Barrister Books joins the celebration for QCMM!

We are excited to be part of this year's Queen City Mischief and Magic!  Join us September 22 - 24.  We'll be featuring: 

* a magic corner with a Big Book Selfie Spot, 

* flying books throughout the bookshop, 

* magic hands holding books emerging from the shelves, 

* and handmade bookmarks featuring a quill pen and envelope bookmark, red lion wax seal and QCMM ~ 2017 dedication. 

A Snowy owl overlooks the proceedings.  We are looking forward to all of the fun - 

Artist Books and Paper Objects

We are now featuring collected small, surprising, fun, and affordable artist books and paper objects from Printed Matter in New York:

Yearbook by Sophie Arnold; paper tags, vintage yearbook pictures

Earbooks by Purgatory Pie Press; letter press, paper books, featuring the poetry of Sommer Browning

Le Travail by Susanne Bürner; folded heavy paper, photographs, map

Patterns by Sara Diamond; paper, stapled spine

Coffee by Evah Fan; paper, stapled spine

DNAids cups by Creative Time; set of five paper cups

Handling, Miniature Garden 2015; digital print on gray paper, edition of 50 by Claudia Peña Salinas and Denise Shatz

Float Float by Sandy Son; paper, stapled spine

books as objects, a fine arts exploration

as published in the Friends of the Staunton Library Newsletter, Summer 2015

"Some books were meant to be adored, venerated and treasured, kept in a sacred place in your home and stored in memory as well, relinquished only on your death. Upon your demise the children will divvy them up, sell them to a book dealer (most likely scenario) or take them to a thrift store. It doesn't matter, you are dead, but while you were alive they were objects of special beauty.  

"Books were meant to be read", cry the intellectual purists, as if mere words were the reason for a book's existence.  

Books are objects, in their very basic three dimensional form, but when they are bound in full Moroccan leather, or illustrated with tipped in colored plates, or protected in a hand made box, a new realm is entered.  

"Skilled Defense", is a book meant to be viewed face up, the gold embossed cover advertising the author's intent to garner converts to his school of instruction. Hundreds of photographs depicting police and civilians disarming gun, knife, and club wielding denizens of the underworld comprise the 175 page volume. Published in 1936, it has a laudatory dedication to J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI.  

"Samantha at the World's Fair", was published in 1893 at a time when the Chicago fair was a national attraction. The format of this popular book was designed as a gift book, printed on paper of quality, profusely illustrated, nicely bound with decorations in gilt and silver. It's appearance garnered attention and was likely displayed In book stores with cover to the buyer.  Thick, with a decorative spine, it would have also have been worthy of being shelved and still attract the eye of a parent, relative, or friend of the youthful recipient. The publishers note that this book is also available in a 'popular edition for reduced sum'. The hint that love required a certain amount of generosity is often suggested in the advertisements located in the back of books of this nature.  

Books bound in leather have always been popular, the volumes in the photo highlight the diversity of topics, mirroring the choices available in the construction of a personal library. Three of the books have gift inscriptions within, exhibiting the buyers choice in binding for a book that can last a lifetime. Leather bound books will require periodic care. Correspondence with the dresser of Queen Elizabeth's leather books (a designated occupation) might yield practical advice! The books on either end are attractive cloth bound American adventure books with tales of valor and glory within; another subset with thousands of titles issued during the waning days of the 'wild' West.  

And talking of subsets, invariably many of these volumes have hidden or subtle features not always readily apparent at first glance. Gilt edges, beveled covers, colored lithographs and a collectible on it's own - marbled interior boards, with some collectors buying books for just this aspect alone.  

The newsletter budget precludes a further thousand or so pages which is about what it would take to have a broader overview of the book as object, but more pictures worth a thousand words will follow in other issues. Oh, and please read any book however valuable, just don't open it more than forty five degrees, wear gloves and keep it in a climate controlled room!"

molly, the library cat

as published in the Friends of the Staunton Library Newsletter, Winter 2015

"On a warm summer day Molly will pause on her way to work and examine flowers in the library garden. Her job at the Staunton Library, even in cat steps, is but a short commute, as she lives just across the street.  Ever present, polite, calm, she is loyal to all the patrons of the library. Any attempt to curry favor with a cat treat will result in being treated no differently than any other one of her loyal subjects.  After setting out from her home in the morning Molly walks leisurely through the terraced garden and patrols the side entrance of the library. She may choose to take a bite or a sip of water from bowls set for her at this location. A favorite posting for Molly is on the steps of the library entrance, especially on a day when the sun has warmed the concrete cap on the stone railing. It is a good location for evaluating library visitors and acknowledging library employees.  

Two hundred generations ago (in cat lives) some of Molly's distant cousins guarded the libraries in Egyptian temples. According to the Greek historian Herodotus the cats were specially trained to prevent rodents and snakes from destroying the rolls of papyrus. Monks in monasteries kept rats from eating their laboriously made manuscripts by allowing cats to roam their workrooms. Rats and mice eat paper, and libraries have a lot of paper. The British government once payed a stipend to libraries for the housing of good mousers!  Modern library cats, the occasional mouse bounty aside, are well fed, content and happy, and unlike a library dog, of which there are no known samples, cats don't bark and they have tiny teeth. The general demeanor of a cat, along with purring and pet-able fur can create a relaxed atmosphere for both patrons and librarians alike. Occasionally there have been reports from patrons regarding allergies, real or imagined, and a tussle or two between a library cat and a companion animal.  Warning! When the library in Putnam Valley New York removed their cat, two members of the community were so upset they took the library out of their wills, producing an $80,000 dollar loss in revenue.

Perhaps the most famous library cat in the world is Dewey Readmore Books. When still a kitten Dewey had been dropped, on the coldest night of the year, into the book return box of the Spencer Public Library in Iowa. Dewey was found the next morning by library director Vicki Myron. He won her heart, and the hearts of the staff by pulling himself up and hobbling on frost bitten feet to nudge each of them in a gesture of thanks and love. Dewey lived at the library for nineteen years and after his death a popular book was written about his life.  Thanks to Gary Roma of Iron Frog productions we now have an accounting of where all the library cats are!  There are 809 known library cats world wide, with 664 in the United States. The number is a bit skewed depending on one's viewpoint as 27 are in the form of statues, 6 are stuffed (as in toys) and one is a ghost cat. Not counting Molly, there are 14 cats in Virginia's libraries. But of all 809 library cats, our Molly is the sweetest, kindest, and most intelligent of all!"