About Us

Information about btc, our history, policies — all your questions answered.

Finding Books

Can you help me find a book not currently in stock?
Funny you should ask. We can answer that with a categorical "it all depends." We are very actively (some would say hyperactively) engaged in the pursuit of great copies of important, unique, and/or amusing books in a number of fields such as literary first editions, detective and science fiction, African-American literature and history, manuscripts and author archives, sports fiction and history, wine books, vintage romances and other books with early dustjackets, popular culture, quirky crap, and many other bookish by-ways that we might find ourselves wandering into. We suffer from the "If you build it, they will come" syndrome. (After all, you're at our site, aren't you?) Our objective is to find the best and most interesting stuff we can, and hope that the customers will come to us. However, if you are looking for a specific title or a range of titles in one of these fields, we will make at least a perfunctory effort to connect you with that title. If you are looking for inexpensive reading copies, we'll be happy to let you know if one crosses our path, but chances are we'll not let the pursuit of such titles distract us from our main mission, amusing ourselves, and hopefully you, in the pursuit of great books. If you are looking seriously, and have demonstrated that fact, we will intensify our efforts on your behalf. But don't be surprised if we also find you some really odd and amusing stuff that you weren't even looking for in the first place.

Do you have books that are not listed on your website?
There are four categories of books that are not listed on our website. 1.) New arrivals: these are recently purchased books, which in the fullness of time will be processed and make their way into our inventory, usually in a relatively timely manner. Click here to see our latest acquisitions. 2.) Old arrivals: these are books that we've had for so long that we've very nearly forgotten about them. When we get bored enough, we delve among them and see which of them it might amuse us to catalog, usually in a relatively untimely manner. Surprisingly, these are very often better books, as opposed to lesser books, which were set aside because we knew they deserved careful attention when cataloging (meaning we did all the easy cataloging first, and then forgot about them). 3.) Books for customers: these are books for which we've received a duplicate order from a catalog, books for which a customer has expressed a serious want, books that we think will help to enhance the library of a specific institution or individual, and which we will then quote to them without those books or manuscripts ever seeing the light of day. Let us know if you want to be contacted in this manner. 4.) Secret books: sometimes we just like to have a few great books around that haven't yet been cataloged. If you are looking for a specific book that doesn't appear to be in our inventory, just ask. Chances are we'll give you either a straight answer, (if Dave is answering) or a long and convoluted one (if Tom is answering).

Can you represent me at auction?
We provide this service to frequent customers, particularly when we will be attending the auction but they cannot. If you are interested in a major book auction and would like us to assess the lots and advise you about them, and be your proxy to bid, contact us. We can also bid for you at other types of auctions, including but not limited to cattle and tobacco, but you may not be as happy with the results.