Wednesday, September 09, 2009

G. F. Sims's Book Catalogues

It seems book catalogues are on my mind at the moment. This is a selection of the catalogues issued over many years by G(eorge) F. Sims, (1923-1999), who was perhaps the most important bookseller of the twentieth century for those people interested in the kind of books that interest me.

There is an excellent obituary to be read on the website of The Independent. As well as bookseller Sims was also a novelist, poet and memoir-ist and was unusually well-received as such for a member of the book trade who more normally fail badly when they enter the business of actually trying to write the things instead of just sell them.

For me though, the catalogues are the legacy. I know of only one person with a complete set of all 107 (plus some 'unpublished' odds and sods) but it's an idle dream that I might one day be able to put together a 'set' myself. If anyone reading this has any, particularly earlier ones, that they would like to move on then please do be in touch.

PS. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your kind responses to the last post about our upcoming civil partnership ceremony. We have been very touched by all the messages of support and good wishes received here, by email and in person: much more than we expected certainly. When we toast to 'absent friends' please be assured that you will all be in our minds.


Anonymous said...

I have 95 of them - purchased from Sims himself at 5p each(who obviously thought I was mad).

Whenever I feel in a masochistic frame of mind,I read them, laughing not only at the prices (even when converting them into the equivalent value at that time) but at the sheer quality of the books offered - especially when taking into account the overpriced dross offered nowadays by the greedy ignorant sub strata who consider themselves booksellers. People like Sims are sorely missed but he belonged to a Golden Age, alas, long passed.

I know he was considered surly but I always got on with him. I think he was amused by my obvious youth and my enthusiasm for esoterica which I could then hardly afford!

Anonymous said...

Jacqueline Wesley was a UK bookdealer who also specialised in the stuff you like. I have a couple of her catalogues from the 1980s. I wonder what happened to her. Her website can be found on, but later archives of it default to an A.A. site!

Who links to my website?