(james benedict brown) on the road

Castle Acre bookshop discoveries #2

Posted in Posts by James Benedict Brown on 19 July, 2008

It’s been a bit of a dairy-centric day at the bookshop. After my earlier discovery of literature promoting southern Scandinavian cheese products, these three beautiful pamphlets emerged from another box of donations. I must have had milk on the brain. But then again, I was friesian in there, and unpacking books meant I was moo-ving about a bit. I only semi-skimmed these ones, but I made sure to cream them off from the rest of the stock. Surely someone must want to pur-cheese this little set? I think that the illustrations are udder-ly beautiful.

Each one carries the following on the back cover:

Published by the National Dairy Council.
Melbourne House, Aldwych, London WC2.
llustrated by W. G. Morden
© Copyright 1960 the National Dairy Council.

I’m going to separate these three and wrap them together. They’re in near mint condition. Drop me a line via the comments box if you’d be interested in them. We’ve talked about uploading the shop’s small but growing inventory of first editions to Abe Books or similar, but at the moment I suspect the subscription costs would be too high.

I leave you with my favourite cover design of the day, and a scan of a loose inside sheet. If the inside sheet was originally published with the book (and I suspect it was) we have an extremely rare complete document here.

Regardless of historical or monetary value, that’s one cool cover design, and one surreal title for an educational booklet.


Castle Acre bookshop discoveries #1

Posted in Posts by James Benedict Brown on 19 July, 2008

I like cheese, and I like bookshops. I also like a bit of classy fifties, sixties or seventies graphic design. Finding a beautifully preserved promotional leaflet for Danish Cheese, presumably published some time in the early seventies, makes for an amusing highlight of a few hours volunteering in the Friends of Castle Acre Church Charity Bookshop.

Cheeses are like people. They have character or they have not. Tou must choose them carefully just as do a friend.

Cheese from the friendly land of Denmark has centuries of cheesemaking experience behind it. Modern Denmark has added scientific know-how and the last word in hygienic standards to produce fine quality cheeses. Danish cheeses make friends wherever they are served in countries as far apart as Britain, the United States and even in Japan.

Making good cheese takes several weeks before it reaches the degree of mellowness that appreciative customers demand. At every stage the Danish State Quality Control regulates the standards of quality, hygiene and purity required. The State Quality Control was set up in 1906, at the request of the the farmers themselves, using the symbol the Lurmark.

Danish cheeses are amongst the finest in the world, wholesome and satisfying, simple or sophisticated, to please every palate.

The very small text at the bottom left of the image above reads:

Issued by: Danish Agricultural Producers, 2/3 Conduit Street, London, WIR 0AT on behalf of the Danish Export Board.

These leaflet dropped out of a hardback cookery book of the same era that was donated today in a large bag of other books. The book has joined the growing selection of cook books in the back room, but I couldn’t resist holding on to this charming little leaflet. Who would have thought there were so many cheeses made in Denmark?

As you can imagine, I just can’t wait to try out the “Samsoe Sputnik”.

Cut 6 oz. Samsoe in 3/4″ cubes. Cut a slice from one end of an orange to make a firm base. Pierce the cheese cubes on a cocktail stick. Add a grape, cherry, mandarin segment or piece of pineapple to each cube. Push the other of the cocktail stick into the orange to form a decorated “sputnik”.

The Friends of Castle Acre Church Charity Bookshop is open 10:00 – 16:00 every Saturday and public holiday, and is found at the eastern end of Castle Acre’s high street in west Norfolk. Thousands of paperbacks and hardbacks already in stock, with no small number containing similarly delightful little historic documents between their pages.

Shipping rates

Posted in Uncategorized by James Benedict Brown on 17 May, 2008

AbeBooks is one of a number of handy websites for sourcing discounted books from around the world. It’s also preferable to the big online stores like Amazon because instead of buying books from one multinational source, Abe and others put you in touch with individual book sellers and bookshops who’ve uploaded their inventory.

That means each seller has their own delivery rates, depending on the number of books ordered and the delivery speed. And for every seller, another chance for a computer glitch to mess up the numbers. So while £8.69 isn’t an extortionate amount for trans-Atlantic postage, I’d expect slightly faster delivery…