Friday, 20 October 2017

The Early Roxburghe Club 1812-1835 by Shayne Husbands: book review


Some of you will be at least faintly familiar with The Roxburghe Club, founded in 1812 and the self-proclaimed "oldest society of bibliophiles in the world". But a common misconception about the club is that it was essentially a group of several dozen toffs, knocking back the claret, and indiscriminately frittering away their ill-gotten millions on any fancy-looking books that came their way, a kind of literary Hellfire Club but with fewer caves.

This is - as Shayne Husbands explains in her excellent and very readable book (subtitle: Book Club Pioneers and the Advancement of English Literature and published by Anthem Press) - a country mile wide of the mark. Instead, she patiently shows how aristocrats were in fact in the minority, and that rather than mere book collectors, the members were forerunners of the arts and crafts movement in their dedication to style and commitment to the printed word, several of them even owning and running their own presses.

They were also considerable scholars, especially in promoting Shakespeare and early Tudor poets, as well as talented writers themselves. While it is true that some of their collections do more than border on the obsessive - Thomas Dibdin who co-founded the club did not coin the term 'bibliomania' but did much to promote its useage -  Husbands shows that their overriding interest was not merely to own 'pretty books' but to safeguard part of the nation's literary heritage that would otherwise have probably disappeared.

Although this will be largely read by academics, its 180 intelligent and thoughtful pages deserve a much wider readership, and many visitors to Bookshelf would certainly enjoy it.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Oversized First Edition Artwork

Oversized First Edition Artworks are a novel way to make a big impression on your walls, a nearly 4 ft. impact, to be exact. Authentic book spine designs are precisely captured in every detail, then recreated on gallery-wrapped canvas. Canvases are then carefully mounted in premium, walnut floater frames for an elegant, finished look that enhances the beauty of the work.
Grandin Road

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Friday, 13 October 2017

Ecopunk!

A few years ago, I came across a book called Improbable Libraries by Alex Johnson. And it was here that I learned of the Biblioburro. Under a chapter entitled ‘Animal Libraries’, I learned of primary school teacher Luis Soriano and his two donkeys, carrying books to remote communities in Colombia. I learned of an elephant called Boom-Boom, bringing fairy tales and dinosaur books to children in Laos; camel libraries in Kenya; Donkey Drawn Libraries in Zimbabwe; nomadic writers on reindeer in Mongolia. All over the world, there are passionate people braving deserts, storms and bandits to bring books to children in isolated communities.

My story, "The Wandering Library", was inspired by these heroic champions of literacy and education. It follows the journey of Lani Bashir, a travelling librarian, as she navigates a world transformed by rising seas and genetically modified creatures, visiting communities powered by sun, wind, sea and cheese.
DK Mok at Ticonderoga Publications

Monday, 9 October 2017

Chocolate library

It’s not only national Libraries Week this week, it is also the UK’s national Chocolate Week! So now the challenge was to create said chocolate library. Yes, a whole stack of books made out of chocolate, ready to be eaten. I’ve made a library out of shop-bought chocolates before, but now I wanted to up my game.
Zoe Toft at Playing by the book

Thursday, 5 October 2017

My Miniature Library



My Miniature Library is a kit to make a complete collection of tiny books that you can really read! With stories ranging from illustrated fairytales to well-loved nonsense rhymes and books of butterflies, birds and flowers, plus blank books for you to complete yourself, you'll have everything you need to make a little library of beautifully illustrated books. The books are simple to make – just cut, fold, and glue. The kit comes with a miniature bookshelf to press out and make, and easy-to-follow, fully illustrated instructions. Plus the box transforms into a beautiful library scene.
Laurence King