A New Year

2016 has been quiet so far: just a couple of outings to the California International Antiquarian Book Fair (where I got a sunburn), and the Greenwich Village Antiquarian Book Fair (where I regained my usual pallor).FairsBut now, in March, all the resources and energies of Honey & Wax are directed toward our ABAA debut at the armory. One month away: the New York Antiquarian Book Fair.

Are we ready? No.

Will we be? Yes.

With thanks to Simon Beattie and Justin Croft for inviting us into Booth A33, by the bar.


A Word About Meredith

Packing tonight, and reflecting on what Boston means for Honey & Wax.Boston

In November of 2010, I headed to the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair as a bookseller for Bauman Rare Books. I stayed with my old friend Meredith, effortlessly capable Harvard Business School grad, and her family in Cambridge.

After dinner, at the kitchen table, I talked about dealing for myself one day, a goal that seemed laughably distant. “How much money will you need to start?” No idea: I’d never made a budget or read a balance sheet. I had to ask Meredith to define “revenue.” She poured us some more wine, opened a worksheet, and knocked out a business plan in two hours: a foundational document (Meredith’sModel.xlsx) I will never, ever delete from my hard drive.

The next November I came back to Boston, and Meredith’s kitchen table, having just left my position at BRB, with a temporary checkbook and a stack of “coming soon” Honey & Wax business cards to hand out at the fair.

Every fall I’ve returned, with real checks and business cards now, exhibiting at the Boston shadow show and logging the four years of independent operation required to apply for membership in the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America. Tomorrow night, I’ll be back at Meredith’s kitchen table, and the ABAA will vote on Honey & Wax. On Saturday, I’ll be exhibiting at the shadow show at the Back Bay Events Center (booth D49), maybe the last shadow show for a while.

It’s been an incredible four years. Thanks to everyone who made Honey & Wax possible . . . but especially, this weekend, give it up for Meredith.

Honey & Wax, 2012-2015

Honey & Wax, the early years.

The Quiet Season

Late summer: a quiet season in the book trade. No one’s in town. No one’s in the office. But don’t be fooled: we are hard at work here in Brooklyn. Stay tuned for the fall reveal!


Summertime Slideshow

The site’s been quiet for a couple of weeks. I’ve been away, gathering books and inspiration for this fall’s Honey & Wax catalog. Here are some travel slides, for those who like to follow along at home.ChurchyardBookseller and Buckinghamshire native Simon Beattie gave me a tour of some local literary highlights. This is the churchyard in Stoke Poges where Thomas Gray wrote “Elegy in a Country Churchyard” (1751).MiltonHouseAnd this is the cottage in Chalfont St Giles where the blind John Milton completed Paradise Lost in 1667. MiltonIndianThe Indian takeaway across the road from Milton’s cottage, where the great poet got his weekly vindaloo fix. Dahl PetrolThe petrol pumps on Great Missenden High Street, the inspiration for the filling station in Roald Dahl’s Danny, The Champion of the World (1975), my favorite of all his novels. Photographer Simon is visible in the reflection.Hazel'sWoodSimon in the field behind Roald Dahl’s house. The woods in the distance inspired Victor Hazell’s poaching grounds in Danny, The Champion of the World. DahlHutRoald Dahl’s private writing cottage, constructed behind his house in Great Missenden. He claimed that savage wolves lived there to keep the family away while he was working. This plan would not have deterred my child. BristolAfter our whirl through Buckinghamshire, Simon and I teamed up with Elisabeth Grass (late of Quaritch) for the journey to the first ever PBFA book fair in Bristol.TempleMeadsThere were singers! dancers! mimes on stilts! And scores of PBFA dealers. I was lucky enough to land the plush guest bedroom at the headquarters of Bristol bookseller Steve Liddle.LiddleThen on to Oxford, to pick up Lily and spend a night in Jesus College, the only college at Oxford founded during the reign of Elizabeth I. The queen was an imposing presence over our breakfast table. Lil ate Rice Krispies, unfazed, under her imperial gaze.JesusCollegeWe continued on to Paris, where we moved into the Hotel du Vieux Paris on the Left Bank. Once known as the Beat Hotel, it was home to Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs decades ago. Now it’s full of modern comforts, but the old raftered ceilings remain.TimbersWe visited Shakespeare & Company a few blocks away, where Lil befriended the bookstore cat, Kitty.S&CoAnd I visited the rare book room (hello, Ben Brown!) and the Sylvia Beach Memorial Library, where a young Englishman noodled on a piano dating back to the Lost Generation:SBMLThe bookstore window scene in Paris was aspirational.BooksellerAnd we enjoyed running into the greats every time we turned a corner. I give you Montaigne, outside the Sorbonne. Students rub his right shoe for luck before their exams:Montaigne

And Voltaire, quietly amused in the Panthéon:VoltaireI’ll be back in the bookroom next week, and Honey & Wax will resume regular business hours — until then, bon voyage!Goodbye

My Bookish Valentine

Just returned from a wet weekend of book-buying in Oakland, at the California International Antiquarian Book Fair, to a frozen week of book-cataloguing here in Brooklyn. New acquisitions are up every day now at Honey & Wax.

Do you need a complete set of embossed Shakespearean valentines, circa 1907, for this weekend? Probably. Pick them up here.

Or come see the new books for yourself next weekend at the Greenwich Village Antiquarian Book Fair, February 20-22!


Merry Merry

It’s 3:15 in the afternoon on December 23, and the last of these has shipped. Happy holidays to everyone, and thanks for making 2014 such a great year for Honey & Wax!

(Bookish requests for 2015 welcome, but give me a few days.)


Holiday Gifts, Part Two

And in happy local news: this Saturday, December 6, jump-start your holiday shopping at the Third Annual Brooklyn Holiday Book Fair, featuring rare, vintage and out-of-print books from independent booksellers all over Brooklyn.

Cara Schlesinger of Faenwyl Bindery will run an all-ages bookmaking demonstration at 12 PM. And at 2 PM, the brilliant Maira Kalman will be on hand to sign her new book, My Favorite Things, a tribute to the power of special objects, and the ideal holiday gift for the collector (or hoarder) on your list.

Hope to see you all Saturday!


Holiday Gifts, Part One

Just home from a packed, rushed expatriate Thanksgiving in London, where I spent 72 hours shopping for holiday gifts (yours, mine, everyone’s) and restocking the Honey & Wax shelves. Keep an eye on the website as the new books arrive!

VF CoverOn the flight home, I settled in with Vanity Fair’s 2014 holiday gift guide, featuring our signed variorum edition of Yeats.IMG_2276Honey & Wax: standing by, for all your seasonal poetry needs.