The Bookseller “spurred me on”: The deeply troubling Carnegie Library theft

One was the sole archivist for and head of the rare book room at the Carnegie Library. The other was an antiquarian bookseller and proprietor of Caliban Books. They both recently pleaded guilty for their part in one of the biggest library heists on record, stealing millions of dollars worth of material from the Carnegie library.

For pretty much as long as they were at the helm of their respective workplaces Greg Priore and John Schulman were engaged in ongoing criminal activity. That’s a whopping 25 years of deceit!

Priore, the Carnegie Library archivist, says  ‘I should have never done this…greed came over me. I did it, but Schulman spurred me on,’” He alleged that Schulman ‘goaded’ him on and that Schulman made significantly more money than he did in the sale of the items”.


Schulman hasn’t spoke publicly but has issued a legally watered-down statement through his attorney taking “responsibility for his association with books under circumstances whereby he should have known that the books had probably been stolen.”

“Mr. Schulman has dedicated much of his life to contributing to the bookselling trade and regrets that today’s guilty pleas negatively reflected upon the antiquarian book industry, his family and clients.”


Please, this man served on the Ethics and Standards Committee for the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA) during his crime spree, a committee that consists only of members of the Board of Governors. It now seems he dedicated as much of his life to selling stolen material as he did “contributing to the book trade”.


These are dark days for the antiquarians.

The Pittsburgh Gazette, the paper of record for this story, has a poll going asking if “you think the potential maximum sentence of 16 months would be appropriate in this case”

Sentencing is set for April 17.

More from the Pittsburgh Gazette on the bookselling life of the owner of Caliban Book Shop


Storefront image via reddit

Denslow’s OZ




Of the 14 books in L. Frank Baum’s beloved Wizard of Oz series only one was illustrated by W.W. Denslow. As it turns out, it was a big one. For it was Denslow that illustrated the first volume, Wizard of Oz, published in 1900, and visually introduced us to Dorothy and the gang.


Though many of us think of John R. Neill when thinking of Oz illustrators it was Denslow’s  “depictions of Dorothy, Toto, and all the other creatures and landscapes of Oz have become so iconic as to be inseparable from Baum’s story.”1




“The success of “Oz” was due as much to Denslow’s pictures as to Baum’s story”, says Michael Patrick Hearn, author of the scholarly “Annotated Wizard of Oz2 

It has remained the most popular of all OZ books.


Hats off to The Public Domain Review for gathering Denslow’s seminal illustrations for our enjoyment.

See them all here.

The Collected Poems of Donald J. Trump



“I thought maybe I could turn the thing that has been weaponized into something beautiful,” says Gregory Woodman of Portland, the 29-year-old founder of the ad agency Weller Creative, who along with his business partner Ian Pratt have published The Collected Poems of Donald J. Trump.

The 373 page book compiles hundreds of Trump’s tweets and is arranged in chapters such as “Loathings,” “Free Verse” and “Introspective Musings.” 

Combining the measured contentiousness of Thoreau, the terse poignancy of Hemingway, and the incisive social commentary of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Toni Morrison, Donald J. Trump has emerged as one of the leading poets of his generation. Together with contemporaries such as Rupi Kaur and Haruki Murakami, Trump has helped bring about a revolution in twenty-first-century literary expression. Considered one of the most inventive poets in a digital world, Trump masterfully uses technology and the written word to reflect and shape the hearts and minds of his culture.

About 450 copies have been sold, “anecdotal evidence suggests a majority of sales are to conservatives” who see the book as “making fun of the art world and the liberal elite by using Donald Trump as the tool to wield against the art world.”

I trust Volume II  is coming soon.

Interview with Woodman about the project at Willamette Week

Book available here