Healthy Books: The Basics

We have looked at some important aspects of keeping your books healthy earlier in this blog (see the Healthy Books link on the right side of this page – you’ll have to scroll down to find it). But be sure to always keep these basics in mind:

1. Keep food and drinks away from your books. For obvious reasons.
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*image retrieved from barnesandnoble.com

2. Always wash your hands before handling your books, and also avoid using lotions or hand sanitizers. In the past, it was common for rare book collections to require the use of gloves when patrons handled their books, but that practice is falling out of use now. With the reduced sensitivity that comes from having your fingers covered, brittle and fragile pages were suffering the effects. According to the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC), “[m]ost of the dirt on book covers and pages is accumulated grime from oily fingerprints. While invisible initially, finger grease becomes all too visible as it oxidizes and collects dirt.” (http://www.conservation-us.org/about-conservation/caring-for-your-treasures/books#.VOj9dEIh428 Handling & Use, para. 2)
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*image retrieved from http://www.instructables.com/id/Intro_1/step5/Finisheddirty-hands/

3. Support the covers of your books. Opening a book the full 180* (or even worse – more than 180*!) is very hard on the spine. This rule is especially important for old and fragile books. There are many different types, sizes and angles of supports, and they can be very easily constructed or purchased.
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*image retrieved from bindingobsession.com                    * image retrieved from www.jiscdigitalmedia.ac.uk

Here are some useful links to professional advice on caring for your collection:

Library of Congress – Care, Handling and Storage of Books

AIC – Caring For Your Treasures: Books

National Library of Scotland – Caring for rare books

More Amazing Book Art

This post is brief because I simply want to direct you to a TED video where Brian Dettmer shows his audience the wonders he creates from old books. For me, this art is fascinating. I love books, and to see them changed so completely from stacks of rectangular papers to these intricately detailed art objects is thrilling. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Hobbies and Honeybees 🐝

A couple of years ago, I became interested in the plight of the honeybee. I read many books about bees and beekeeping, and now I’m just biding my time until I can have a hive or two of my own. This post is a salute to honeybees and a call for comments and books about hobbies of your own.

The first book I read about bees was A Spring without Bees: How Colony Collapse Disorder Has Endangered Our Food Supply by Michael Schacker. If you are at all interested in the debates about whether neonicotinoids are behind bee deaths, I strongly recommend this book. The author explores some extremely compelling research and reveals the distressing fact that at the time, the makers of the pesticides were the ones funding the bee-death research.
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The next book I read was A Book of Bees by Sue Hubbell. This book was a delight from start to finish, and paints an idyllic picture of working with bees. Written in 1988, many of the pests and problems associated with beekeeping today were not an issue, so it is a beautiful glimpse into a discipline that will never be that way again.
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Another look at bees and their wondrous honey came from C. Marina Marchese in Honeybee: From Hive to Home, Lessons from an Accidental Beekeeper. I enjoyed reading about the author’s transformation from a passive bystander to active honey enthusiast and beekeeper. 
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If this post has inspired the latent apiculturist in you, here’s a book in the Homemade Living series that has lots of useful information on beekeeping: Keeping Bees by Ashley English.
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The following titles may be of some help to those who are lucky enough to be able to set up their own colony. I confess I haven’t read these, but they’re on my list of future acquisitions!

Bees Make the Best Pets by Jack Mingo, Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture by Ross Conrad (this one is especially relevant today because of all the pests and diseases that attack bees. Any approach that reduces the amount of chemicals our insect friends are exposed to is a step in the right direction), and The Beekeeper’s Bible by Richard Jones and Sharon Sweeney-Lynch.
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What do you enjoy doing on weekends or away from “work?” Are you a committed hobbyist? Tell us about it!

Harper Lee

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 12.01.16 PM  Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 11.43.42 AM*image retrieved from biography.com

If you are at all acquainted with the book scene, you already know that a new book by Harper Lee is set for release this summer. ‘New’ may not be the most accurate word, since she reportedly wrote it before she wrote To Kill a Mockingbird, but it is just now being released. However, the joy that first came with the announcement has been tempered by some doubts about this sequel. Yes, it is a sequel, featuring an adult Scout. And, below are links to a few articles that might help to chronicle the evolution of reactions to the news about Harper Lee’s new novel:

NYTimes.com: Harper Lee, Author of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ is to Publish a Second Novel from Feb. 3, 2015

BBC.com: Harper Lee: ‘Trade Frenzy’ and ‘concern’ over new book from Feb. 4, 2015

NPR.org: Harper Lee’s Friend Says Author Is Hard Of Hearing, Sound Of Mind from Feb. 4, 2015

BBC.com: Harper Lee dismisses concerns she was ‘pressured’ into book release from Feb. 5, 2015

And so, with baited breath, we wait for Summer 2015 when this book will be available for us to decide whether it’s a good thing or not. I do think that HarperCollins would hesitate to publish it if it weren’t very good, though..

The Creative Genius of Book Art

It’s been too long since I’ve done a post relating to Book Art. And to rectify that situation, I am posting links to some incredible feats of bookish artistry.

To start, Gretha Scholtz did a post in her blog on April 10, 2012 featuring some lovely book art creations, which can be seen here. Included in her post are many works by Su Blackwell and other book artists, and it’s well worth checking out.  Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 9.30.29 AM

*image retrieved from http://www.sublackwell.co.uk/portfolio-book-cut-sculpture/

Next, one of my personal favorites, Book and Paper Art UK by Andrea Hudspith. You can find her work on Facebook and on Twitter @BookPaperArtUK. Here’s a sneak peek at some of her work:                                                                         Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 4.18.43 PM   Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 4.19.38 PM     Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 4.21.22 PM

*images retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/pages/Book-and-Paper-Art-UK-Andrea-Hudspith/267825323381496

Au pli des pages is out of France, and has some really neat designs, all folded into the pages of books! Go to their website auplidespages.fr or visit them @Auplidespages for more. (and here’s another sneak peek):                                                      Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 4.31.00 PM     Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 4.31.41 PM

*images retrieved from http://www.auplidespages.fr

An artist who is new to me, is Thurle Wright. She her website is thurle.com, and she can also be found on Twitter @thurlew. Her website is a delightful gallery of images, her installations, and exhibitions. Check it out!                                          Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 4.51.58 PM

*image retrieved from thurle.com – gallery.