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Thursday, October 1, 2020

Long Live Mr. Zip!


Troy Carlson, Captain of Packing and Shipping at Pistil Books, proudly displays his Mr. Zip t-shirt.  Troy walks all our packages to the Post Office several times a week.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Masks Required

 Our local Metro buses have been showing "Essential Trips Only" and "Masks Required" on their signs during the pandemic.  With this in mind, Seattle artist and friend of Pistil Books, Jon Strongbow, showed us his latest drawing today:

You can purchase books of Jon's work here.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Pistil Photo Essay

Here's a look into a small online book business.

Our entrance off the alley.
Meet Whiskey, our new bookstore kitty, age 5 months.

Stacks waiting to be shelved.

Sean's stack of books to read on his desk.

Recycled blank books and toaster boy.

Artwork by James Koehnline, R. Crumb, and Jon Strongbow.
Bookmark collection and tiny books.
Plenty of reading material in the throne room.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Found in Books - Spring 2020 Edition

It's spring cleaning time, and time to empty our "Found in Books" folder and start anew.

This time we have some of the old standbys--  bookmarks, invitations, photographs, boarding passes, transit tickets, receipts, drawings--  plus some new book inserts that we haven't seen before:  computer programming cards, an information request card for "Nuclear Diodes, Inc."

Postcards, early computer printout, bar mitzvah invitation, drawing of train on tracing paper, and pamphlet for the Sixth International Congress of Radiation Research.

There was also a pink note stuck into a book titled, Mud Pies & Other Recipes that said, "I always thought it was a waste of good pie in a  pie throwing but I would enjoy seeing this one, wouldn't you?"

A note on the back of this owl/deer/heart artwork says, "For the best couple ever."

"After seeing children in grammar school at play, doing very active activities, I've come to the conclusion that childrens wear can be very simple and still have that 'darling' look."  This paper titled  "Field Trip to Grammar School" received an "A".

This Dodge Dart was serviced regularly with detailed record-keeping.

Someone had a very large and carefully-kept Agnes Moorehead clipping collection.

Agnes, Baby!  She was Endora on "Bewitched."

Friday, March 20, 2020

Pistil's Recycled Blank Books and Filmmaker Sam Green

I  have been busy making blank books and journals out of old library books and school books.    The first step in the process is to take apart the old book, using an exacto knife to carefully remove the text block, then comes cutting blank paper to make pages of the same size and thickness.  The fun part is choosing pages from the deconstructed book to leave interspersed among the blank pages - these are often illustrations, or pages with cool ex-library marks like a perforated name stamp.

After the paper has been cut, I glue the blank pages together (perfect binding) using a metal brush to rough up the paper fibers before applying PVA bookbinding adhesive.  I also drills holes along the edge of the binding and sews the text block for added strength, adding decorative headbands and ribbon bookmark.

Finally, I glue the newly formed blank text blocks back inside the old bindings.

One of our most loyal customers for our sketchbook-sized recycled blank books is filmmaker Sam Green.  

Here's Sam with his most recent re-bound blank book.

Sam says,

I have been buying rebound blank books from Pistil Books for years now. I am a huge fan and always tell everyone I know how great they are. I am a documentary filmmaker and I use these books to organize my life. I am decidedly analogue - I know - but it works for me. Every day, I start a new page and list the emails and calls I have to make on one side of the page and a schedule for the day on the other. I also put notes in the books. My monthly financial accounting. Photographs. I paste a calendar in the back. I have dozens and dozens of finished books, and long after the cloud is gone and all your cell phone photos have evaporated, I will still have a record of my days thru these books! They are super sturdy and wonderfully made, and totally unique. I love Amy's books and hope to be able to buy one every couple of months for the rest of my life!

A filmmaker's notebook.
Sam Green's working calendar.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Pistil Books Presents an Evening of Film and Music with Lori Goldston

Cellist Lori Goldston accompanies the surrealist film
The Seashell and the Clergyman (1928, France)

The Seashell and the Clergyman is an early experimental silent film, directed by queer radical feminist Germaine Dulac in 1928. At the time of its release it was banned by the British Board of Film Censors, who declared it was  "apparently meaningless" but "If there is a meaning, it is doubtless objectionable”. 

Presented with an original live score by cellist/composer Lori Goldston, who has performed live soundtracks around the world as a soloist, and with ensembles including old-time Seattle fixture the Black Cat Orchestra.

"Germaine Dulac was involved in the avant garde in Paris in the 1920s. Both The Smiling Madame Beudet (1922) and The Seashell and the Clergyman are important early examples of radical experimental feminist filmmaking, and provide an antidote to the art made by the surrealist brotherhood. The latter film, an interpretation of Anton Artaud’s book of the same name, is a visually imaginative critique of patriarchy – state and church – and of male sexuality. On its premiere, the surrealists greeted it with noisy derision, calling Dulac 'une vache'."  [British Film Institute]

Saturday, December 14 on Capitol Hill
$10 suggested to musician

and you will receive an email with address and time on 
the day before this event.
(Space is limited to 40 people, with 25 chairs, 

the rest standing/sitting on floor.)

You are invited to bring a beverage and/or snack to share.
 Hope to see you here!

Amy and Sean
Pistil Books Online

Holiday Sale - 20% off all books, now through Dec. 15.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Concrete Poetry

Concrete poetry is a form of poetry in which the visual typographic display of words and letters on the page make up the meaning of the poem, rather than the verbal significance.  We recently acquired this anthology of concrete poetry, inscribed by the editor, Richard Kostelanetz:

Imaged Words & Worded Images (Outerbridge & Dienstfrey: 1970)    

This poem doesn't have words or even letters.

The Getty website has an introduction to concrete poetry with examples, including an audio recording.