I carried a choice selection of books, prints and ephemera for the discriminating customer. I dealt principally in scholarly and antiquarian books, with an emphasis on art books. I also sold original prints, including but not limited to antique Japanese ukiyo-e prints. Additionally I went in for occasional ephemera. My selection was more eclectic and esoteric than predictable and mainstream.
When my business was active my stock needed to be replenished continually. Since shuttering my business I am of course no longer buying books. I also no longer accept items on a consignment basis. Additionally, I am no longer available for professional appraisals.
I strove to be accurate and complete when describing my books, prints and other items. My descriptions tended to be conservative; what another seller might describe as Near Fine I was more likely to call Very Good Plus or Very Good.
I was finicky about condition. All of my books were hand-selected and were cleaned before I shelved them. Virtually all of my books, dust jackets and other paper items were free of tobacco odor and free of dampstain. I informed prospective buyers if I believed that a fine or rare book in my inventory was musty or otherwise suspect. The same, of course, held true for my prints and ephemera.
The pictures you see on my website are of the actual books and prints I have left over in my inventory upon close of my retail business.
Opened in September 2003 by me, Marc Sena Carrel, my fine paper collectibles store was in business for over fourteen years. I became infatuated with the printed word and illustrations as a child reader, turned to book sleuthing in my teenage years, and – after meanderings in Europe, bouts working in the Hollywood film industry, stints freelancing as a copy editor and proofreader, intervals teaching ESL in public schools, and a career investigating civil rights disputes in education for the Feds – finally became a bookseller, trusting senescence would not overtake me too soon.
My business was located in the San Francisco Bay Area, on the Pacific coast just south of San Francisco. Although I was almost exclusively an on-line presence – I was very occasionally open by appointment – I had close ties to the north peninsula community, including a history of volunteer service to a number of Friends of the Library organizations.
My goal was to create an environment that encourages a classical education (to the extent possible nowadays), the development of the life of the mind (for those not already fully in the know), and the exercise of the creative spirit (directly or vicariously), especially through exposure to language and the visual arts, all this in the context of droll perspective and eclectic taste. Vita brevis, ars longa was my motto. Or, as the late-medieval author Chaucer observed, "The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne." My takeaway was that, although authors and artists eventually die and are often forgotten, the arts endure.