"Entertaining, moving, informative, intelligently hopeful: I know of few other books like this one to warm the cockles of a booklover's heart." —Alberto Manguel "For anyone who loves books too well—who lusts after them, lives in them, mainlines them—David Mason’s memoir will be a fix from heaven. Heartful, cantankerous, droll, his tales of honour and obsession in the trade gratify the very book-love they portray. An irresistible read." —Dennis Lee "An atmospheric, informative memoir by a Canadian seller of used and rare books ... Gossipy, rambling and enchanting, alive with Mason’s love for books of every variety."—Kirkus Reviews From his drug-hazy, book-happy years near the Beat Hotel in Paris and throughout his career as antiquarian book dealer, David Mason brings us a storied life. He discovers his love of literature in a bathtub at age eleven, thumbing through stacks of lurid Signet paperbacks. At fifteen he’s expelled from school. For the next decade and a half, he will work odd jobs, buck all authority, buy books more often than food, and float around Europe. He’ll help gild a volume in white morocco for Pope John XXIII. And then, at the age of 30, after returning home to Canada and apprenticing with Joseph Patrick Books, David Mason will find his calling. Over the course of what is now a legendary international career, Mason shows unerring instincts for the logic of the trade. He makes good money from Canadian editions, both legitimate and pirated (turns out Canadian piracies so incensed Mark Twain that he moved to Montreal for six months to gain copyright protection). He outfoxes the cousins of L.M. Montgomery at auction and blackmails the head of the Royal Ontario Museum. He excoriates the bureaucratic pettiness that obstructs public acquisitions, he trumpets the ingenuity of collectors and scouts, and in archives around the world he appraises history in its unsifted and most moving forms. Above all, however, David Mason boldly campaigns for what he feels is the moral duty of the antiquarian trade: to preserve the history and traditions of all nations, and to assert without compromise that such histories have value. Sly, sparkling, and endearingly gruff, The Pope's Bookbinder is an engrossing memoir by a giant in the book trade—whose infectious enthusiasm, human insight, commercial shrewdness, and deadpan humour will delight bibliophiles for decades to come.
"Early on in this rambling, easygoing account of his career, Mason mentions three outstanding classics of [the] subgenre: Charles Everitt's The Adventures of a Treasure Hunter, David Randall's Dukedom Large Enough, and David Magee's Infinite Riches. The Pope's Bookbinder belongs on the same shelf."--Michael Dirda, The Washington Post
Before becoming Pope Francis, Fr. Jorge Bergoglio, as a Jesuit priest in Argentina, served the Jesuit order and the Church in a variety of functions: professor, spiritual director, master of novices, provincial, and eventually Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires. This fascinating new look at Pope Francis presents the personal insights of ten Jesuits, many who have known him since his first days as a Jesuit, and were interviewed for this book shortly after he was elected the Pope. Some were his professors, some his peers, and some younger Jesuits who were his students. Also interviewed for this book are non-Jesuits, including an Argentine senator, a prominent rabbi, a priest working in the slums of Buenos Aires that Bergoglio often visited. Their remarks are focused on different aspects of the man, including his family background, his abilities, and his personality as administrator, as friend, as teacher, as a guide, etc. Some of the predominant aspects of his personality to emerge are his longstanding simplicity and authentic spirituality; his concern for the individual and the poor; his desire for the Church to go out to the street to meet the needs of the people. More controversial issues discussed include his dealing with the issue of "Liberation Theology" and his relationship with the military regime in Argentina. These interviews essentially transmit a mosaic that reveals little-known insights of the pontiff's personality, of his interior world, his human abilities, his work habits, his devotions, his concerns, and his friendships. Thus, they open a fascinating door to a better understanding of the man whom the Holy Spirit has elected to lead the Church at this time.
Winner of the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and shortlisted for the Governor-General's Award for fiction and the Commonwealth Writer's Prize, Caroline Adderson's short fiction collection travels far and wide. From adolescent brothers marooned at an indifferent relatives cottage, to a Depression-era Ukrainian immigrant reading the drought-parched skies above Palliser's Triangle, to two friends trying to make sense of feminism in the eighties, Adderson captures her characters' cadences, conflicts, and consolations, their individual burdens and the mysteries they share. Adventurous, often funny, and impeccably researched, these stories chart their lives with compassion and intelligence.
In the past, studies of the history of bookbinding were mainly concerned with the exterior decoration. This book focuses attention primarily on the physical aspects of the binding and its construction principles. It is an expanded version of a series of lectures delivered by the author while Visiting Professor at the University of Amsterdam in 1987, supplemented with the results of ten years of intensive research in major libraries on the Continent, the United Kingdom and the USA. It surveys the evolution of binding structures from the introduction of the codex two thousand years ago to the close of the Middle Ages. Part I reviews the scanty physical evidence from the Mediterranean heritage, the early Coptic, Islamic and Ethiopian binding structures and their interrelation with those of the Byzantine realm. Part II is devoted to a detailed analysis of Western binding techniques, distinguishing the carolingian, romanesque and gothic wooden-board bindings as the main typological entities; their structure and function is compared with those of contemporary limp bindings. The book is illustrated with over 200 drawings and photographs and contains a comprehensive bibliography.