The short version:
Cornellbooksellers.com is an online book store specializing in used, rare and antiquarian books. Our specialties include Science Fiction and The Fantastic, Modern First Editions, Victoriana, Art, Food and Film.
This blog will be a repository for news related to the store, book reviews, topics of interest to book lovers and a variety of stray thoughts submitted by siblings Andrew and Christine Cornell.
You can contact us here.
The long version:
Cornellbooksellers.com is an online bookstore trafficking in used, rare and antiquarian books…
In my professional life I have been responsible for a considerable amount of boring business writing. Occasionally, I have even had to write about myself in the third person: “Mr. Cornell is an accomplished Art School dropout…”
As this is a highly personal business venture, I have decided that the writing you will find on this site should also be personal.
To that end, let me begin with an anecdotal account of part of my childhood.
My sister Christine and I share a common formative book loving experience from our youth. When I was about five or six years old, and my sister eleven or twelve, our parents and grandparents would sometimes take us to visit old family friends who lived in Morrisburg, Ontario, a small town on the Saint Lawrence River between Montreal and Kingston. The Clarks owned a huge old Victorian brick place on a tree-lined avenue a few blocks from the river. Borden Clark (“Prof” to friends and family) was also the owner and operator of The Old Authors Farm, a bookstore that my father had worked in as a young man.
The store consisted of a series of creaking additions that seemed to be growing out of the back of the Prof’s house. As one room became filled with used and rare books, the store would expand into another addition.
Whenever we went for a visit, my sister and I could hardly wait for Prof to lead us back through the dark, musty smelling little rooms jammed with books. We would always pass through a doorway overhung by a giant moose head. I loved the old moose head for some reason I’ve long since forgotten. On the left, inside the first room, sat Prof’s huge old wooden desk; dominated by a massive steel typewriter. To the left of the desk was a glass-fronted cabinet with some of Prof’s more valuable collections—rows of identical leather-bound volumes.
To the five-year-old me, the store seemed like its own self-contained little world. A world filled with thousands of other smaller worlds lining the walls.
On each visit, Prof would present each of us with a book as a gift. He would hand it to us or sometimes let us choose our own. Each book was a small treasure to us.
Many things have contributed to Christine and I becoming avid readers and lovers of books—beginning with our parents reading to us perhaps—but Borden Clark and his lovely, rambling bookshop has to take a large measure of credit. And certainly, Prof and The Old Authors Farm was our first and most formative exposure to the world of booksellers.
About Dr. Christine Cornell, BA, MA, PhD, Scout and Literary Consultant
My sister Christine is a much loved Professor of English Literature at a Canadian liberal arts college in the Maritimes. She earned degrees from Wilfrid Laurier, Waterloo, and Dalhousie Universities and has taught for seventeen years. Her PhD thesis was on Royal Mistresses and is definitely worth a read, if you can find it anywhere.
Her papers include Rossum’s Universal Robots Among the Ancients and Plato’s Republic and the Teachable Moment (co-authored with Dr. Patrick Malcomson).
Christine’s other passions include her cats, Star Trek, The Matrix movies, and bird-watching with a very patient man named Kevin.
To quote my sister: “…great books don’t get old…each year as I reread things, I find myself struck by something I hadn’t considered before…”
About Andrew Cornell, Proprietor
I am the owner and operator of Cornellbooksellers.com and I am also responsible for all the content on this site, unless otherwise noted.
After dropping out in my last year of art school at Concordia University in Montreal, I spent fifteen years working in a variety of non-profit and commercial workplaces as a writer and communications professional. I have also taught computer classes and worked in sales and business development.
I have even co-edited a book on indigenous development in Southern Africa called Echoes of the Ancestors, which you cannot buy from me.
My other passions include art, music, cooking, single-malt whiskey and a girl named Michelle.