Mick's Blog

25 Years and 200 Catalogues!

Posted On Mar 20, 2017 | American Civil War 1861-1865,Aviation,Espionage,Military Biography,Military General,Napoleonic,Naval,SIMMO,Special Forces and Airborne,The Great War 1914-1918,Vietnam,World War 2 1939 - 1945 | No Comments

Here we are at Catalogue #200! Who’da thought? It’s been a helter-skelter 25 years and I have many to thank. Firstly, the great Ken White in Canberra who had the most awesome collection of 1st and 2nd AIF unit histories. Ken inspired me to start a catalogue from my own collection. It was sad when he slipped into retirement and even sadder when he died. I was lucky enough to attend the Australian Book Auctions in Melbourne and snapped up $20,000 worth of his collection.  This collection galvanised my lists for quite sometime. Next has to be Blue Burridge here in Perth who took it upon himself to reprint most of the 1st AIF histories and many of the 2nd AIF. He even got stuck into the Vietnam histories making rare books suddenly accessible and reasonably priced. No list of booksellers can be complete without mention of big Bob Muir who is no longer with us and his wife Helen who always helped me understand pricing and friendship. Bob Muir junior and his remarkable wife Janet have kept the tradition alive. Berkelouws in NSW have always listed books in my field at reasonable prices. Dennis Moore at Mainly Books here in Perth is always great source of quality books at very reasonable prices. Dennis and I enjoy a glass or two of red each week. I’ve always enjoyed hunting books at Serendipity and thank Ilonka and David McGill for their friendship although their entire collection is by alpha not genre which means a long trawl to find anything. Of course all book dealers rely on that remarkable group, the collectors. These are the people who keep us all in business. I particularly thank Dr Jonathan Burdon and his continuous search for special forces books. Stuart Braga has also loomed large in collecting serious unit histories but who has now retired. I wish you all the best for the future Stuart. And Geoffrey Farmer in Tassie bought many hundreds of WW1 books from me over the years. Ironically, I bought them all back when he was unable to continue. Thanks Geoff. Robert Cross has been with me since my first list and is still going. Onya Bob! Graham Levy has been one of those collectors who has found some gems for me over the years. Long may he continue and I hope our liaison over red wine also continues. Duncan Foster, an Australian Army Officer, drops in every Christmas and makes off with a stack of unit histories. Surely he must have them all by now? Neil Hamilton, a very busy lawyer, said to me one day, ‘I want you to find 1st editions of ALL of the 1st & 2nd AIF unit histories’. And away I went, the search for the Holy Grail of book collecting. I found them all over a couple of years much to his delight. Judith Borrett has built a collection just about exclusively from my lists. Well done Jude. Also from the bush Tim Andrews never misses buying from my lists as does Russel Oke who has a very interesting collection strategy. And my friend Ian Teague has been a stalwart over the years. The auctioneer Wayne Gardiner has alerted me to gems coming up in auctions for which I remain extremely grateful. Unfortunately, many of my serious collectors over the years have gone to their reward. And who knows where their beautiful military books have ended up. All we can hope for in the book business is that the younger generations can be lured away from their social media and Kindles long enough to understand the joys of real, tangible books. I must apologise if I’ve inadvertently neglected to mention anyone who has been with me through it all. This list, in a slightly different format, is an offering of some of the best we have in stock. As usual it’s first in best dressed. Of course, I would not be able to do ANY of this without my amazing wife Jo who is my master and commander. Also as usual we dedicate this list to those Diggers who have served their country and are now not travelling very well. Also to those Diggers who are still deployed on Active Service. May you return to your families in one piece. Via Con Dios.  Mick & Jo