- Spring Bulletin - 54th International California Book Fair
- Some Favourite Things
Greetings from Kent, and may I wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year. Whilst uncertainty still hangs over us all, I am determined to start 2022 on a note of optimism, not least as the year holds in store some exciting milestones and events for me personally.
First off, I am delighted to be exhibiting once again at the California Book Fair next month, and so please keep everything crossed that the stars align to enable travel there and back without hiccup. The Fair runs from Friday February 11th through to Sunday February 13th and is once again at the Oakland Convention Center & Oakland Marriott City Center.
Thinking ahead to the fair, I have been scanning my shelves to make a preliminary selection. ‘Show me your favourite item on the stand’ is a request I frequently get asked at book fairs, and so with that thought in my mind, I have put together a short list of both old and new items which for various reasons have particularly piqued my interest and made me stop and pause. Typographical curiosities, unusual book productions, charming engravings, ingenious inventions, outrageous plagiarisms,infographics, they all make me smile and remind me that I have the best job in the world, handling and enjoying such a vast array of wonderful and sometimes weird material.
Wishing you all the very best for the coming year, and looking forward to finally catching up with friends far and wide – all being well!
- 'Wonders Bound' - A Selection of Curiosities 1600-1900
The impetus to collect is as old as time, and the motivating factors myriad, each collector inspired by a combination of reasons, a fact true for both lovers of books and objects alike. Human curiosity has long been an influential propulsive force, fuelling our appetite for knowledge about foreign lands, unfamiliar animals and all the workings of the world – both natural and man-made. As the book collecting community comes together once again, albeit virtually for the time being, I am therefore pleased to present my latest catalogue on the theme of collectors and collecting – Wonders Bound – A Selection of Curiosities. Predominantly from a private collection, the 40 item list includes Wunderkammers, associated instructional works on how best to transport, preserve, and display the natural and artificial wonders, as well as works on zoological gardens (Moscow, Paris and Berlin), auction catalogues, guide-books, and other curiosities. After a relatively quiet summer, it has been an enjoyable, and often thought-provoking, catalogue to work on, and I hope that it may be of interest.
- Discombobulation - Musings on Life in Lockdown
In an attempt to keep up some semblance of normality, and having enjoyed our first joint venture ‘A School Day in Books’, Susanne Schulz-Falster, Amanda Hall, and myself, finding ourselves with time to spare, and inspired by the strangeness of the times across the globe, decided to collaborate once again on a catalogue that might reflect the very different lives that we all rather abruptly find ourselves living.
Discombobulation, or Musings on Life in Lockdowntries to capture some of the principal preoccupations facing us all at the moment. In these confusing and unsettling times as we are slowly getting used to social distancing, and new routines, the various social media memes, gifs, and videos circulating globally are inevitably focusing upon certain themes. First and foremost the great skill, fortitude, and selflessness of those in public health treating and caring for the sick and vulnerable; secondly how we are all taking time for reflection & self improvement (i.e. finally taking up that hobby we have long talked about, or reaching for a favourite book); home entertainment (be it gardening, playing games, or just letting it all hang loose); well-being & fitness (i.e. trying not to over-indulge); and finally the big question of the day – quite what does the future hold?
- A Hunger of the Mind
Four Centuries of Women and Science. A joint catalogue issued with Laura Massey of Alembic Rare Books.
“We have a hunger of the mind which asks for knowledge of all around us, and the more we gain, the more is our desire; the more we see, the more we are capable of seeing.” – Maria Mitchell
‘This catalogue comprises 100 items by and about women in every branch of the sciences across four centuries. The big names are here, of course, but many of the entries illuminate women who don’t fit the dominate narrative of science as an enterprise driven by men and only a handful of exceptional women. They include the working scientists who may not have been household names but spent decades contributing to their fields and guiding new generations of researchers. Long-serving educators and university administrators. Translators and popularisers. Entrepreneurs and homemakers. Journalists and essayists who dipped into scientific topics as part of wider-ranging careers. Women who embraced the freedom offered by new technologies, and those who resisted systems of oppression, war, and environmental destruction. Women who were born into scientific privilege and those who broke social, racial, legal and economic barriers in the service of knowledge. All hungered, all saw and fought to see more’.
- A School Day in Books
A Joint Catalogue with Amanda Hall and Susanne Schulz-Faltster on the theme of Education.