrer’s life and journalism experience could provide an interesting blog by itself, our discovery in the pages of his book is actually the lead story.  On the back of an e-ticket printout was a hand written list entitled, “What Should I Make for Dinner?”  While many of us have (most likely) experienced a back and forth decision making process in our head to solve this quandary, the author of the note decided to hash it out on paper (complete with the inquisitive title).  Below the above listed title, he/she wrote down the following options: Didi’s zucchini casserole, Lara’s mac and cheese, Mom’s couscous, and Lara’s broccoli pasta.  Underneath a couple of the menu ideas were a few ingredients, or perhaps even foods that could go along with the main course, if selected.

     Tough choices, right?  After all, how does one choose between Mom’s, Didi’s, or Lara’s culinary repertoire?  I mean, does selecting one over another suggest favoritism to one particular person?  What if Mom is not speaking to Didi, who is currently in the middle of a tiff with Lara?  This is where a simple dish of zucchini casserole, macaroni and cheese, couscous, or broccoli salad could turn into a larger-scale, food-related feud.  Everyone has a family holiday/dinner story that is best not recalled and choosing one of the above listed options could lead towards a reenactment of such a catastrophe.
     Fear not, for we know what the author of the note should do - make his/her own dish!  This recipe can forever be known as _________ (enter name here, i.e. Lauren’s, Bobby’s, Olivia’s, etc.) _____________ (enter dish name here, i.e. spaghetti pie, fettuccine alfredo, chicken paprika, etc.).  By doing so, not only will he/she alleviate any possible family/friend drama, but the dish could someday be listed with his/her name on a future “What Should I Have for Dinner?” problem-solving session experienced by another poor soul.  It is a vicious circle, this issue of continuously needing to make dinner, we say.
     The autographed copy of “No Certain Rest” (including the dinner question list) can be yours for the price of $10.00.  You can catch up with our previous finds of the week from the used book floor at bayswaterbooks.com and on facebook.  Better yet, stop by our store in Center Harbor and check out the used book floor for yourself!

Friday, September 28, 2018

X Marks the Spot


     The phrase "X marks the spot" sounds like something you would hear in an action-packed treasure hunting movie, but alas, here at Bayswater Books, our most recent "Find of the Week on the Used Book Floor" truly gives real-life meaning to the cliche.  What do we mean? Read on, friends, read on.
     The keeper of our find, our book, was a 1998 copy of "Law & Order: The Unofficial Companion" and it provides an inside look at anything and everything there is to know about Law & Order, the classic American police-procedural and legal drama TV series that ran from 1990-2010.  You know the show, right?  Come on, admit it, you might have even seen a few re-runs recently on TNT during a sleepless night or two.  Well, "Law & Order: The Unofficial Companion" tells you all about the cast, plots, sets, camaraderie, censorship, and so much more that took place behind the scenes.  If you have seen one or more of the 456 episodes, (20 years worth) this book will give you a peek into the sides of Law & Order that we never saw, but wish we had.  

     Inside the book is where the "x marks the spot” part fun comes in.  Nestled among the pages of "Law & Order: The Unofficial Companion" was a 1961 map - yes, a map- of Longs Peak in Colorado, or the Northern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.  As we opened the 57 year-old map, we saw a small red X on the part of the map that is labeled Mount Lady Washington.  This is “x marks the spot” in real life!  No, New Hampshire readers, this mountain is not a relative of the Mt. Washington that looms above New England, but it does sit 13,281 feet high and takes approximately 8-10 hours to scale.  While it can be climbed year round, Mount Lady Washington requires a great deal of boulder scrambling and can cause altitude sickness, hypothermia and dehydration.  In short, it is not a day climb for the family.
     But, let’s get back to the exciting mark on the map.  What could the red X mean?  Could there be treasure buried there?  Maybe it is (or was) the spot of a clandestine meeting for a group of questionable criminals, or perhaps it was simply a mountain that the map owner had yet to climb.  We are not fond of the last idea, as it lacks imagination and drama, so we are throwing in our lot with the buried treasure or clandestine meeting conclusions.  Of course, our imaginations could be running away with us, but that is unlikely to happen (wink, wink).
     “Law & Order: The Unofficial Companion” can be yours for the price of $4.99 and the map is yours, as well (in case you want to try your hand at treasure hunting in Colorado).  You can catch up with our previous finds of the week from the used book floor at bayswaterbooks.com and on facebook.  Better yet, stop by our store in Center Harbor and check out the used book floor for yourself!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

The Letter

     Once in a great while, we are lucky enough to find a letter that someone has left behind in a used book. This week was one of those fortunate occasions and we are even more excited because the author of the letter and her husband were national figures during the 1960s. What are the chances?


     Hidden away in the pages of a signed 1962 copy of Louis Untermeyer's compilation of selected poems entitled, "Long Feud," was a letter written 56 years ago by Untermeyer's wife at the time, Bryna Untermeyer, to the owner of a small country book store in Lacona, New York. A former fiction editor for Seventeen magazine, (which, believe it or not, has been in existence since 1944) Bryna thanks the owner of the small bookstore for sending her a book of essays and states that because she is fortunate enough to be able to borrow from the Library of Congress, she will be seeking out more books by the same author. Upon researching, we found that, for the most part, individuals are not allowed to borrow from the Library of Congress, so Bryna must have gained special access through her position or that of her husband, Louis. Once you read more about him, you may understand why.


 
   Louis Untermeyer, the author of the book, was even more well-known during his time than Bryna. Born in 1885, Louis left his father's jewelry business behind in 1902 to pursue his passion of becoming a writer. His leap of faith and perseverance paid off, as he eventually taught at several universities and was named poetry consultant to the Library of Congress from 1991-1993. That position later became known as the poet laureate of the United States. Louis' anthologies were widely used in colleges across the United States and are even said to have helped to establish the reputation of famed poet, Robert Frost.


     Louis chose to thank the owner of the bookshop in New York by sending him an autographed copy of his book, "Long Feud" - the very same book that we found here with his wife's letter hidden away in it. If you are following us, all of this means that we found a signed copy of a 1962 poetry collection from the then-poet laureate of the United States, complete with a letter from his wife! How great is that? You never know where a letter might lead you...


     The autographed copy of “Long Feud” (with the letter included) is available for $20.00 here at Bayswater. You can catch up with our previous finds of the week from the used book floor at bayswaterbooks.com and on facebook. Better yet, stop by our store in Center Harbor and check out the used book floor for yourself!