The Biblio Files  

  our bookish life  

The Biblio Files

The Biblio Files
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
January 01
We (Steve and Helen) irresponsibly gave up our promising careers in aviation and bookselling over ten years ago. Now books seem to have taken over our lives. We frequent libraries, bookstores, and thrift shops in search of interesting books. We buy/swap/sell, but mainly, we read. We both wear glasses and have been mistaken for librarians.


Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 5, 2008 1:19AM

Alexander Solzhenitsyn and The Thaw

young solzhenitsyn  

The young Alexander Solzhenitsyn 

According to the August 4 online edition of the Russian newspaper Moskovskii Komsomolets, Alexander Solzhenitsyn will lie in state in Moscow on Tuesday, August 5, after a procession down Lenin Prospekt. His funeral will be Wednesday the 6th i… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 4, 2008 6:38PM

Etched in Skin


book tattoo 

Before tattoos were as common as they are today, I promised myself that when I turned 40, I'd get a tattoo. Forty came and went, and another promise was broken. Why did I renege? One reason was squeamishness - I couldn't bear the thought of having my skin injected with… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 3, 2008 11:22PM

Thinking About Alexander Solzhenitsyn



Alexander Solzhenitsyn died today. I've only read one of his many books, and it was years ago. It was only a few days ago, however, that I happened to think of him. I remembered that when he was living in Vermont, in exile from the Soviet Union, he created… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 31, 2008 10:26PM

Bad Trips

 airport conga

This summer of staycations is making us the tiniest bit impatient with those who insist on sharing their no-expenses-spared stories of cruise ships on sparkling seas.


That doesn't mean we don't want to hear about your vacation travels. We just don't want to hear about your breat… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 29, 2008 7:37PM

Can You Identify the Accent?

Accents fascinate us. We live where there are always a lot of tourists, and often hear unusual accents and languages. We make a game out of trying to identify them. If we hover near an exotic looking couple at the supermarket, it's just to try to hear more of their accents.… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 27, 2008 6:11PM

Is the Internet Eating Our Brains?

brain eaters On the cover of the Sunday New York Times website, there's an article about whether reading online is reading at all. Parents, educators, and professional hand-wringers are supposedly tearing their hair out over what the internet is doing to our attention spans and to our readi… Read full post »

JULY 23, 2008 12:39PM

It Isn't Art


To celebrate our graduation fron Open Salon beta to Public Open Salon beta, here is our 'certificate of achievement.' Unfortunately, since it is a Java applet, I can't enlarge it without making it too blurry to read.

Click on the image or here to get the full-sized version. While you're… Read full post »

JULY 22, 2008 5:52PM

SnarkNotes logo 


The Guardian has just redesigned its online book section, and I must say it's looking good. One of my favorite regular features in The Guardian is John Crace's The Digested Read. Every week, Crace selects a current book and gives us a quick rehash of it, usually with a… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 20, 2008 5:14PM

Spoiler Alert

Roger Ebert says reviewers have no right to divulge spoilers in their reviews. Film critic Nathan Lee thinks he has a responsibility to reveal some spoilers. Where do you stand?


Spoilers are the part of the review or discussion that gives away an important piece of the book or… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 18, 2008 1:37AM

Maybe It'll Be Available Last Year

Editor’s Pick
JULY 17, 2008 10:28PM

This Post Has Been Brought To You By. . .


Would you buy a book that had ads in it? What if you had a choice, the same book with ads or without ads? And what if the book with ads cost less, say $12 instead of $28? And what if you could get a bigger discount with even more… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 14, 2008 7:54PM

That's Not Funny

Jerry Seinfeld: I have a suspicion that he's converted to Judaism just for the jokes.

Priest: And this offends you as a Jewish person?

Jerry Seinfeld: No, it offends me as a comedian.


Does the New Yorker cover depicting Barack and Michele Obama as armed and dangerous anti-American radical Musl/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 13, 2008 11:52PM

A Book By bbd's Bride and the Third of Three


Shortly after our post about children's picture books appeared, we received an email from fellow Open Salon member bbd. He said his bride and son had written a book and would we like to see it? Of course we would! we replied.


After reading the two books… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 10, 2008 8:08PM

Thomas M. Disch, 1940 - 2008


The New York Times reported that Thomas M. Disch, one of the founders of the science fiction “New Wave” in the 1960s, was found dead in his apartment.


Disch's friend Arthur C. Clarke also died recently. Clarke was the last of the great writers of the so-called G… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 9, 2008 11:35PM



model t 

photo by Mark Zimmerman                   

There's been a sudden influx of books about women in the Roaring Twenties at the local library, and I've been taking advantage of it.

 … Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 8, 2008 5:31PM

Bizarre Books

A recent book swap brought a peculiar little book into our home. It's called Bizarre Books: A Compendium of Classic Oddities. It lists and briefly describes some books that have been published, some recently, others a hundred or more years ago. They all have arresting titles, but are meant to be… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 6, 2008 9:54PM

The Magazine Rack




When a letter from Delta airlines came in the mail a while back, I almost threw it out thinking it was junk mail. It was an ad for magazine subscriptions, to be paid for not with cash but with our Delta frequent flyer miles. Delta isn't our usual… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 3, 2008 11:07PM

Are We Blogging Ourselves to Death?


I don't know about you, but I have trouble concentrating these days. I can't seem to go more than a few minutes without wanting to check my email or see what the latest headline post on War Room says. Stellaa recently talked about Twitter as one of the newer forms… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 29, 2008 11:30PM

Not Just for Kids

About once every year or two I wander into the children's picture book section at the bookstore. A few of the books have stuck in my memory over the years. Most of you know far more than I do about children's books. I can't evaluate how good these… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 27, 2008 1:24AM

Most (and Least) Literate Cities

The late comedian Bill Hicks talking about reading. (See the video here.)

“After the show, I went to a Waffle House. I'm not proud of it, I was hungry. And I'm eating, I'm alone and I'm reading a book, right? Waitress walks over to me:

'Hey, what you readin'… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 25, 2008 6:45PM

Wash Your Hands

This blog post recently appeared in the Guardian online. "Why I hate second-hand books" was written by Chas Newkey-Burden, author of a Paris Hilton bio and other fluff. It describes his disgust and revulsion over used books. He compares used books to “a recently-vacated cubicle in a public toil/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 24, 2008 12:42AM

Abridged Too Far


Reader's Digest Condensed Books. You can't give them away. No one will take them. I've seen them in boxes marked FREE outside of thrift shops, the sort of shop where they sell ancient hotel soaps and used wigs and last year's calendars. Even at those shops they know there's… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 22, 2008 10:34PM

Category: Harebrained Schemes

If we ever open our own bookstore, it will have departments that are missing from traditional bookstores. In addition to “non-fiction by fiction authors” and “chronicles of odd competitions,” there will be a section devoted to the “harebrained scheme” book.

Th… Read full post »

JUNE 20, 2008 12:13AM

A BiblioFiles Home Makeover

We are orange bibliochaise redecorating the BiblioFiles home and are choosing some new furniture. This bibliochaise and matching footstool are perfect for keeping a supply of books on hand. Use this link to view the set in a variety of colors and finishes.



petronzi shelvesWe can't decide between… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 19, 2008 12:02AM

Bookquake '89


Steve's Story

I was a bookseller, standing in the middle of the Waldenbooks at the Tanforan Mall in San Bruno, California, when the Loma Prieta earthquake hit.

After the floor stopped undulating, and the books stopped falling down from the overstock shelves along either side… Read full post »