Project Day 20

People never cease to amaze me.

Today I was given a cheque, no questions asked. Paul Feain from Cornstalk Bookshop thought what I was doing was a good idea.

I’ve been to the Melbourne Rare Book Fair to peddle my wares.

I’ve never been to a rare book fair before. A fair is an opportunity to touch; and the sellers are very willing to let you handle a book from 1550. Maggs Bros from London was there. A young girl was one of the attendants recognised me for a bookbinder, and I told her I’d been to the actual shop in 2012 but hadn’t touched a thing.  At the time I wouldn’t really have known what I was looking at.

Part of me wanted to talk to these booksellers about my project; the other part didn’t want to be a bother to them as they stood guard over their wares.

After a few clumsy attempts at conversation, I gave up and decided to be myself and actually look at some books.

Sally from the Asia Bookroom was there and showed us some lovely books on paper cuttings; I’d only seen them in Hedda Morrison’s chinese photos. I’d spoken to her in the past about writing a catalogue of the beautiful bindings from the Asian collection at the NLA (now on the backburner but not forgotten), so I was able to press a prospectus in her hand.

I spoke with Andrew from Littera Scripta about the difficulties of deciphering medieval script when one doesn’t read latin.

Haykluyt’s travel book of 1550 was a bit of a find at Douglas Stewart’s stall. I have a 1600 rebound version in my book. Not only are they separate editions, but their bindings make them so remotely unconnected!

I passed the Cornstalk Bookshop, a shop I remembered visiting from my Sydney days in the 80s. I think I met Paul during the last ANZAAB conference in Canberra a couple of years ago. I gave him prospectus with no expectations and was more than pleasantly surprised. It was more than just a pat on the back; it was a validation that the work I was doing was indeed important.

His contribution will now take the fundraiser closer to 70%.

People never cease to amaze me!

Does anyone actually read these updates?