The excitement of having a new range of stock.  It's not the they types of books are different but rather that I am getting the hang of my stall, range and pitch.  This week is the best example where of my fifteen boxes of stock - thirteen were newly sorted and fresh on the stall.

The consequences of this are curious and gently unexpected. First is when someone asks for a book that you know you have - but that was last week and you have rotated your stock and suddenly you don't have it with you. Second is when they ask if you have a book on a topic, and because this is the first outing of the new stock you realise you don't know.

Have I begun to find my market feet, at last?  So now I am doing two Market Days a week - first is the Thursday flea market, bric-a-brac and other stuff - broadly anything and then the Saturday open market.  Now in order to try and give myself some structure I have set myself a discipline of doing books on Thursday and a wide range of other stuff that I have gathered hoarded or bought over the years.

So here I am today - with a wide spread of books that I'm selling out at just £1 each - the signage is bold and the popularity, so far, fairly high.

Today here on Chesterfield Market is a good day - we are set up, new stock, a busy crowd of shoppers and some smiles here and there.  The main reason for the cheer is that the weather is improved and for us traders, as we loaded up the van it was not pitch dark.

The onset of early morning light is the sign that spring is on its way and with every passing week we have lighter days, better mornings and even the hope of more sunshine and less biting wind.

Maps: Set 1.  Rand-McNally new standard atlas of the World. Engraved in Chicago, United States of America, 1900.  Images are available on my Facebook page "Brockwell Books of Chesterfield" - please feel free to join that page and message direct on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Europe and the World

These maps have come out of a broken atlas that is both of the highest quality, but also in largely superb condition.  Where the maps have been removed from the atlas The severed edge has been kept but does not impinge on any of the details at all. This will enable those mounting and framing the map to decide on the size and depth of the Border edge. 

The detail on each map is often outstanding, many are colour codes beautifully and also capture the historical foibles of the time.  They represent a view of the world that is both at the transition from the 19th to the 20th century, but also before the collapse of a umber of Empires - British, Austria Hungarian and Ottoman to cite just three.

Getting up when it is dark, unloading your storage shed, packing up the van if your friend and driving down to Chesterfield Market to set up a book stall takes a special type of madness.  But, despite all of those elements, it is something I have come to enjoy and appreciate.

This morning the weather is brutal and deceptive - it has rained during the night so although wet under-foot we are dry, there is a touch and a smile of sunshine in the sky but the face of the sun is clouded so we are not arm, but then there is the wind.  This wind this morning is cruel and sharp cold. Indeed I am genuinely struggling to type this right now are the breeze is giving me such frozen fingers.