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Monday, May 28, 2012

You Can Be Healed

I found this nondescript little black book at a thrift store: You Can Be Healed by Clara Palmer, published by Unity School of Christianity, Lee's Summit, MO, 1950.  This is a book about the body and its functions written from the point of view that the body and everything it does is pretty miraculous, with some very reasonable and common sense advice on healthy living, including promoting vegetarianism.
For example, about "Your Intelligent Liver," the author tells us:  "There is no laboratory in the world where a greater or more painstaking work is done than that which is carried on within your liver. It is helpful for you to know something of the functions of your body in order that you may work intelligently with them instead of thoughtlessly working against them.  Have you ever joyously thought of your liver in terms of appreciation for the good work that it does for you?  It is a tireless worker.  It is constantly abstracting certain materials from the blood and converting them into new substance that can be appropriated by the body for its upbuilding or eliminated from it when its purpose has been accomplished."

What interests me most about this book, however, is not the book itself, but the notation left behind by a previous owner:

"Tonsillitis:  To heal tonisilitis I use the testicles of a rabbit and the (sometimes) inside of a perches mouth.  (Sometimes the grayling chicken is very helpful in these cases.)  (Also in cases where a new life has no testicles) from having had tonsils removed before death.)  The penises of men that I have used instead of my size they are larger is a fish (not a tarpon are the larger sword fish as these are what is found in the caskets or on the horses) but this smaller sword fish I use for sizing men's penis is a replica of the ram's penis which normal size for now the use of extremely large fish has caused many monstrous abnormalities such as I have seen in Ronnie Fields, etc."


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Traditional physical book forms have interesting and charming elements that add to the aesthetic pleasure of holding and reading a real book.  One such element that is not often seen anymore (as most of the information would now be given on the back of the title page, the copyright, or imprint, page) is the colophon.

A colophon is a note at the end of a book that gives information about the printing of the book.  In early books, before there were title pages the colophon was the only place to find this information.   In more modern times, colophons are found in books printed by the "private press movement" - presses devoted to printing books as works of art, rather than as a commercial venture.

This colophon is from a book printed in 1941.  The small image at the bottom is called a printer's device.  Here the colophon gives information about the printing processes used, the engravers, typesetter, and bookbinder.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


There's a lot of talk in the book world about what the future of books will be.  Some fear that the physical book will disappear or become a niche collectible item, as has happened with vinyl records.  This question brings to mind the physical qualities which add charm and make books unique, such as inserts, and how much I will miss them, should they ever go away.

Recently, in handling a book, A Pictorial History of English Architecture, by John Betjeman, (published by John G. Murray, London, 1972), to my amusement the following printed card, about the size of a standard business card fell out of the pages:
Be careful when going to Australia!  It's always best to use the third person for authority and emphasis.

This card is a fine example of an addendum, thus defined by Wikipedia:

In a book, an addendum (sometimes referred to as an appendix, plural appendices) is a supplemental addition to a given main work. It may explain inconsistencies or otherwise explain or update the information found in the main work, especially if any such problems were detected too late to correct the main work. For example, the main work could have had already been printed and the cost of destroying the batch and reprinting is deemed too high. As such, addenda may come in many forms — a separate letter included with the work, text files on a digital medium, or any similar carrier. It may serve to notify the reader of errors present, as an errata.

It's interesting that digital books apparently may have addendum also.  I looked for the photos of the buildings offered as cautionary examples by the author of the above book, and they were in fact hideous.

On another note, I have been interviewed by the IOBA regarding my experience attending Rare Book School here: An Interview with Amy Candiotti, IOBA RBS Scholarship Winner

And Sean is mentioned in a SLOG post about the recent May Day protests in Seattle here:  Why All the Smashy-Smashy? A Beginner's Guide to Targeted Property Destruction.