Thursday, August 18, 2011

Spotlight on March House Books

A while ago while surfing the net, I ran across the most intriguing blog I’ve found in a long time.  I had to follow.  The blog is about an online store, March House Books, which has been around about 15 years.  Of course, I had to check out the store and I’m glad I did.  Books, books, books, and more books.

“Ok,” you ask, “what’s so unique about that?”

“It’s the type of books!”  I respond, all excited.  “Although I don’t have children in my house any more, I love books of any kind.  If you favor all types of books or are a collector of rare books, this blog is for you.”
A child's day written by Walter de la mare with photographic illustrations by Carine and Will Cadby.  A poem all about Elizabeth Ann and what she does in a day.

“Huh?”  You ask.  “There’s tons of these stores on line.  Why are you excited about finding another book store?”

“Sorry.  The books are so much fun.  Let me be more professional.  Ahem.”

The blog and website are run by the nicest lady - Barbara Fisher from the UK, who truly loves what she does.  Barbara is unique collector – she collects ‘gently used’ books, rare, and out of print for resale.  Some she just adds to her private collection.  

Of speckled eggs the birdie sings
and nests among the trees; the
sailor sings of ropes and things in
ships upon the seas. The children
sing in far Japan, the children sing
in Spain, the organ with the organ
man is singing in the rain.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Not just any book.  Barbara searches out Children’s Books, Illustrated Books, and a few general items such as Vintage Sheet Music.  On her website she lists authors and books she has available and ones she hopes to find.

As you can see by the pictures, she does a great job finding these precious reads.  If you’ve been looking for a child’s book from your youth, want an unusual and priceless gift for someone, or have one of these books she’s looking for, check out her online store.

                                                    From marchhousecom's blog:           'This is always a moment we dread, but this time it was going to be so much worse, not only a steep ascent into a dark and no doubt spider infested attic but four flights of stairs to climb  – and more importantly four flights of stairs and a ladder to get the books down. Oh joy of joys! So imagine our delight on finding a beautifully converted attic bedroom with amazing views across the city and books neatly arranged on shelves and in boxes. We spent a very enjoyable hour browsing and chatting and came home with some nice stock and good memories of a day well spent. ' 

She just blogged about Pookie Books.  I’d not heard of them, but the covers are darling.  Pookie is a small white rabbit with wings.  What a novel idea.  Why didn’t we think of this, writers?

Barbara goes where-ever these wonderful books can be found, including auctions.  She also frequents fetes and pageants.  What a fun job!

Sometimes she blogs about ‘Sundry Bits and Bobs,’ where she talks about different subjects.  I love reading this – they are always interesting and full of good information.

One of my favorite topics is about the items she finds in used books:  postcards written to someone, bookmarks, a folding calendar, pictures from other books, and Book Tokens.  Book Tokens, in case you don’t know (I didn’t), are:

 A book token is a form of gift voucher redeemable in participating bookshops as an alternative to cash, as a means of exchange in a transaction involving the purchase of a book or books.
The first book token was launched in the UK in 1932. It was invented by Harold Raymond, an English publisher who found at a Christmas in the 1920s that his friends had received a collective total of three books out of 119 total gifts.[1] This book token has now grown into one of the largest multi-retail gift vouchers and was renamed "National Book Tokens" in 2000, the year the token was also sold online for the first time by
National book token gift voucher schemes also run in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Norway.  (Wikipedia)

“Hmm,” you say, “how do I see which books she has and purchase one or several?”  Good question.

Just go to March House Books website:

There you’ll find an online catalogue.  You can search by different categories including author and ISBN.  She also has articles on the authors.  It’s very user friendly.  Be sure and take a look at it and her blog too (don’t forget to click follow so you can read about her unique finds):

You can also follow Barbara on Twitter:!/MarchHouseBooks

How could I not like Barbara and her books?  It is refreshing to see someone trying to save these books and sell them to people who really want them.  Besides, Barbara is a dog lover and you all know how I love dogs.  Their sweet Rosie, a Cairn terrier was put to rest not that long ago.  I saw some pictures of this lovely pet.  So many of us know this loss and how empty our homes feel without them.  I wish the best for Barbara and her husband, and know that they will see Rosie again some day.

Kudos to you, Barbara, for your dedicated work in finding and reselling children’s books.  May your store receive the recognition and sales you deserve.  May you continue to find these rare, collectible books; and may you enjoy every minute of your searches.



Angie said...

Oh, Barbara! How fun!!! I am a 22-year-old woman and I still love children's books. I find them special, imaginative and whimsical in the way adult books simply are not. Your job sounds fabulous and I love that you're going after your dream and living it, it's what I strive for daily.

Have a lovely day!
~ Angie

Barbara said...

Hello Angie
It is fun! I love my ‘job’ and know how lucky I am to be able to do it.
Thanks so much for your good wishes. Go on enjoying those children’s books – I know I will.

I can’t believe all the lovely things Donna said in this post, thank you Donna!

The Desert Rocks said...

I could see how I would have easily become addicted to book tokens! Thanks for the story. I'm still in shock at all our book store closings and wonder and worry. Oh well, thanks for the great post!

Roger Lawrence said...

You don't have book tokens in the US?
Every birthday for my entire childhood brought me at least one of those. Without them I would never have been able to afford a book.

DM said...

Angie, thanks for your sweet comments.
Barbara, I only speak words of truth.
The Desert Rocks, like you I worry about the state of our books stores. Barbara is doing a great thing.
Roger, why don't we have them? Strange. That would have been the best gift for me. Thank you for your comment.

Barbara said...

My godmother used to send book tokens (and sometimes books) each birthday and Christmas. I preferred the tokens because then I could choose (usually Enid Blyton or an annual). My godmother would never send anything by Enid Blyton as she preferred to send educational books or the classics. I think I was about 7 or 8 when she sent a beautiful copy of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering heights! I tried so hard to read that book I would read a page then go back to Enid Blyton! I think I was about 15 when I finished it!

Bryce Daniels said...

Interesting. I must be living in a cave, because I've never heard of these national book vouchers.

Looks like a great site, and thanks for calling all this to my attention! And a dog lover, to boot!

Found you through Eve's site at Desert Rocks. Please consider me a new follower.

DM said...

Bryce, thank you for your comment. Eve is a great person. March House Books blog is always interesting.

fOIS In The City said...

Donna, this was too beautiful for words. Not only the illustrations and your description of the place and books, but the lovely quotes you selected. The one by Stevenson is familiar to me and is part of a collection of Children's Verse I used to read to my children when they were little.

Thanks so much for introducing me to another world of books and the lilting muse of the beloved word she brings to us always:)

DM said...

Florence, thank you for your comment. Finding Barbara's site was a treat for me too.

Barbara said...

Thanks to everyone for the comments and special thanks to Donna for spreading the word, thank you!

Pk Hrezo said...

They looks so so cute! Thanks for sharing these!

DM said...

Barbara, it was an honor to spotlight you. Thank you.
PK, thanks for your comment. It's always fun to discover new blogs.

William Kendall said...

Thanks for sharing this, Donna!

DM said...

Thank you for dropping in, William

Shyxter said...

Thanks for sharing this, Donna =). I always love going back to my childhood experiences, and reading books have always been a huge part of it. I felt childlike again while reading this post.

March House Books is certainly a great treat for mothers and children. I will share this website to my friends. Thank you.

DM said...

Thank you, Shyxter, for your sweet comments. March House Books sends me back to my childhood too. And thank you for spreading the word.