Idyll Musings

The daily adventures of a bookselling family.

Idyll (n) - a short prose piece depicting a rural or pastoral scene in idealized terms; a carefree episode or experience; a romantic interlude; a scene or event of a simple and tranquil nature.

Friday, February 29, 2008

On a Technical Note....

Just in case you don't know, I am brand new to blogging. So, especially in the early stages, expect to see changes and glitches from time to time. I am going to apologize for any future glitches now.

While I'm on this subject, does anybody out there have experience with working out the bugs in blogs? Actually, the problem is in my home computer. The blog looks like it should on every computer but my own. On my home p.c., I can't add page elements, I can't rearrange page elements, I can't see my adsense ads, I can't upload a picture to my profile, I can't add items to any list I currently have on the blog.... it's been frustrating spending as much time as I have on it and not being able to fix this.

My computer runs on Win 2000, with IE 6. I have plenty of RAM, and to the best of my knowledge Java is enabled, and I have emptied the cache on several occassions. I have tried turning off every combination of my popup blocker, virus program, and Zone Labs. NOTHING has made a difference! I will probably be upgrading to either Win XP or Vista, and IE 7 in the near future, but I need to get this problem fixed now!! PLEASE, can someone help?

Coming Soon: Some examples of our books, (with pictures I hope!), two books that have us stumped, how I got started with this obsession called being a bibliophile........


Monday, February 25, 2008

Whimsical and Significant

Can whimsical artwork ever be considered significant? Dr. Seuss would say yes. Robert McCloskey, Eric Carle, H.A. Rey, Leo Lionni and other noted children's book authors and illustrators would too. But for the longest time, most art collectors would laugh at the idea of The Cat In the Hat being called a work of art. Times are changing. Popular opinion is beginning to understand what children's book collectors have known all along: children's book art IS art. This AP article from Saturday is an eye-opening read.

In addition to the 2-dimensional children's picture book, let's not forget about the favorite of favorites, from a child's eye: the 3-dimensional pop-up books!! These books helped our beloved characters burst from the pages in their full color glory! Dinosaurs! Pirates! Firetrucks! Books made even more appealing, because you didn't just read them, you played with them! Ahh, the good old days!

Finding pop-up books with popups intact is the challenge for booksellers.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Andrea's musings

Well, it's another COLD and snowy day here in Salem, MA. To most New Englanders, this is no big deal. But I however am NOT most New Englanders!! I am a California transplant who is used to warmth and sunshine!! I moved out here in October after living my entire life in the desert communities of Southern California. So I have a tendency to freak out when it starts to snow because this is not a condition that am I used to driving in!! And since I have still have California plates on my minivan (along with Tinkerbell stickers which is another story)I tend to get harassed quite a bit. Like drivers in Massachusetts are better than California drivers. NOT!! I didn't know that by moving out here that I was technically going to need a race car drivers license along with my motor vehicle license!! What is the deal with these Rotaries? And not driving in the right lane because it's for passing? Oh and my personal favorite....let's pull out in the middle of the road so that we can get across it therefore causing gridlock, honking horns and very unkind hand gestures!!!!

But aside from the cold (I don't think I've been warm since I moved here) and the rain, and the snow, Massachusetts is a nice place to live. I can't wait for the springtime so that we can go out to the marinas, maybe take a boat ride and see the museums and different points of interest that close in the winter time.

I have a particularly hard time with the cold due to the medical condition I have called Sarcoidosis. Sarcoidosis is an auto-immune disorder that attacks various organs in the body. We don't know what causes it so there is really no cure for it. Leave it to me to end up with some weird illness!!!! I always was a hyperchondriac as a child but I really don't think I deserve this as payback for all those times I faked sick to get out of school!!! I have sarc in my lungs, stomach, lymph nodes, joints, and skin and I also have heart involvement and suspected brain involvement. I take lots of pain meds that don't work so now get to retrain the pain management people on what is best for ME!! So as part of my blog postings, you all will get to read my ramblings, rants and raves about being sick and the state of health care in the united states!!!

Hope you all stay warm and dry. I think I'm going to go make some hot tea!!!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Idyll (n) - a short prose piece depicting a rural or pastoral scene in idealized terms; a carefree episode or experience; a romantic interlude; a scene or event of a simple and tranquil nature.

Hello. We are an online bookselling family living in Salem, MA (home of Hawthorne and witches), but preparing for a cross-country move in the near future. Our business, Literary Idylls, will soon have a website where readers can peruse the shelves of our eclectic inventory. Our name is a nod to Tennyson's Idyll's of the King, and in a sense is a nod toward one of our sons, who, at age 11, is a huge fan of the stories of King Arthur. He is also a very talented writer!

Since this is a family enterprise, let me introduce you to the rest of mine: My name is Mark. My wife, Andrea, and I have three sons and one daughter. Our sons are ages 17, 11 and 8; our daughter is 13. We all love to read, though our interests vary. I have been interested in collecting and selling books for as long as I can remember. I am a tax accountant by day, which means you'll get tax advice from time to time on this blog (if you need a good tax accountant, I'm available for hire!).

What else will you see on this blog? Posts about books, posts about the business in general, about our business in particular, posts of idyll musings and idyll reflections on our life and family, posts about our upcoming move...

Welcome aboard, we're glad you're here, and we hope you enjoy the ride!