Good morning bookies! Stand by for news and comment.

According to Blogger, this is my 150th blog entry. Wordy, aren’t I? Never at a loss for words or opinions. You should read my food blog. (Except that I don’t actually write a food blog.)

It’s overcast and cold in Memphis today. Yippee. Freezing rain tomorrow night. Double yippee. Cold weather is bad enough, snow worse, but ice…ice is punishment. Let’s hope the weatherman is wrong.

*** Under the category of ‘things I would love to do if I had the time and the motivation’ is learning how to bind books and make protective book boxes. Once upon a time I was a fairly craftsy type guy, I did a lot of intricate painting, used small, sharp X-Acto knives, did exacting work…I could have had some real fun learning how to makes books. And who knows, some day I still might. In the meantime I can read articles like the two below and imagine myself as part of the process while admiring those with the patience to learn these skills and the talent to create their wares.

Learning the book binding process site 1

Learning the book binding process site 2

*** Despite my personal vow never again to set foot in San Fransisco, I must admit that if I were close enough for that to even be possible I would consider attending the San Fransisco book fair. Although I have been selling off huge chunks of my personal collection this past year, with lots more just about to follow, book fairs are not something I have a lot of power to resist. There’s something genetic about it, I guess, or maybe there is a chemical given off by books that I am powerless to resist, a book pheromone, if you will.

SF Book Fair

*** In keeping with the whole 200th Poe birthday theme this month, Peter Ackroyd has a new biography of the drunken genius that has been getting fine reviews. Really, it’s hard to imagine Ackroyd writing something that didn’t get fine reviews. He’s just good at what he does, and while he may (or may not) bring new material to the story of this most tragic and influential of American writers, there is always room for a familiar story that is particularly well told. I may have to find this one to read for myself.

Ackroyd does Poe

*** In an earlier blog I mentioned the story of winding up on Charing Cross Road at 5 pm on Holy Saturday, gazing at the lineup of wonderful bookstores about to close for the Easter weekend. That was my first real experience with the world’s legendary book haunts, those places in the big cities where collectors around the world have always made their pilgrimage. New York had such a section, too, where hundreds and hundreds of book stores once congregated. Now, there are few left.

New York’s book store survivors