Required Viewing

Recently, CBS Sunday Morning gave us 6 minutes of Bibliomania at it's finest with this report from Paris.

It begins with a trip to the apartment of a self-professed bibliomaniac. This guy is first ballot.

Then we get some time with the dynamic duo of John Baxter and Martin Stone.

Baxter gives us a little evolutionary history of one type of collector; the modern firsts collector - how one goes from simply a reader - to hardcover first edition- to a signed copy - to advanced proofs. As Baxter says in his 2003 book chronicling his biblio-escapades, A Pound of Paper: Confessions of a Book Addict, "One rationale of book collecting is that it brings you closer to the writer's you admire." Baxter then breaks out his copy of the The Great Gatsby in a dust jacket; one of the true hi-spots of modern literature.

Then we move on to Martin Stone, the legendary rocker turned legendary book scout. We watch as he scouts a two volume set which by the end of the segment he has resold for a $300 profit! Why does Stone live in Paris? "The best books in the world are in France" says Stone who goes on to sum up his relationship with books by saying "I need to have many more books than I am going to read."

Baxter and Stone are not strangers to one another. Baxter's book A Pound of Paper is dedicated to Stone and he's mentioned throughout as a sort of guiding light for Baxter's obsession. After the American edition of Pound of Paper was released Baxter and Stone came to America. Though touted as a promotional tour for the book part of the plan was for Baxter to follow Stone around as he scouted the West coast and then write a book about it. One of their first stops was Seattle and Wessel & Lieberman. It was quite a treat for us and an honor to be part of their biblio-escapades. I am not sure what happened to that project but it's good to know that Martin Stone's scouting tour of America was chronicled.

Nigel Burwood's post on Stone over at Bookride
Piece in the San Francisco Chronicle that appeared during Baxter and Stone's visit to the Bay area.