Author Archives: McKenna Corey

Seventy-Five Years in Bookselling

“The old corner book store, Boston, 1853. From a contemporary water-color, showing how Ticker and Field’s, which shortly became Dutton’s, looked when Dutton’s was first organized.”

Seventy-Five Years in Bookselling recounts the history of Dutton’s Books from 1852 to 1927. The book is filled with gorgeous prints and engravings of the store, its many locations, and some special artifacts from their collection. The watercolor print above is especially striking, and it depicts the store in its first iteration with stunning vividness and color.

The book continues to catalog images of the store, including incredible black-and-white images of the store, like this one, which shows the interior of their store on Fifth Avenue.

“The Interior of the Fifth Avenue Store”

 

This photo depicts the shop’s Rare Book Room, which holds a chair that was used by Charles Dickens, Lewis Carroll, and more prominent figures.

“Small Rare Book Room: The chair on the right is known as the ‘Shop Chair’ and came from England in 1919. In its seventy years of life it has never been outside a book shop, and while in continuous service for its three different owners it embraced an unbelievably large number of literary and other geniuses: Charles Dickens; Cruikshank; Leech; Tenniel; Gladstone; Thackeray; Charles Reade; Ruskin; Lewis Carroll; Mansfield; George Barr McCutcheon; John Drew; A. E. Newton; Owen Johnson, not to mention many other prominent men and women in other walks of life.”

There are a total of twenty-six prints included in the volume, and all of them tell stories of the bookshop, detailed in their captions:

“Björck & Börjesson, Stockholm, Sweden who within a month found for us a First Edition of ‘Don Quixote’ in Danish, a book so rare there is only one record of a copy ever being offered for sale in Great Britain.

 

“The exterior of the Fifth Avenue premises”

“Looking south on Fifth Avenue—1926”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Terquem, Paris, France, who find out-of-print books for us and for years, until they retired from modern fiction, kept us in touch with the latest worth-while French books.”

 

This book is enthralling to flip through, not only because of the images, but also because of the stories. It is an in-depth look at the history of a single bookseller, their stock, their locations, and their international trading practices. It is also a story of dedication to not only their customers, but to the art of bookselling.

 

Seventy-Five Years in Bookselling, or The Joys and Sorrows of Publishing & Selling Books at Dutton’s is available here in the Rare Books Library: Z473.D8 A3 1927