Day 235 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project, and Sarah has been reading The Smithsonian Books of Books, by Michael Olmert, for her job. At Babbitt's! Sarah is my excellent co-worker at the store, my boss when the boss is away!
She has also been reading Book Finds: How to Find, Buy, and Sell Used and Rare Books, by Ian C. Ellis. I think you know why. And she has passed both of them on to me. As soon as I read them, I will be smarter about books!
The Smithsonian book is gorgeous--white cloth boards, red leather backstrip, red ribbon bookmark--heavy, and comes in a slipcase. It is full of history, images, descriptions, book terms, and those delicious facts and details I love.
Books Finds is full of practical information, Sarah tells me, which will be good, but some of it is geared toward the moneymaking strategies, etc., not all of them pertinent to a vintage bookshop like the one we work in. She skimmed some in that book, as will I.
I took a couple of the Newberry Library courses on bookmaking when I worked there (one of my many and varied book/literature-related jobs when I also worked as a freelance writer and actor). I learned about folding large sheets into signatures and how to marble paper for the endpapers, etc. Wonderful!
The endpaper above is from a Virginia Woolf book that can be had at Persephone Books.
"You must change your life," said Rilke. So that's what I keep doing. I worked as an actor and director in Chicago, wrote for an encyclopedia, edited two poetry journals, shelved and retrieved materials in several libraries, walked beans, and was an assistant professor of English. Now I serve as Poetry Editor and Editor at Large for Escape Into Life, an online arts magazine, write & edit as a freelancer, blog "eight days a week," study the random, tend perennials, and listen to birdsong.