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Item #: CBC006-136
Catalog 06 Michael Chessler Books Peaks, Passes and Glaciers Books on Mountaineering, Exploration and Glaciology Winter 1986-86
By Chessler Books
Price: $10.00


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By Catalog 6 we knew we had a successful business on our hands. On impulse we named this catalog Peaks, Passes and Glaciers, after the British books from 1859 to 1862. Heinke and I like the name, and even thought of changing the name of the company to Peaks, Passes and Glaciers. We named the company Michael Chessler Books, as that was the custom in the world of rare books then, and now. But as we branched out and started carrying in-print books, the newest ones known as front list, we dropped the Michael. But to this day legally we are still Michael Chessler Books.  

Catalog 6 was the sixth Catalog that Chessler Books issued. After this catalog we issued about 6 catalogs a year, until 2004. After that book listings were only on our website, www.Chesslerbooks.com. 

As we entered our third year of business, we wanted to mail more catalogs, so we rented lists of magazine subscribers and people who had been to the Himalaya on guided trips. We also advertised more. By 1986 we were advertising in Climbing, Rock and Ice, Mountain and Summit Magazine, and had a few hundred names. We even advertised in the New Yorker for a few weeks.  

Catalog six was 40 pages, printed in black ink only, the paper was a decent quality white paper that has not yellowed in the last 38 years. Finished size was 8 1/2'' x 5 1/2''. 

In this Catalog we started making some major additions to our stock. We started carrying back issues, and full sets, of the American Alpine Journal and the Canadian Alpine Journal. We continue to carry these journal today, plus of course the UK's Alpine Journal. We also stock back issues, and full sets when we can, of most of the English language climbing magazines. 

Also, in 1985 our customers started asking us for current climbing guidebooks. A few made their first appearance in this catalog. This later became a major part of our business, and we still stick many in-print and older editions of guidebooks. Also we started to add in-print narrative and photo climbing books. This eventually became 50% of our business, half new book, half older and used books. 

We also started tapping into the world of ''remaindered'' books. These are new books that have stopped selling well for a publisher, so they lower the price to move out the last copies. Of course they either didn't know or care that eventually original editions of many books start appreciating in value. For some reason no publisher that I can think of has even tried to hang onto books for years, and realize a pay-off when the books are worth more. 

If I can stretch an analogy, books can be like people. What they are when they are young is not what people will think of them several years later. There is a life cycle for some books. They can be desirable when new, less desirable after the target audience had had their fill, and then they start to look a lot better after word of mouth takes over. 

Catalog Six had  498 titles, and there were no images yet, although we had enclosed self addressed envelopes and order forms. In the mail order business this is called a response device. We continued to include order forms long after we had an 800 number and accepted credit cards, as just the appearance of the order form allegedly reminded the customer that as enjoyable as it was to read our catalogs, he should order something too!
  

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