Interesting tidbits to start your day: Ladybird Books and James Patterson

The books we have seen since our youth featuring adorable illustrations of carefree childhood are an eye-opening glimpse into the health and safety regulations of the past. Or, should I say, the lack of health and safety regulations of the past. The Telegraph’s article, Ladybird books from the 1960s that would be banned by today’s health and safety brigade examines four books in the Junior Science Series that were released between 1962 and 1964, showing all sorts of scenarios that would give any of today’s mothers heart palpitations.

James Patterson is making headlines again with promises of one lucky person getting his newest book, but having only 24 hours to read it – before it explodes. Read The Independent’s, James Patterson, world’s wealthiest author, charges $300,000 for ‘exploding book’ for more on that unusual gimmick.

News: ‘Netflix for Books,’ Choose Your Books With Care, and Interactive Children’s Classics

There is a lot of news relating to books out there right now! That’s something that always makes me happy. Here are some articles for you to peruse:

Publishers Are Lining Up Behind ‘Netflix for Books’ Services. But Why? on Wired.com is about two startup companies that have partnered with Macmillan, and who were already working with HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster. The question this article poses is, why do publishers agree to partnerships with bottom lines amounting to “an always-accessible lending library with an infinite number of copies?”

I found, Three thousand reasons to choose your reading carefully a very thought-provoking piece that really confirmed my feeling that a book I’m not enjoying isn’t worth my time. But what if it’s a classic? Or, what if a special person loved it, and thinks you will too? These days, with life being so hectic, is reading a book that you aren’t enjoying at all, really worth finishing?

Ann Arbor startup MagicBook aims to bring classic children’s books to life at mlive.com is an article about something that people like me have a tough time with. Part of me loves the idea of an interactive, almost living, version of children’s classic stories. It’s wonderful to see those old characters come to life. But… isn’t the point of books a means for children to develop an attention span? Interactive eBooks like this article talks about, make me think of the interactive Alice in Wonderland that came out a few years ago. It’s neat, it’s fun, but again…is it really necessary? It is counterproductive?

A Boon for Independent Bookstores; ‘Clifford’ author dies.

Author James Patterson completes donations totaling $1 million to independent bookstores. Click here to read Book News: James Patterson Makes Good On $1M Promise To Indies posted by NPR.org.

‘Clifford The Big Red Dog’ author has passed away at age 86. He had a fall about three weeks ago, and was in a hospital in Martha’s Vineyard ever since. Read about his life and accomplishments in Norman Bridwell, ‘Clifford The Big Red Dog’ creator, Dead At 86 at HuffingtonPost.com.

All I Want for Christmas…

Is there one book that really stands out as a gift that made a lasting impression? There is one book that immediately comes to my mind that I received when I was 8 years old. It’s called, My Big Christmas Book by Hayden McAllister and my dad gave it to me for Christmas. I poured over it that year and continued to read and re-read it for years after. It has many short stories, as well as songs and recipes, all interspersed between 24 installments of “Muffit, the little angel,” and it’s a whopping 327 pages!

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The illustrations are charming, and the stories are heart-warming. It was a wonderful gift, and I’ve treasured it all these years.

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Is there a special book (it doesn’t have to be about Christmas) in your collection that someone gave you? What makes it special?

A Bookbinder Near You

Does anyone out there have a book (or books) that looks like this?

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As you can probably guess, I do! Well, I did. The two books pictured above were my mother’s, and they were published in 1908. Clearly, they suffered a lot over the years, and I decided to take them to my local bookbinder, Don Taylor, so they could get a new lease on life.

Restoration specialist Kate Murdoch worked on my book, and we discussed what should be done. I wanted the two books bound into one, since the one volume was missing both covers, and we hoped that the remaining covers could be salvaged. Kate resewed the pages, making the binding tight again (shown below). The beautiful endpapers were lifted from the original covers, but alas, the covers themselves were too weak and could not be restored.

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The end result (shown below) is a beautifully tight, crisp new volume that will be around for the next hundred years.

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Thank you Kate Murdoch and Don Taylor Bookbinder! If you’re in the area and have a book or two that could benefit from a skillful restoration, here’s where to go:

Don Taylor – Bookbinder 
176 John Street, Unit 511
Toronto, Ontario
M5T 1X5
Phone: 416.591.8801
Email: dstbook@gmail.com