The Book, by Douglas McMurtrie, 1989. Hardcover with dust jacket, no markings, very nice. A history of bookmaking and printing. Starts way back in the dawn of literate time and works its way up into the present. THIS IS A BIG BOOK WITH NICE BIG PRINT. I mean, not huge, but you shouldn’t need the cheaters for this one. Lots of illustrations and informative digressions. Very complete, very well written, very useful.
Books and Their Makers in the Middle Ages, Putnam, 1896. Cloth hardcover, fading to cover but amazingly good for the age. Clean pages inside with a few pencil marks on the front flyleaf, but some dirt on the fore-edge deckle. Very thorough treatment of what the title says. Not so much a how-to book as a how-it-was book and sometimes that’s what you need.
The Golden Book, Douglas McMurtrie, 1934. Pages slightly yellowed but not brittle or dirty. The origin of the alphabet! The invention of printing! A typographical messiah! Techniques and the art of bookmaking. Sorry, I’m getting punchy. It’s really quite the serious and detailed tome, full of nearly forgotten lore and a fascinating read.
Books and Printing, a Treasury for Typophiles, by Bennett, 1963. Paperback, perfect bound. A collection of essays and articles about design, about type, about printing, about the reason for the curious arrangement of type trays…the variety of authors gives a refreshing variety to the reading, with more serious and scholarly articles alongside sea stories from grizzled printers and hand binders. There’s something for every print lover in this book.
English Printed Books by Meynell, 1948. Cloth hardcover, ex library book. Not just books printed in English, this is mostly books printed in England. A slender, elegant volume packed full of color and b/w illustrations. Some history of printing, illustration, design, type…many subjects for a small book and absolutely fascinating.
The Bibliophile’s Almanack for 1927, sewn paperback, Simon & Child, 1927. A small book that doesn’t look its age. Starts with a 1927 calendar, essays, book reviews, artwork, lots of tidbits for book lovers. Sample? OK. ” …the perils of the young bibliophile are numerous: they lurk in the bookseller’s pleasant groves as well as on the street which is called Farringdon, and as tempting drabs in the Caladonian Market. Yes, my elderly aunt would have been relieved ….that her nephew had at least fallen in love with a minor classic when he might have formed an unfavourable attachment for an early Bradshaw, become ensnared with the less desirable of the Erotica, or, more romantically, conceived a passion for some unattainable scion of the Incubabula.” Its like “as the page turns” or “all my volumes” – a bookbinding soap opera. Health life in the library. In my secret heart I, too, burn for the unattainable Incunabulus …