September 2013 Newsletter

For those not on our mailing list, here is a look at our latest newsletter. We’ve also embedded our latest new acquisitions list at the end of the post:


Another month has come and gone, and as always we have been busy booksellers. This past weekend we exhibited at the 41st Annual Rochester Antiquarian Book Fair. We had more dealers than usual this year, and enjoyed a record turnout of browsers and bibliophiles. Everyone seemed very pleased with the Main Street Armory, the new venue for this year’s event. Here is a photo taken by one of our colleagues of myself and my fiancee Kristine:

Booths were bustling with activity throughout the day as customers inquired about books on display, or asked questions about their own collections. We purchased a number of items ourselves, including a first American edition of George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia, a set of Shakespeare’s works in an attractive silk-lined publisher’s case, and a small collection of travel literature featuring decorative cover designs by A. & C. Black publishers.

Watch for these, and a number of interesting and scarce items acquired at the end of August, in next month’s newsletter. But first, have a look at what we have been working on for the last month:

New Acquisitions – Highlights

New Acquisitions – Complete

See a few things you like? Enter coupon code S10TWO013 during checkout, and when you buy three books you get another FREE! (Please make sure you have at least four books in your shopping cart, or the discount won’t work.)

Below is one of our favorites from this month’s acquisitions, a limited edition of Shakespeare’s complete works inspired by the famous Shakespeare Head Press edition printed in his hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon (commonly known as the Stratford Town Shakespeare).

The Works of William Shakespeare, in Ten Volumes – Shakespeare Head Press Limited Edition, #585 of 1000


View this document on Scribd



August Newsletter

I thought followers of this blog might enjoy seeing our monthly newsletter, so I have copied our August issue below in its entirety, and embedded a PDF of our most recent highlights catalog. Those interested in receiving our newsletter monthly, please visit our website at and complete the web form on the homepage.


Before I get to the usual fix for our loyal bibliophiles, I have some news to announce:

I have officially been accepted as one of the newest members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA). This is a respected trade organization which promotes professional and ethical bookselling, and sponsors several of the largest, most respected book fairs in the world. This is a big step in my career, and a bright spot in the history of Yesterday’s Muse Books. Big thanks go out to those who encouraged me to pursue membership, and to the other booksellers who were kind enough to give their time to be my sponsors during the application process.
And now to the rest of this month’s news:

The sidewalk sale we launched last month is going strong – thank you to everyone who has stopped out for great deals. For those who have not heard about the sidewalk sale – every Friday and Saturday through the middle of August, we will be offering bargain books outside our shop. All books are $1 each, or you can fill one of our bags for $8.

A big project we just began work on last month is the Rochester Antiquarian Book Fair, which I am co-organizing this year along with Franlee Frank from Greenwood Books. This year it will be held on Saturday, September 7th at the Main Street Armory. Check out the fair’s Facebook page for more details:

Rochester Antiquarian Book Fair

While you’re at it, drop by the store’s Facebook page to view our This Just In album – check it out regularly to find the latest deals.

Speaking of deals, in addition to the usual in-store coupon we include with our newsletters, here is a coupon for use this month on our website:

Enter coupon code A8TWO013 during checkout, and when you buy three books you get another FREE! (Please make sure you have at least four books in your shopping cart, or the discount won’t work.)

Here are links to our usual new acquisitions lists:

New Acquisitions – Highlights

New Acquisitions – Complete

This month we were lucky enough to acquire a signed first edition of Ayn Rand’s masterpiece Atlas Shrugged, as well as a sumptuously bound copy of Thomas A Kempis’s Of the Imitation of Christ. We also cataloged a few examples of early stock market material, a set of Theodore Roosevelt’s works, numerous books dealing with book arts and decorative arts, and a science fiction serial featuring the first appearance of Orson Scott Card’s Hugo Award winning Ender’s Game.


Below is the full highlights list:

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July 2013 Newsletter

At Yesterday’s Muse Books, we are in the habit of releasing a monthly newsletter detailing goings-on at the shop, and highlighting our most recent acquisitions. Below is our most recent newsletter:


This month’s newsletter comes a bit later – we wanted to make sure everyone had the time to relax and enjoy the July 4th holiday weekend.

This has been a great month for us. We revived our Musings blog, acquired some exceptional and important first editions, and launched our local weekend sidewalk sale.

For those who have not heard about the sidewalk sale – every Friday and Saturday through the middle of August, we will be offering bargain books outside our shop. All books are $1 each, or you can fill one of our bags for $8.

Our commitment to better book images has paid off by allowing us to better promote our stock on social media, our blog, and through catalogs. If you have yet to see our This Just In album on Facebook, check it out to find the latest deals.

For those interested in collecting, and purchasing books online in general, we have posted a number of helpful resources on our blog:

Condition Definitions

Identification of First Editions


Here are our usual new acquisitions lists, followed by a few samples to whet your whistles:

New Acquisitions – Highlights

New Acquisitions – Complete

This month we were lucky enough to acquire first editions of the two books shown below – the first the very first book published by the inimitable Dr. Seuss; the second is is a Pulitzer Prize winning play that inspired an award winning Broadway production. We also cataloged a nice collection of Rockwell Kent titles, and close to a dozen Philo Vance mysteries by S.S. Van Dine (mostly first editions). Have a closer look at the lists, as there is far too much to enumerate here…

And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street First Edition

Death of a Salesman First Edition



Yesterday’s Muse Books is beginning a new program designed with
our customers in mind.

Now along with our used book deals and
hand-made greeting cards from local artists we offer
new books 25% cheaper than you can get them at Barnes & Noble!

Order or pre-order that popular title through Yesterday’s Muse Books and save.

Popular Titles for Order Soon*

Big Books on Sale:

Resilience (9780767931366) by Elizabeth Edwards goes on sale today.
Wicked Prey (9780399155673) by John Sandford goes on sale on May 12th.
Cemetery Dance (9780446580298) by Douglas Preston goes on sale on the 12th.
Road Dogs (9780061733147) by Elmore Leonard goes on sale on the 12th.
Assegai (9780312567248) by Wilbur Smith goes on sale on the 12th.
Down Home with the Neelys (9780307269942) by Gina Neely goes on sale on the 12th.
Gone Tomorrow (9780385340571) by Lee Child goes on sale on May 19th.
The Sign (9780525950974) by Raymond Khoury goes on sale on the 19th.
Lost Boy (9780767931779) by Brent Jeffs goes on sale on the 19th.

As Seen On Television:

Monday’s Today Show was crammed full of authors.  Those making appearances included:
Michelle Callahan, author of Ms. Typed (9780307408006)
Robyn O’Brien, author of Unhealthy Truth (9780767930710).  O’Brien was on the View on the 8th.
Richard Haass, author of War of Necessity, War of Choice (9781416569893).  Haas was on Meet the Press on the 3rd.
Ricki Lake, author of Your Best Birth (9780446538138).
Elizabeth Hasselbeck, author of The G-Free Diet (9781599951881), and James Carville, author of 40 More Years (9781416569893), had separate segments on Monday’s GMA.  Carville was on Talk of the Nation on the 7th.
Monday’s Charlie Rose featured an interview with Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine (9780312427993).
Thomas Cahill, author of A Saint on Death Row (9780385520195), was on Monday’s Tavis Smiley Show.
Emeril Lagasse, author of Emeril at the Grill (9780061742743)
Kathy Freston, author of Quantum Wellness Cleanse (9781602860919)
Whoopi Goldberg, author of Sugar Plum Ballerinas (9780786852611)
The View hosted Donald Trump, author of Think Like a Champion (9781593155308), on Tuesday morning.
Bobby Flay created dishes from Bobby Flay’s Burgers, Fries, & Shakes (9780307460639) on The Early Show on the 5th.
Tuesday’s Tavis Smiley Show included an appearance by the author of Promises I Made My Mother (9780345506559), Sam Haskell.
Fareed Zakaria, author of The Post-American World (9780393334807), was on The Daily Show on the 5th.
The Colbert Report on the 5th included an interview with Cliff Sloan, co-author of The Great Decision (9781586484262).
Michael J. Fox, author of Always Looking Up (9781401303389), was on GMA on Wednesday and The View on Thursday.
The Early Show on Wednesday had a segment with Chris Cleave, author of Little Bee (9781416589631).
Laurie Garrett, author of The Coming Plague (9780140250916), was on The Colbert Report on Wednesday.
The Tavis Smiley Show on the 6th included an interview with Daryl Strawberry, author of Straw: Finding My Way (9780061704208).
Newt Gingrich, author of 5 Principles for a Successful Life (9780307462329), Nancy Snyderman, author of Diet Myths That Keep Us Fat (9780307406156)
Leeza Gibbons, author of Take Your Oxygen First (9781934184202), all had segments on Thursday’s Today Show.
GMA had a feature on the upcoming HBO project adapted from John Hoffman’s The Alzheimer’s Project (9781586487560) on Thursday.
Larry King hosted Marlee Matlin, author of I’ll Scream Later (9781439102855), on his talk show on Thursday.
ABC’s Primetime on Thursday did a feature on Michael Gill’s How Starbucks Saved My Life (9781592404049).
Thursday’s Tavis Smiley Show had a segment with Patti Davis, author of The Lives Our Mothers Leave Us (9781401921620)
Walter Earl Fluker, author of Ethical Leadership (9780800663490).
Ayelet Waldman, author of Bad Mother (9780385527934), was on The Today Show this morning.  Waldman was on Talk of the Nation on the 4th and Fresh Air on the 5th.
Maria Helm Sinskey, author of The Williams-Sonoma Family Meals (9780848732639)
Michio Kaku, author of Physics of the Impossible (9780307278821), is to be on the same show.
The View hosts Alyse Myers, author of Who Do You Think You Are? (9781416543060), on this morning’s show.
Adam Perry Lang, author of Serious Barbecue (9781401323066), is booked on Oprah for today.  Lang was on The Today Show on Thursday.
Cheryl Saban, author of What Is Your Self-Worth? (97814019239521), is booked on Charlie Rose for this evening.

As Heard On NPR:

Doug Rothbart, author of Requiem for a Paper Bag (9781416560548), was on last Saturday’s Weekend Edition.
Saturday’s All Things Considered aired an interview with John Harley Warner, author of Dissection (9780922233342).
Sunday’s Weekend Edition examined the new book, Who Is Mark Twain? (9780061735004).
Colm Toibin, author of Brooklyn (9781439138311), was interviewed on Sunday’s All Things Considered and had his book reviewed on Thursday’s Fresh Air.
Monday’s Morning Edition included an interview with Neil MacFarquhar, author of The Media Relations Department of Hezbollah…(9781586486358).
Monday’s Diane Rehm Show hosted Frank Portnoy, author of The Match King (9781586487430).
Malina Saval, author of The Secret Lives of Boys (9780465002542), was on Monday’s Fresh Air and Talk of the Nation.
All Things Considered’s “You Must Read This” segment on Monday featured Halldor Laxness’ Independent People (9780679767923).
John Barry, author of The Great Influenza (9780143036494), was on Morning Edition on Tuesday.
Tuesday’s Diane Rehm Show hosted Rita Dove, author of Sonata Mulattica (9780393070088).
Leonore Skenazy, author of Free-Range Kids (9780470471944), had a segment on Talk of the Nation on the 5th.
All Things Considered on Tuesday aired an interview with the author of Annie’s Ghost (9781401322472), Steve Luxenberg.
Steve Miller, author of The Turnaround Kid (9780061251276)
Daniyal Muennuddin, author of In Other Rooms, Other Wonders (9780393068009)
Ali Sethi, author of The Wish Maker (9781594488757).  Please note the this title goes on sale on June 11th.
Joshua Cooper Ramo, author of The Age of the Unthinkable (9780316118088), was on Wednesday’s Diane Rehm Show.
On Point on the 6th welcomed Ruth Reichl, author of Not Becoming My Mother (9781594202162).
Jack Murningham, author of the forthcoming Beowulf on the Beach (9780307409577), selected the following for his “3 Books” segment on Wednesday’s All Things Considered:
Moby Dick (9780142000083) by Herman Melville
Ulysses (9780679722762) by James Joyce
The Sound and the Fury (9780679732242) by William Faulkner
Thursday’s Morning Edition included interviews with Huston Smith, author of Tales of Wonder (9780061154263), and with Larry Tye, author of Rising from the Rails (9780805078503).
Elizabeth Strout, author of Olive Kitteridge (9780812971835), was interviewed on Thursday’s On Point.
Talk of the Nation had a segment with Amy Dickinson, author of The Mighty Queens of Freeville (9781401322854), on the 7th.
Mark Reiter & Richard Sandomir, authors of The Final Four of Everything (9781439126080), were on All Things Considered on Thursday.

Visit Our Website, Call or Email with questions, orders, and comments.

And remember, Feed Your Need to Read with Yesterday’s Muse Books.

* Pending availability from our supplier

Our Store in the Democrat and Chronicle

Our first major article has been printed and, lucky for us, it’s in the Democrat and Chronicle, which is widely read in the Rochester area. It’s going to be in the ‘Our Town’ insert which is found primarily in the Webster/Penfield copies. We’ve used the handy copy-and-paste feature so that everyone can read the article on here. If you’d like to share the article go to this link and click ‘share’ at the top to email it to your friends and family or put it on your facebook page! Here is the article:

Rare and used bookstore opens in Webster

“WEBSTER — Ask 27-year-old Jonathan Smalter what he’s most proud of in his bookstore, and he’ll probably lead you to the rare book room and point to a first-edition copy of The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.

The book, priced at $3,500, is by far the most expensive item in Yesterday’s Muse.

Smalter’s used bookstore opened in December on West Main Street in the village of Webster. The store has several rare books and thousands of regular used books, from genre fiction to literary fiction to books on local history.

The store has the crisp feel of a new bookstore. Every book has a price tag. Tables of books are scattered throughout, and Smalter changes the theme of each table every couple of months.

In honor of spring, he now has tables for sports books, cookbooks, gardening books and Christian books (a nod to Easter).

Smalter’s girlfriend, Kristine Rinebold, handles data entry, promotions, customer inquiries and aspects of the store’s Web site. She also contributes to the bookstore’s blog.

“We’ll call her the Jill of all trades,” Smalter said. “She’s kind of amazing.”

The bookstore even has a resident tabby cat, Ophelia Paige, who recently wandered in as a stray.

While the physical incarnation of Yesterday’s Muse was born during a recession, Smalter has been building his bookselling career online for years. The Webster native started buying used books at garage sales and library sales when he was a philosophy major at Nazareth College. He began to learn what sorts of books would sell well on the Internet.

“I sold books out of my closet,” Smalter said. “I bought a ton of stuff and I was wrong about a lot of it.”

Some books sell quickly online for a decent profit; other titles have too many copies available on the Internet and are harder to sell, he says.

With time, Smalter has developed an eye for which titles are worth his while.

Smalter got into the book business as a teenager. The first job he ever held was unrelated: He worked as a dishwasher in the Chinese food department at Wegmans

ut Smalter’s mother encouraged him to find a job that wouldn’t send him home smelling like soy sauce and grease, and since he knew someone working at Webster Village Used Book Store, he applied for a data-entry position.

Store owner Tim Ryan hired Smalter, who was 17 at the time. He worked there for three years.

Then he sold books out of his closet for a time. And after graduating from Nazareth in 2003, he moved home and sold books out of his parents’ attic.

He had accounts with Amazon Marketplace and, among others. Eventually, he started Yesterday’s Muse as an online-only store.

Now he has a 15,000-book collection. About half of the books are displayed in his store; the rest are in storage. They’re almost all for sale online.

The trick to Smalter’s business, he says, is maximizing the different strengths of online and in-store sales. Books that don’t sell well on the Internet, such as popular fiction titles, fly out of his store.

Obscure titles might fetch a profit online, but could sit on a store shelf for months.

Gardner J. Ryan of Irondequoit was driving down Main Street a couple of months ago when he noticed the sign for Yesterday’s Muse.

“I thought, my goodness, there’s a bookstore I haven’t been in,” Ryan said.

Ryan says he’s impressed with the store’s clean layout. He’s also sold 12 boxes of books to Smalter. Ryan’s personal book collection once included about 3,000 titles, he said, though he has cut it by a third.

He’s told all his book friends about the store and has brought people in to see it, he said.

Trish Corcoran and her 4-year-old daughter, Eva Nielson, are two regular customers of Smalter’s store. Although they live in Ontario, Wayne County, they do a lot of shopping in Webster.

Corcoran was excited to discover Yesterday’s Muse.

“I was brokenhearted when Brown Bag (Book Shop) closed in the city,” she said, referring to the Monroe Avenue store that shut down last year.

Corcoran, who is in a book club, enjoys used bookstores because she can buy book club books that she may not normally have bought on her own, and she doesn’t have to spend a fortune.

She says she can afford to buy her children books more often at Yesterday’s Muse.

Her 12-year-old son, Bjarne Nielson, is also an avid reader.

And Corcoran enjoys getting store credit when she sells Smalter some of her own books.

“It’s nice to recycle your books,” she said.

“Books that I’ve enjoyed are going to another home rather than collecting dust on my shelves.”

Hope you enjoyed the article and to see you at the store sometime soon! Visit our website at for information on how to contact us or to browse for a book or two.

Ophelia Paige’s Meet and Greet!

This is Ophelia Paige, our bookstore cat. Ophelia

A few weeks ago, probably 3 at this point, this sweet little cat wandered to our door. Jonathan was at the store alone for once and I was over at the apartment getting ready to have dinner with a friend. He calls me and says: ‘Kristine! There is a cat meowing at our door… what should I do?’ And of course I respond ‘Let it in! It’s freezing out!’ I brought food over for her but apparently by the time we had gotten off of the phone she was already gone, wandering off in search of other adventures.

Being the bleeding heart that I am I call my friend, Sam, and tell him that I needed to rescue a cat and was going to be late. He grudgingly understood  and Jonathan and I bundled up for the winter night and headed out in search of the elusive feline. Behind our bookstore is a construction site where they are building a new firehouse (yay!) and rolling around in the dirt is a shadowy figure who looks suspiciously like an adorable kitty.

We talk to her from where we stand and she meows back, almost as if to say ‘Hey, I was wondering when you’d get here. Can we go inside now?’
She allows Jon to pick her up and take her in where she explores the store fearlessly — eating her delicious canned food and indulging in some fresh water, content to finally be in a warm, safe place.

We took her to the vet in the following weeks after no one called us to claim her from the ads we posted.
She was not microchipped and was indeed a feral cat who had chosen the perfect home.

Ophelia Paige now enjoys the same creature comforts as every bookstore cat, such as never-ending attention, a soft cat bed, many mice toys, a gigantic cardboard box fort, and a boundless amount of love from all who meet her. Anyone interested in coming to meet her is welcome, though we can’t promise she won’t be sleeping in her favorite spot — a J. Jill paper shopping bag under the checkout counter.

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Our Newsletter.

Yesterday’s Muse Books is proud to present it’s new online subscription form for our newsletter. All our members receive coupons, discounts and event news for the store and the website. We ship all over the world. If you are interested in joining click here.

Thanks again!

Published in: on April 10, 2009 at 3:09 PM  Leave a Comment  
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