Readables

I’ve done it again – yet another eBay account! {It must be all that Gemini in my chart.}

READABLES is my newest online shop, and I have loads of books up along with vintage vinyl. My current listings are found HERE.

If you’re a book lover, please visit and take a look around. The shelves are filling rapidly with all manner of titles. I’ve run into a stroke of luck and found an excellent source of nearly new hardbacks and softcovers and am listing as quickly as I can purchase, photograph, research, write a description and post! This source also has a few plum first editions and collectibles mixed in with the newer titles.

My prices are competitively based on the current market, and books are shipped the same day or within one business day. Books are shipped in a padded envelope for protection in all but the extra large sized books, which  are amply protected and wrapped for safe delivery.

I look forward to serving you! And if there’s a special title you’re searching for, drop me a line and let me know. I’ll do my best to find it for you.

Love to read? Visit READABLES.

Those EverLasting Old Tunes

When I was a kid, I recall Dad wandering through the house with an invisible baton, orchestrating one of his Big Band albums. It might have been Tommy Dorsey playing or Glenn Miller. When he put down the baton, he’d whistle – the sweetest whistling I’ve ever heard – exact pitch and in tune with his music.

Mom, on the other hand, preferred a silent accompaniment to her favorites. She said she had no music in her voice and instead listened with a smile as her favorites sang: Dinah Shore, Doris Day, Rosemary Clooney, and to mix it up, Perry Como, Andy Williams or Liberace.

So even though they seemed to have little in common, Mom and Dad shared an adoring attachment to their music. They dated at nightclubs, where live bands entertained; when they married and bought a home, one of their first buys was a record player. And, for many of my childhood years, their music played while I dressed, ate dinner, read comic books and otherwise led my little life.

No wonder that a generation later, a love of music is imprinted in me as strongly and deeply as bacon and eggs. No wonder that I gravitate toward those everlasting old tunes at estate auctions, thrift shops and neighborhood yard sales.

I found a few of those old LPs, the 10-inch, 78 speed, heavy plastic ones, at my last auction night. I couldn’t resist.

For those of you with that everlasting music in your ear, take a look and perhaps later, a listen in your own home. You can find them for sale here.

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Asian Antiques – A Hot Market?

The latest issue of Ina Steiner’s Auction Bytes blog, released today via virtual mail, includes an entry titled “Why Asian Antiques Are So Hot.”  The article is written by Julia Wilkinson, who happens to sell these very same items.

Wilkinson’s source claims that yes indeed, Asian antiques are “in demand,” and “commanding record prices.” The source, who runs an auction house which coincidentally, has a large Asian antiques show coming up next month, uses a rather strange reasoning for this claim.

AGE. Collectors of Asian antiquities are younger than those who collect American antiques, and this single factor somehow makes the items more collectible. The article notes that the average age of a Chinese collector is 50, whereas the average age of an American collector is 70.

I don’t see the relationship. Either one loves antiques or one does not. The age of the collector seems a far less likely reason for buying than say, disposable income. This predisposition toward buying antiques is not mentioned in the blog. However, one other item is named.

CULTURAL SHIFT. According to Wilkinson’s source, there is a loosening of the restraints from the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and this accounts for the rising demand. In other words, the Communist campaign that began in 1966 by Chairman Mao Zedong is no longer restraining the purchase of Chinese antiquities. Does this make sense to you? Not to me.

The Cultural Revolution likely did not affect the “younger” Chinese antiques buyers simply because they were swaddling infants at the time of its inception. Right now, they’d be 46 years of age, which happens to match the demographic given by Wilkinson in her blog.

The Cultural Revolution, which ended in 1976  and has become known as the “decade of chaos,” was followed by a strong surge toward capitalism. In other words, China has been developing a market economy for the past three decades. This is exactly the type of economy that results in disposable income.

So we return to that all important factor: money. To buy antiques of any origin, one must have money. Age and ethnicity are non-factors. But above all, one must treasure antiques. As far as I’m concerned, this is the overriding raison de etre for the antiques collector.

I hope Ina Steiner will be more vigilant in her upcoming guest blogs. The article by Julia Wilkinson is not sharing any valid information. It is simply a dressed up advertisement. Speaking of which, I’ll openly admit to advertising a few of my Asian antiques via this blog!

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Books Books Books

Looking for a good book? Ready to expand or relax or become engrossed in a mystery?  Check out my newest ebay account, Readables, put up to offer good books at great prices. Here’s a visual sampling. LOADS MORE TO COME!

Keep in mind that Readables is a new. account but I’ve been on ebay since 1999 and have a 100% positive feedback rating at my primary account floridawriter.

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Why I Love The Laughing Cow

It’s one of my favorite treats from the grocery store: The Laughing Cow cheese wedges, Original please. There’s more than a few reasons that I so enjoy this product, and find that it’s akin to my joy of vintage, retro, collectibles – that whole gallery of items. Why?

Start with the fact that it arrives in a soft cardboard package. None of that hard plastic that will never disintegrate and that damages tender fingers and requires heavy instruments to pry open.  The round of paper feels good in my hand. It’s a textural pleasure. After I’ve admired the look and feel of it, a second joy awaits me. To open The Laughing Cow, I pull a little red string. Amazing! The little red string never fails; it never breaks in mid-pull; it never ruins the cardboard. It’s a smooth glide around the diameter of the package, and reminiscent of former simplicities. I recall real lead pencils. I smell freshly cut grass. I slide back into a state of positive recollection when life was easy and clean and slow.

Once I unseal the lid, my eyes feast on the sight of six wedges, wrapped in their light aluminum coats, points facing in, cozy, untainted, symmetrical. I pull out my first cheese wedge and find another slip of red. I pull gently on this flat, dainty drawstring and voila! the light aluminum parts to reveal the cheese. I pull further and the entire package unfurls like a three-sided blossom. There is the treasure: a triangle of white, moist cheese. It is perfect. My taste buds perk. And the taste is unfailingly wonderful. There’s a hint of tang, a  remnant of nuts, green pasture, a sense of openness, bright skies, birdsong.

The Laughing Cow is a constant amid the crowded flow of newness on the grocery aisle. Its logo has remained the same for as long as I can recall. It’s introduced new flavors and the label reflects these. But in general, The Laughing Cow I purchased ten years ago is identical to the semi soft cheese wedges I purchased yesterday. How’s that for longevity, for reliance upon what works, for treasuring a treasure?

What I call “vintage” gives a similar delight. Materials that are closer to the earth. Texture and color as built-in sensory devices. Durability. No weak points. Pleasure recycled. That piece of California pottery is as wondrous today as when I first eyed it ten years ago.

The irony of all this is that the humdrum and mediocre must exist as a counterbalance for laughing cows and California pottery. Otherwise, I’d never recognize perfection.