Book People

After the 2013 publication of Nick Basbanes’ On Paper, book artist Tim Ely called the author and requested the unbound sheets of the book, just as they appeared off the press. Basbanes’ editor kindly obliged, and off On Paper went to Washington State to Ely's art studio where he forges one-of-a-kind, handmade books that have been compared to illuminated manuscripts for their impeccable detail and expression.

We were saddened to learn last week of the death of Jay Kislak, an extraordinary collector and a generous philanthropist to several libraries, including the Library of Congress and the Kislak Center for Special Collections at the University of Pennsylvania. He also provided the financial backing for the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest. Kislak was 96.

  

Just as each age has reinvented Shakespeare to suit its own time and culture, so to, it seems, that every era needs its own Kama Sutra, that ancient Hindu treatise on courtship and sexual behavior. To wit: the Folio Society recently published a limited-edition run of 750 hand-numbered copies of the 2,000-year-old instruction manual for joyous living.

  

A couple of months ago I published a piece in the Guardian about my decision to start a rare book business focused on work by women, particularly women writers, and the unequal treatment of books by women in the trade. The piece received a good deal of attention, and I didn't know if anyone would notice or pay attention, particularly outside of the rare book trade.