While a lot of the catalogs that I get in the mail are unwanted and end up in the recycling bin (how many Macy's catalogs does one person need?), I always enjoyed getting the Bud's Art Books catalog, issued by Bud Plant. Now I find out that Bud's Art Books just issued their last catalog. What's worse, eventually they'll be shutting down the entire business: website and all.
A lot of you who have been either pulp and cartoon art enthusiasts, photography lovers, and just plain lovers of beautiful books have known about Bud's for a while. Some of you publishers have used Bud's to showcase some of your best pulp reprints.
I guess I missed the memo when Bud announced this in his December catalog. December was a blur for me. I just noticed the announcement on the cover of the current "Farewell" issue. Besides the nails in the coffins that places like amazon and ABEbooks.com have put in the coffin of most mail-order businesses, Bud writes in his farewell letter:
I know that a great many of you are not buying online and depend on us for your books. I've been getting many letters and phone messages from customers about this. But there are not enough of you to support the catalogs we produce.
Bud says he was hoping to find a buyer for his online store. Sadly, that has not come to pass, so he will be shutting down the online business as well. That is not going to happen immediately, and I noticed that there are a lot of books on the website that are not offered in the catalog.
Go to BudsArtBooks.com to see their current offerings online. I couldn't find any information about the closing of the business on the website, but if you go to Bud's Blog (on the bar at the top) there is a post there from last year announcing the sale of the company.
For now, the Farewell Issue of the catalog has some steep discounts on a lot of books, which must be his liquidation inventory. In any event, if you want to buy some books at deep discounts, get a hold of the last issue of this great tradition (Bud's Art Books has been in business for 42 years), and take part in something that is quickly disappearing from our lives: the book catalog.